Live: The Maine & Augustana at Revolution, May 18

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The Maine
With Augustana, Austin Gibbs and Hugo
Revolution, Fort Lauderdale
Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Better than: Watching the aged and out-of-sync Backstreet Boys attempt a clumsy comeback.

The Maine's headlining show at Revolution last night was indicative of how much their fame has grown. The young Tempe, Arizona, act blazed onto the scene almost four years ago with a sound akin to many pop-punk boy bands on America's Top 40 radio stations. But young teeny bopper fans have latched on to their skinny jeans and shaggy hair nonetheless. 

On three previous visits to the venue, the guys opened for opened for All

Time Low, Cobra Starship, and then Never Shout Never, respectively. In fact, lead singer John O'Callaghan was arrested outside of Revolution in 2009 after a gaggle of girls prevented him from following an impatient officer's orders to clear the street outside the venue.

This time the Maine wasn't a measly opening band only there to get the crowd riled up for someone better. They co-headlined along with arguably better-known Augustana. 

Hugo started off the night with someone the kiddies could relate to: a sweet Bluesgrass-style rendition of Jay-Z's "99 Problems." Each of the opening bands' popularity was easy to rank based on the visual control they had over the audience. Hugo only had a few rows bobbing their heads. Austin Gibbs and his glorious man-stache nabbed Hugo's rows along with a few more of his own. 

Once the Maine's John O'Callaghan took the stage, he was like a puppet master controlling the ebb and flow of the crowd with an imaginary hand. The kids and company jumped up and down like a surging tidal wave.

The Maine's vocals were weak in the beginning. I thought it could be a result of the overpowering speakers but switching positions several times didn't improve the situation. O'Callaghan stepped up his game halfway through, perhaps he needed to warm up or drink more, and it was possible to hear more of his words than Kennedy Brock's guitar. 

Parents of the much younger fans, and there were a lot of them, patiently sat through the almost-shockingly sexual nature of the Maine's 14-song set list -- including songs like "Inside of You" and "Don't Stop Now." All without batting an eye. 

Augustana, which is well-known for the hit song "Boston," played last. Although the guys had a spot in the 2007 SunFest lineup, their popularity didn't register with the Maine's underage posse, and they came out to play for roughly one-third of the crowd the Maine entertained. The boys soldiered through, but with a fraction of the enthusiasm the Maine expressed during their entire performance. 

Critic's Notebook

The Crowd: At last year's Culture Room show, the crowd was a mess of underage girls in skimpy outfits. This year's crowd seems to have matured to include more adults (not just parents) and men who were there to appreciate the music.

By The Way: The Maine is known to spend hours after their shows signing autographs and taking photos with their fans. This show was no exception.

Seen: Around midnight there were still a bunch of girls crowded around The Maine's tour bus. One drunk mom decided to open the door and let a bunch of girls on. They're lucky it wasn't a homeless person.

The Maine's Setlist:
Listen To Your Heart 
Right Girl
I Must Be Dreaming
Into Your Arms
Don't Stop Now
Saving Grace
Everything I Ask For
Don't Give Up On Us
Inside Of You
Girls Do What They Want
Growing Up

Follow County Grind on Facebook and Twitter: @CountyGrind.

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