It is safe to say that every artiste wishes to be signed to a major record label. For The Maine, it is quite the opposite. They’ve even got the guts to tell their record label to f*** off. Now independent, or shall we say “indie”, the boys from The Maine has finally made it to Singapore for their debut concert in TAB.

Without much hesitation, the audiences welcomed Australian band, A Sleepless Melody to open the concert. With thumping tunes backed by their irresistible energy, A Sleepless Melody pumped the crowd up for a night of pure partying.

After a good 10-minute sound check, The Maine strutted onto the stage at last and started the show with Love and Drugs, the single for which its music video was premiered that very night. Who says Singapore is an emotionless country? Every single person in the crowd was screaming the lyrics from the very beginning. Extremely loud and incredibly so, the audience almost drowned the lead singer, John O’Callaghan, out.

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The set began with a mixture of both old and newer songs, ranging from We All Roll Along to Misery. It was all not without perfectly timed head bangs and familiar guitar riffs. Knowing that guitarist Kennedy Brock was turning a quarter of a century old that evening, we secretly planned a little surprise for him. Midway through Into Your Arms, we sprung mini crackers towards the birthday boy as he continued the song beaming in genuine delight.

Donning his signature denim vest, this time embellished with a Singapore flag over the collar, we can’t help but fall deeper in love with John. His brown locks, almost golden and combed back, were both sleek and subtly disheveled – perfect for headbanging. Who could ever deny that hypnotic smile and that beautifully restrained voice.

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Beyond the grungy “I-don’t-give-a-damn” exterior, John boasts a tender sensitivity towards his artistry that demands respect and sincerity. This was clearly reflected in his solo performance of These Four Words. Having his way with the piano, John stole our hearts effortlessly with the soul gripping song.

Not to forget, impertinent to the band were Patrick Kirch on the drums, Garrett Nickelsen rocking the bass, and Kennedy Brock and Jared Monaco strumming out nostalgic guitar riffs.

Undoubtedly, the highlight of the night came when John himself parted the crowd and descended onto the floor. As the rest of the band kept the music going, John entered the sea of mobile phones, cameras and excited fans. Needless to say, everyone was jostling back and forth, desperate to rub shoulders with the man of the night.

Now that’s one sort of crowd interaction that’s absolutely unheard of. Insane? Most definitely and mindblowingly so. It took The Maine seven years to come to Singapore, but they promised us they wouldn’t take another seven years to return. Their palpable audacity made them one of the most undisputed rock and roll bands alive. And as long as they remain that way, we will continue to scream sing with them with pride.

Photo Credits: Upsurge Productions