It’s always an odd feeling to go to a show and be considerably more excited about the opener than the headliner. Don’t get me wrong, I’m looking forward to all three of these bands. I’m confident that they’ll all be great. This tour is just a very strange pairing of distinctly different artists and, in this instance, there seems to be an inverse relationship between popularity and artistry (story of the industry though, right?). In light of that fact, I’ll talk about the openers fist.
I was a bit thrown to see that The Postelles opening this tour. Having already made a name for themselves over the past couple of years by touring with The Kooks, Vampire Weekend, and Nashville’s own Kings of Leon (not to mention releasing a fantastic debut album), they seem like a bit of an oddball choice to open. They grew out of the New York indie rock scene and have an 20-something-skewing fanbase, while their tourmates came from the pop punk scene and have a mostly teenage fanbase. That said, being the odd fit gives them the most to prove and getting to the show early to catch them is an absolute must.
I’ll admit it, I have quite the soft spot for pop punk (I was just the right age when Blink 182, Jimmy Eat World, and Saves the Day hit that it dictated a big aspect of my musical taste). Though I’m not as connected to or interested in that scene anymore, I stay pretty aware of it, and because of that I’ve had the opportunity to observe The Maine go from something fairly typical to something quite astounding. What started as your run of the mill pop punk band (I use the term loosely because the scene is a lot more pop than punk nowadays) has transcended into something much more artistically capable and profound than the connotations of the genre should allow. The Maine in their current form are a smart, multi-faceted rock band with more than a little of a noticeable late ’90s alt flair and some really strong and frequently improving songwriting chops.
If The Maine sit in the middle of the pop punk, alt rock, indie spectrum and The Postelles exist on one end, Mayday Parade would exist on the opposite. They also came from the pop punk scene, but, unlike The Maine, they opted to grow within it whether than grow out of it. Over the past several years and three albums they’ve become a very capable and refined band. It’s actually surprising that they haven’t received more mainstream radio attention, because their knack for crafting compelling pop songs has expanded tremendously. It’s their choice to mostly stick to their established formula, however, that makes me both admire their persistence and approach their performance with slightly less excitement than their opening acts. With such a range of influences between the three bands, bands of similar backgrounds but in very different states of being, this show promises to be anything but redundant.
Mayday Parade, The Maine, and The Postelles perform tonight at Rocketown. The show starts at 6PM and tickets are still available here.