The Maine and Augustana may seem like an unlikely pair to co-head-line a tour, but this summer they’ve been doing just that in the LG Ones to Watch tour. Fans of these unique and different bands came together last Friday night to enjoy a fun night of music at Atlanta’s own Masquerade, and may have even left with a few new bands to follow.
Opening act was Hugo, a bluesy-rock band signed to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label. He got Beyonce and Jay-Z’s attention with his unique rock cover of Jay-Z’s “99 Problems”. One of his songs was even featured on Beyonce’s last album, I am… Sasha Fierce. Hugo did a decent job of warming the crowd up, however, his relaxed demeanor and slow singing voice was a little boring at times. He performed his celebrated cover of “99 problems”, but the crowd did not seem too impressed. All in all it was a forgettable opening act. Hugo could definitely do with trying to engage the crowd a little bit more or even trying to appear slightly interested in the music he is singing. Because he failed to do this, he came off as a bit arrogant.
Next up was newcomer Austin Gibbs, a stark contrast from lethargic Hugo. This energetic singer did a great job of amping the crowd up with his fun blues rock songs. “La la la” was a huge crowd pleaser, with amusing lyrics and a great chorus that was easy to catch on to. Another great song was “I Like the Ones”, a robust rock song with a country twist. From start to finish Gibbs was fun to watch, and many people lined up to buy his debut CD Charlie after his set.
Augustana performed next, which surprised a lot of people. With hits such as “Boston” and “Sweet and Low”, many people felt The Maine should be opening for them. However, it appears they are taking turns opening for each other this summer, which is nice. Augustana started off right away with their first single from their self-titled third album, “Steal Your Heart”. Dan Layus, Augustana’s lead singer, is an extremely talented performer, which is refreshing in a world of overproduced auto-tuned singers. He is known for his powerful and expressive voice, and he delivered each track flawlessly and even better than on the CD.
They performed songs from all three of their albums. From All the Stars and Boulevards they performed several songs including “Stars and Boulevards” and “Boston”. During “Boston” Layus’s microphone messed up while he was playing piano, causing him to have to switch microphones right in the middle. It was unfortunate to have that technical malfunction happen during one of their biggest hits, but Layus recovered wonderfully. They played several favorites from Can’t Love, Can’t Hurt such as “Sweet and Low”, “I Still Ain’t Over You”, “Fire” and “Twenty Years”. They also performed plenty of new songs from their latest album such as “Shot in the Dark” and “Just Stay Here Tonight”.
After Augustana left the stage there was a huge shift in the crowd as a lot of older people left and plenty of rabid teenage girls quickly took their places. The Maine is a rock band from Arizona, currently signed to Warner Bros. Records. They have released 2 full length albums, Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop and Black & White. They played songs such as “Into your Arms”, “I Must Be Dreaming”, “Don’t Stop Now”, and “Color”. While their sound is more pop punk than rock, when paired with Augustana, their rock roots were able to shine through more clearly, making for one fun and cohesive show.