LIVE CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHY and Review: Mainland & Marianas Trench

Concert Review:
Marianas Trench
By: Song River

When the sounds of new DIY emo/punk take a turn and encompass straight up rock n roll you get a flavorful mouthful of duo combinations Mainland and Marianas Trench out on tour. The Hey YOU Guys! Tour as Marianas Trench supports their new album, Astoria, is encapsulation to blow your rock n roll mind.

Opening for Marianas Trench on part of their Hey You Guys Tour 2016 was the band Mainland. Grab that cab and floor it to the nearest event/venue to see Mainland perform. This dynamic rock band careening blambastically towards the sounds of rock bring their love for New York City, where they are from, into each spinning tune across their sound stage. From their moment the Mainland fans caught a glimpse of their boys: Jordan Topf (vocals/guitar) , Corey Mullee (guitar/synth) , and Alex Pitta (Bass) the audience was screaming accolades of adoration. I think if the girls could have they would have climbed over the barrier and ripped Jordan's clothes from his body.

According to their bio on SoundCloud, Mainland signed with 300 Entertainment and headed to the west coast shores, making California sunshine a part of their makeup. Wait. How does NYC and Los Angeles, Cali form a union? Well, evidently Mainland is the answer, because this emo/punk/brit/rock was the kick ace combo that brought two opposites of juxtaposed cultural and social being into a sound that is rallying the masses. Mainland can and should be their own headliner. No question they can. The enticement brings a throwback sound forward to a modern day rock twist. A combination of sounds forming melancholy dance beats with up tempo hip swings. Their set brought Mainland fans “Not As Cool As Me” and their newest “Outcast.” The group played their 30-40 minute set with eagerness, passion, and fantastic interaction with the audience, engaging them as Jordan climbed down into the pit and played his guitar up close and personal with their fans. A complete show and the audience wanted more. Always leave them wanting more boys... Mainland is hot.

Marianas Trench formed in 2001 and it seemed to be destined that lead vocalist/guitarist/producer/lyricist John Ramsey would come to this place in time as his
whole life has been a musical in play. Reaching back into his early childhood with musical parents, struggling with some of life’s most difficult challenges, self-worth, lead to anorexia nervosa and even a bout with heroin addiction. A culmination that certainly gives way to his insight and capability to really write songs that have a deeper meaning beyond the quid pro quo of 'boy meets girl' yada, yada. Marianas Trench exhales their talents out of British Columbia. The band solidly consists of  Josh Ramsay (lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist, pianist, occasional drummer, and songwriter) Matt Webb (lead guitarist and backing vocalist), Mike Alley (bass guitarist and backing vocalist), and Ian Casselman (drummer, percussionist, and backing vocalist).

The house lights went down and a single bright spot light followed a tall, willowy, punky glam blonde with cheetah leggings, a black sheer over-shirt unbuttoned and gnashingly clunky Gothic boots across the stage. My what a presence John Ramsey has! It wasn't but in an instant that John's showmanship abilities were all too self-evident and his power to take their latest album, Astoria, into full force. The audience indeed was witnessing true rock n roll glam/emo/punk/rock and for one moment... I felt the presence of David Bowie's years of Ziggy play a little smile upon his Major Tom lips. You couldn't deny it, John in many ways whether he realized it or not came across in his persona, and Marianas Trench sound to honor many of the late 70's to 90's rockers. The power of John's vocals at times even reminded me a bit of Queen's hierarchy. All through their set Marianas Trench took the past and present and made It everything the future of music could muster.

Rocking through the fine set with the song from their album titled: “Astoria,” to “Celebrity Status,” from their album Masterpiece Theater, the played “One Love,” “This Means War,” and “Who Do You Love” off their current album during the set. Mixing in “Burning Up,” “All to Myself,” “Pop 101,” and “Cross My Heart” into their main set and sounding off their encore with “Good to You,” “Haven't Had Enough” and “End of an Era” Marianas Trench delivered all and more to their audience. Synchronized with the audience, spot on with the sounds of today Marianas Trench is the quintessential go to band for those of us who still dig those early days of emo/punk with John's current dash of glam. Hailing all the way back to their beginnings Marianas Trench has been a fun band pulling in not only from their core, but bringing in a variety of rock listeners. Skateboarders, to The Cure, flipping over to Bowie and tying in powerful showmanship to great songwriting and playing you’ve a definite mix only Marianas Trench delivers time and time again.