The night belongs to Mae

As the night turned to early morning, Virginia natives, Mae, were still hanging around the Avalon Theater in Salt Lake City, mingling with fans who stuck around for a special acoustic set benefiting Habitat for Humanity.

During the set, the founding members of Mae, which includes Dave Elkins (vocals, guitar), Jacob Marshall (drums) and Zach Gehring (guitar), took requests from fans, playing a range of songs from their three-album catalog, including "The Ocean," "Mistakes We Knew We Were Making" and "Sun."

Mae came to Utah as part of their national headlining tour with The Honorary Title and Far-Less.

Between the Trees also accompanied the band to Utah, rounding out the lineup for what turned out to be an excellent night of solid performances.

Opening up the show was Far-Less. The fellow Virginians, who are on Mae’s former label, Tooth & Nail, played a heavy, guitar-solo-soaked set of their signature post-hardcore rock. The band focused primarily on playing new material from their latest release, A Toast to Bad Taste.

Frontman Brandon Welch was notably interactive, flirting with the audience and reacting to comments between songs.

During the set, he was involved in performing, belting out the lyrics from underneath the long mop of hair, half-covering his face.

Between the Trees followed Far-Less, with their infectious, "dancey" rock, driven by guitars and "poppy" synths.

The Floridians drew from their album, The Story and the Song for their set, which was highlighted by a ballad about a friend they said got them involved with a charity called To Write Love on Her Arms, an organization which aids in helping cutting victims recover.

The Honorary Title brought a little different mood to the show, playing their acoustic-driven indie rock. The band came out in support of their latest release, Scream and Light Up the Sky, and appealed to the crowd with their shoegaze-style performance.

Frontman Jared Gorbel bantered with the crowd, commenting on how interested he was in the girls in the audience and constantly joking with the crowd to lighten up and have a good time.

Finally Mae took the stage, opening with their instrumental song "Futuro" and delving directly into a visual performance that featured a combination of different lighting and visual effects.

Dave Elkins and crew focused their set on their debut album, Destination: Beautiful, which is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year. The set included classic Mae pieces like "Embers and Envelopes" and "This Time Is the Last Time."

They also included a good mix of their new material from Singularity.

The band ended the set by playing an encore of the first two songs of 2005’s The Everglow, "We’re So Far Away" and "Someone Else’s Arms." They blended the two songs together seamlessly, very much like the album, creating a masterful ending to the show.

Another charitable organization, Invisible Children, was also at the show promoting their films, which are currently screening in various cities around the country. The films benefit displaced children in Africa.

Leave a Reply