8123 Fest - Day One

The Pioneer Show

Friday, January 20, 2017 - 08:00:00 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music, The Maine, 8123)
It was the afternoon of September 19, 2016. Tickets went on sale for this 8123 Fest shingdig. I had a feeling that the more expensive "Gold Ticket Bundles" were going to sell fast, and was kind of militant about being ready to secure two. To an extent where Katie thought I was a little crazy. Yet I was not. It was 2 minutes past 5 o'clock when I managed to get 2 tickets in my cart. And within 30 seconds later, it was all over - all 300 tickets were sold. That's right, in less than 3 minutes gold bundles were sold out.

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While there were several perks of gold tickets over the other 2,700 general admissions ones, the huge one was happening tonight - the opportunity to see the band perform Pioneer in it's entirety, in the intimate setting of the Rebel Lounge. If there is ever a good reason to be quick on the refresh button, this was it.

Tonight's show started with a Q&A session with the band, before a performance by Gorgeous War, Joel Kanitz's latest project.

Around 9pm, The Maine came back out on stage, this time with instruments in hand. If were to pick an album to play in it's entirety it would likely be another one (can you say "Forever Halloween"?), but it was really amazing to see Pioneer played from start to finish. I don't by default play this record as much as some of the others, but whenever I do I'm reminded of how great it actually is. Tonight was the same sort of experience and definitely felt like the perfect option.

Funniest part of the night was John commenting that Thinking Of You was nobodies favorite song - and then proceeding to play it 4 times. A normal version, a reprise version, a ska version then a Limp Bizkit version. Oh the silliness.

A close second was the short rendition of Superman, aptly mocking that terrible band's very recent return to public consciousness for all the wrong reasons. "Speaking of politics, and speaking of Trump, this song is called Misery". On point.

The Pioneer portion of the show closed on Waiting For My Sun To Shine, but not without (thankfully) the crowd immediately chanting for One Pack Of Smokes. It might be the hidden track, but it's a crowd favorite, including mine. Despite announcing they hadn't practiced it, the band obliged with John reading the lyrics from a not so reputable internet source. [wink] This was quite entertaining, and hardly an issue since the rest of the room knew and recited the actual words loudly. So good, it wouldn't have been Pioneer in it's entirety without One Pack Of Smokes.

Surely they were going to give us more than just Pioneer, and One Pack Of Smokes went right into a 7 song run of hits focused on largely on American Candy and a few Forever Halloween tracks. Oh, and three songs in, Bad Behavior.

We had hopes we'd hear that this weekend, and indeed it received it's debut performance on the Rebel Lounge stage tonight. And it sounded great. But what was really amazing, was being in a room of 300 people that already knew and were screaming every word of the song. New songs are often the less enthused part of live shows, but that was anything but the case tonight. Amazing. Did I mention this song only came out 24 hours ago?

Appropriately, the night ended with the Pioneer era Ice Cave. Although it wound up on Forever Halloween Deluxe, it'll always be associated with those pre Pioneer live shows, so that was a nice touch.

A really amazing show and I'm so thankful we were able to score the tickets for it. Tomorrow is sure to be great, but I can't imagine the experience being the same without being at this show.

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