How did we ever survive for more than two years without live music, especially rock shows? Maybe sometimes it felt like we were on the verge of breaking down … and then The Maine came around.
Rock band The Maine is back for the seventh time, with Manila as their only stop in Southeast Asia this year.
Before the Arizona-based group took the stage at the Skydome, Filipino rock band Written by the Stars opened the show with five songs, including “Isolation,” “Sunset Boulevard,” and “Runaway.”
The Maine started with a short video, with Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” playing in the background. Through the smoke from the fog machines, the crowd catches a glimpse of the band they’ve been waiting, for and the energy was on another level. The Maine’s first song in their set was “Sticky,” an earworm from their latest album “XOXO: From Love and Anxiety in Real Time.” Everyone was jumping and singing along, and it was glorious.
Before continuing with “Like We Did (Windows Down)” frontman John O’Callaghan said, “Phones away!” Without a doubt, the best way to watch a concert is to experience it. In between performing “Numb Without You,” John also reminisced about what it was like just stuck at home during the pandemic. “Turn around. We’re in a room full of fcking people right now. Live music is back, baby. So here’s what I need: I need three years of sitting inside, all that sht that you’ve built up, sitting in your computer chairs, sitting in your bed, sitting at home. I need three years of energy tonight, okay?” There are only a few artists who can literally rock a venue, and The Maine is one of those bands. And when the fans were asked to jump, the Skydome was shaking.
The show (which is more like a party at this point) continued with “Am I Pretty,” “Love in Real Time,” “Slip the Noose,” “High Forever,” “Dirty, Pretty, Beautiful,” and “Taxi.”
The band then asked the crowd “to be here in this room for this song,” which was “How Do You Feel.” It still amazes me how music can heal you, and the feeling of hearing this song live while singing along with The Maine and other fans is beyond words.
For “We All Roll Along,” some fans were given the mic — karaoke style. Everyone was clearly having the best time, and it was an ongoing joke that the band will be playing for five and a half hours. Their set continued with “Diet Soda Society,” “Don’t Come Down,” and “Bad Behavior.”
The Maine also sang their unreleased song “Box in a Heart” before continuing with “Loved You a Little.”
One fan put up a sign that said, “Can I play ‘Run’ with you guys?” The next thing I knew, this fan named Lance was up on stage, playing the guitar with the rest of the band. The Maine: making fans’ dreams come true since 2007.
The crowd was shouting some requests for the band, so they also played “Into Your Arms.” John said they haven’t played that song in four years.
The last songs in their set were “Black Butterflies and Déjà Vu” and the best closing song “Another Night on Mars.” Because of artists who make you feel less alien, the world feels like a better place right after a concert.
With the talent and heart that The Maine pours into their every show, it’s no surprise that even after 15 years, their dedicated and passionate fans continue to rival the band’s energy from the start until the very end of their set. Every show is a family reunion, and it’s an incredible experience every time.
The Maine Manila 2022 Setlist:
-Like We Did (Windows Down)
-Numb Without You
-Am I Pretty?
-Love in Real Time
Slip the Noose
-Dirty, Pretty, Beautiful
-How Do You Feel?
-We All Roll Along
-Diet Soda Society
-Don’t Come Down
-Box in a Heart (live debut)
-Loved You a Little
-Into Your Arms
-Black Butterflies & Déjà Vu
-Another Night on Mars
Special thanks to Pulp Live World
Words by Ara Sharra
Photos by Seth Valenzuela
See more photos from the show here