Arizona-based alternative band The Maine, coming off the success of their latest album, “American Candy,” embarked on a 36-show tour with other bands, including Real Friends, Knuckle Puck, and The Technicolors.
The band had its first show in its hometown Tempe, Arizona, on April 3 but stopped at the Masquerade in Atlanta May 13th . I rushed after orchestra practice to be the first person in line for tickets, but ultimately got caught in the usual Atlanta traffic. After waiting outside for my friend to arrive at the venue, I immediately headed over to the will call booth to redeem my press pass.
As I entered the doors to the Heaven Stage of the Masquerade, there were already so many people crowded around the barricade that separated them from the stage. Inside was a mixed crowd of pop punk lovers, girls decked in flower crowns, and overbearing parents. The first band to grace the concertgoers with their presence was an American rock band The Technicolors. It was my first time seeing them perform.
They opened with their light-hearted song “I’ll Love You Someday,” followed by their rock ballad “Heavy Leather.” During their set, everyone swayed from side to side, and I took of those who were hanging onto every lyric. Before leaving the stage lead singer Brennan Smiley informed us that his band was proud of their success with the latest album titled “Ultraviolet Disguise.”
After a 10-minute sound check, I heavily anticipated seeing, Knuckle Puck, a group of five guys who escaped the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois to create pop punk music. The crowd pushed closer to the front of the stage after a sound check. Their set consisted of their best songs including “No Good,” “Gold Rush,” and “But Why Would You Care.” I felt a rush of excitement as I screamed the words to every song. Joe Taylor, lead vocalist, led concertgoers in a crowd surf to the barricade and start a circle pit. Fans of Knuckle Puck had a large amount of intense hand banging and angrily pointing towards the stage, but didn’t faze me one bit.
Then, the moment I had been anticipating for months finally arrived: Real Friends took to the stage. After viewing their documentary, “Moving Forward” about their early beginnings I was even more excited to see my favorite native Illinois pop punk band.
Real Friends opened up with “Maybe This Place Is The Same” and ended with a personal favorite, “Sixteen.” This slow paced song focused on how lead singer Dan Lambton had problems with connecting to reality. Before ending their set, the group led concert goes in creating a mosh pit. Dan and bass player Kyle Fasel stopped playing to ensure everyone had good posture during the mosh pits and managed to give an entire soliloquy about the importance of Jackie Chan.
Dan also requested that everyone in the crowd not record the band’s last song, in wanting people to simply enjoy the musical moment. Everyone put their phones away and focused on singing along.
Headlining band, The Maine, performed their hit singles “My Hair,” “Miles Away,” and “English Girls.” Masquerade staff put a lot of work into the lighting and backdrop for The Maine as the blue lights matched the color of their latest album. The band had a set comprised of 15 songs which included a cover of the Rolling Stone’s “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.” The Maine closed out the concert with their song “Right Girl” that dives into the topic of a tragic love story with a girl.
I admit this was one of the most amazing nights of my junior year. I definitely suggest listening to all of the bands and attending their concerts. Check out VOX’s American Candy playlist from Spotify: