text by Rebecca Day
Porches, a synth-pop project of New York-based musician Aaron Maine, performed at Portland’s Wonder Ballroom last week. The show seemed beset with technical difficulties but Maine’s excitement to be performing for this crowd infected the room with an energy I have not seen since before the pandemic.
Porches music often shows up on ‘cool girl’ Spotify playlists (see: ‘fit check or Ethereal) and will often make its way onto your (definitely my) Discover Weekly playlist. It seems to fall into that category of music you have vibed to but maybe have not sought out on its own. Or, for those who have sought it out, it is a very “the girls [who] get it, get it,” kinda vibe, as the TikTok girlies say. What makes it cooler than cool, however, are not the mixes or the incredibly on-trend aesthetic, but the earnestness with which Maine performs and sings. It was this earnestness and pure joy that stole the show that Saturday night.
From the very first song (“Okay” off of the new album All Day Gentle Hold!) it felt like Maine might run right off of the stage, testing the laws of gravity: he jumped and while holding his guitar did an almost Naruto run from one end of the stage to the other. Throughout the evening he would periodically let out a long, ecstatic screech into the microphone, co-creating with the audience a type of energy of exhilaration that on occasion was nearing on delirium (in the best kind of way).
The audience knew nearly every word to every song from All Day Gentle Hold! The more the audience responded, the more Maine lost himself in the music: “This next song is my favorite song to perform,” he said about halfway into the show, but this became a refrain he repeated often throughout the performance. “No, actually, this song is my favorite song to perform” and the crowd would, again, scream in support of Aaron Maine’s new favorite song. Perhaps in this fashion we have all discovered at least one new favourite song to take home.