Live Review: The Maine

Nos·tal·gia: a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations.


“What do you need? Anything? You guys feelin good?” lead singer John O’Callaghan says sweetly to the boisterous crowd in front of him and the other four members of The Maine. A pop punk band from Arizona on their latest tour titled Modern Nostalgia. The band consciously decided that this tour would be different than previous tours; both of their latest albums Lovely Little Lonely and American Candy will be played back to back in full. Both show off the musicality still left in this band, from stretched out guitar synths to their classic pop/punk sound, and even a couple acoustic gems. Nostalgia seems to fit this bill. Nostalgic for love and everything that surrounds it seems to be the message.

A stage lined with a striped curtain reminiscent of a candy wrapper set the mood for the night; playful, sweet, and beautiful. Plush red rugs sat on the floor of the stage as the men (all in crisp white suits – which later turned to powder blue signifying a shift in the set) rocked out to some of their greatest music (in my opinion).

Songs like, “Lost In Nostalgia,” “American Candy,” and “How Do You Feel” felt even more electric live than they do when listened to through headphones. Zipped and tied up in suits didn’t stop these guys from head banging and shredding guitar for close to two hours. O’Callaghan makes sure every fan feels welcomed and happy. He high fives the one brave soul who crowd surfed, and wished the girl in the front row a happy birthday while performing. The flirty singer walks around to each band member, slapping their butts, rubbing their hair and leaning on shoulders. It’s clear the group has formed quite the brotherhood over the past 10 years and John is the ringleader elevating every moment as much as possible.

Not only do they manage to make you sing along, but they put a smile on your face, and a little sanity in your head. Like O’Callaghan preaches near the end of the show; it’s okay to not be okay, look to the people next to you, everyone’s going through something, but tonight everyone is enjoying music.

 

For Modern Nostalgia tour dates, visit here

 


 

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Quinn XCII: More Than Pop

Quinn’s latest album, The Story of Us is pop shot to the moon and back. Nothing is off limits. The Detroit native proves his voice is one of the most unique in the industry right now. 11 tracks tackle a new element and by the end, you’re convinced he can do no wrong.

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Image via quinnxcii.com

Mixed beats lace each song while Quinn’s voice hijacks every syllable. “Don’t You” stands out as one of my favorites. Led by an acoustic guitar, the cutesy track quickly shifts into a low key R&B tune. Quinn doesn’t box himself in one genre, his verses are choppy yet mixed to perfection so the rhythm is NEVER off. The lyrics aren’t cryptic, he keeps it real and honest; “I’m losing my patience, swear she’s dating someone famous,” he spits out.

“Fake Denim” and “Straightjacket” are the catchiest off the album. Both keeping pop elements mixed with a slice of those R&B sounds he does so well. Quinn recently told Billboard that lead single “Straightjacket” is about, “Dating someone who acts one way in public but totally different (and crazier) behind closed doors, and the goal of ultimately exposing that true personality to everyone.” Both tracks have an underlying EDM vibe which parallels perfectly to his go-getter/confident attitude.

While most artists have albums that feel more like fillers, Quinn makes each song a hit single. The Story of Us is a wholesome album. I truly think there is something for everyone on it. I can’t wait to hear/see more from Quinn XCII in the future.

 


 

Who You Need: Bridgit Mendler

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Image via pcwallart.com

WHO: Bridgit Mendler

WHERE: Washington, D.C.

GENRE: Pop/R&B

SONGS: “Atlantis”, “Ready or Not”

 

 

Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas, Miley Cyrus. All Disney-bred pop stars. There’s no denying that each one is talented in their own right. Could Disney be the best talent agency ever?

Enter Bridgit Mendler, former actress on the hit Disney show “Good Luck Charlie,” where she also sang the title song. 2012 sparked her debut album Hello My Name Is… , flooded with the usual pop noise. But 2016 brought something different from Ms. Mendler. A little more musical production, a slight genre change, and more vocal focus has proven this Disney bopper is more than just another laughable pop toy…

Her popular single, “Atlantis” off her 2016 EP titled, Nemesis comes to mind when I think of expanded musical production. Muffled/distorted vocals and R&B back beats spice things up. A rap cameo chimes in on the tail end of the track racking in more of a hip-hop sound that fits her like a glove.

On “Temperamental Love” we hear a similar sound from the pop singer. Rapper, Devontee kicks this one off spitting out the struggles of modern-day dating,”Girl, you ain’t the only one that’s all alone, Hell, I’m only seeing you on the phone, what’s a FaceTime? I need face-to-face time.” The high-pitched chorus praises that love anyways as Mendler sings, “Temperamental love taking over me, all the lows shake my bones every time you leave, but I can’t escape the thought of you, boy.” The naivety in her voice contrasts with the mature beat and lyrics making the song a pleasant pop surprise.

Mendler wrote the lyrics for Love and also produced the song. Showing off her various skills, fans can expect more heat from the singer coming soon.


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Music Video Roundup!

1.) “In My Foreign” – Ty Dolla $ign, French Montana, Lil Yachty, and Nicky Jam

A classic hip-hop vid featuring too many features, oversized fur coats, and sports cars parked at an angle… Sampling Chicago’s hit from 1973, “Saturday In the Park” you can’t help but bop along to this track.

 

2.) “Company” – Tinashe

Wow… this woman proves time and time again that R&B is HER thing. Not only is her singing impeccable, but her dance moves are insanely impressive. Hip popping and hair flipping at its finest. Try not to get body jealous after watching this.

 

3.) “Maniac” – Jhene Aiko

With lyrics like: “Gotta read the sign like a zodiac, I’m a lowkey freak, you don’t know me yet?” there’s only one way to make this video represent the lyrics. Aiko is seen chained down to a bed as masked people hover over her. An asylum could be the location… She writhes and twitches in her manic state as she sings about, well… you get the idea.

 

4.) “I Got You” – Bebe Rexha

Rexha flops around a desert, rolling in the cracked ground, booty poppin’ on a car, and whipping her blonde hair around her face. Her eyes captivate you until  you can’t look away. Donning several dramatic & sexy outfits, she proves pop is her game and right now she’s #1.


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Halloween Party Songs

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gif via giphy.com

Carve the pumpkins, hang the cobwebs, and pour the candy. Here are some tunes to get your guests moving and grooving for the spooky night.

“Haunted” – Beyoncé

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Beyoncé in her “Haunted” music video (image: billboard.com)

“I Put A Spell On You” – Annie Lennox

“Time Warp” – The Rocky Horror Picture Show

“Heads Will Roll (A-Trak Remix)” – Yeah Yeah Yeah’s

“Monster” – Kanye West

“Disturbia” – Rihanna

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A scene from 2004’s Phantom of the Opera (image: popsugar.com)

“Hocus Pocus (Original Mix)” – Marnik

“Don’t Fear the Reaper” – Caesars

“Witchcraft” – Frank Sinatra

“Pills N Potions” – Nicki Minaj

“The Phantom of the Opera” – Andrew Lloyd Webber

“The Hills” – The Weeknd

“She Wolf (Falling to Pieces)” – David Guetta

                              “My Boo” – Usher


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