Not long after I had said bye to my friend Matt after hanging out for the weekend, I get a text. “Mae is playing at the House of Blues tonight.” I’m pretty sure this is a mistake. They had already gone on a farewell tour, broken up, and now had other projects in motion. But, after a quick Google search, I not only confirmed it was actually Mae playing, but that this was the 10 year anniversary tour for The Everglow.
This is an incredibly busy month, but this weekend was kind of open. Matt and his wife Sarah were down from Philly at the start of their vacation and we were able to hit up Epcot late Saturday afternoon. After church and lunch, I had suggested Matt and his wife Sarah check out Downtown Disney. They decided to do so, and that’s how Matt stumbled upon the House of Blues marquee. Matt and I had been roommates freshman year of college at Word of Life and we, along with several others, would often drive down to Tampa for shows. The most vivid for us being when the not yet wildly popular Anberlin headlined the Tooth and Nail tour with Emery and mewithoutYou.
Alongside this, Mae was probably one of my favorite bands in college, and The Everglow was my favorite album. It bridged the gap between my time away at college at Word of Life and my final two years at home before leaving for Dallas. In terms of albums high on the nostalgia meter, The Everglow is up there. I remember when it came out in late March and winter was slowly coming to an end in upstate New York. It became the soundtrack for my road trips in the final days of the semester and then for the summer of working at camp. Later that year I was able to see them in Atlanta, and even later again in Dallas after Singularity came out.
Needless to say, last night’s plans went on hold and me and Matt headed down to the House of Blues. Neither of our wives are big concert fans, so it was like going back in time in some respects to hear Mae play an album from 10 years ago when we were both still in college and unmarried. They opened with 3 songs off three different albums before playing the entire 15 track album start to finish, and then closing with an encore of another two songs. There were minor hints of rust, but it was a stellar performance that did not disappoint.
The House of Blues here in Orlando is smaller than the one in Dallas and the show wasn’t that crowded. But, it was pretty much only serious fans and so everyone sang along for most of the set list. You can see in the stage setup in the picture it has a kind of intimate feel already, and this only added to it. It’s always hard to tell whether a band is just playing to the crowd when they say they were touched by sharing the night with you, but the guys in Mae seemed to genuinely enjoy us. The feeling was of course mutual.