Pitchfork Press

Cronkite Summer Journalism Institute 2012

Hometown Heroes: The Maine returns to Phoenix after five months

Photo by Amber Franklin – The Maine, Lydia and the Arkells sing With a Little Help with My Friends


On June 9, 2012, The Maine returned to their hometown of Phoenix. In their final performance of the Pioneer Tour, they chose to share the stage with bands Lydia and The Arkells.

The concert, held at Marquee Theatre, began with the Arkells, reigning from Kingston, Ontario. Their folk-rock sound and upbeat piano melodiess threw the crowd in for a loop when they came on to stage, looking as if they had recently stepped out of an “Urban Outfitters” catalog.

Lead singer Max Cloudcast quickly changed spectators’ minds with his rustic voice and outgoing personality.

“I’ve never heard any sound like theirs,” new fan Ashley Chayrez said. “They’re lyrics are like stories. They don’t try to rhyme or anything like that. They just write what they feel.”

Like The Maine, the show’s second act of the night, Lydia, also originated from Arizona.

Fans whooped and hollered for the five-piece band as they sang songs from their latest album, “Illuminate.” Front man Leighton Antelman captivated the audience with his airy and almost hypnotizing voice.

At 9 p.m., The Maine finally relieved anticipating fans by taking the stage.

Though the band usually goes out of their way to get the crowd going and try to involve their fans during the set as much as possible, the band was at a loss more than once that night.

Lead vocalist John O’Callaghan called out multiple people in the crowd for their lack of excitement.

“Can I get you something man? What are you standing around for? Move. Do something,” said O’Callaghan to an audience member.

The crowd began to loosen up around the fifth song of the set and the band finally got their audience more involved.  In fact, O’Callaghan provided water for the fans even offered a tissue to a girl who was so excited to see them she was crying.

Yet, he took it one step further by bringing a girl up from the audience after reading her sign which read, “I’m turning 18; all I want is a kiss from John Oh!” He made her birthday wish come true by planting one on her and the venue echoed with gasps and cheers.

The band performed 18 songs from their latest album, “Pioneer,” as well as their two previous albums “The Way We Talk” and “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop,” sweeping a nostalgic feeling across the floor for long-time fans.

The concert ended with The Maine bringing up all the previous acts on stage with them and performing their own rendition on the Beatles’ “With a Little Help from my Friends.”

The crowd was in awe. A sing-a-long commenced while Antelman, O’Callaghan and Cloudcast took turns singing and the other 10 other band members danced in the background. The friendships and relationships created over the course of five months of touring truly showed through in the final song of the evening.

-Amber Franklin, Staff Reporter

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