​Mike Mains returns to CMU for a third time


Indie artist Mike Mains chats with check in attendants Commerce Sophomore Cara Auda (left) and Owasso Senior JoAnna Lincoln (right) before his concert on February 9 at the Bovee University Center.

Indie rock singer and songwriter Mike Mains returned to Central Michigan University for the third time to inspire students to follow their dreams.

Mains performed at the Bovee University Center Rotunda last night. Without the accompaniment of his band, The Branches, Mains performed originals off his older albums in addition to songs off the album they are currently working on. 

More than 60 students attended the event.

“(Mike Mains and his band) opened for a band called New Politics that I saw in Lansing in 2014,” Grand Blanc junior Kristen Wolfe said. “They were just the local opener. I had never really heard of them before but I liked them. So when I saw the email about the show, I knew I wanted to come.”

This was Main’s first performance after being in Pennsylvania for six weeks working on the band's new record. The album is titled "Renegade" and will be released in the fall. 

The name comes from the song "Renegade" on the album. The song's inspiration came from his best friend in hopes of reaching out to millennials. Mains encouraged his young audience to follow their dreams, no matter what others think.

“I think that to be a renegade is to be someone who is really willing to go against the grain,” said Mains. “It’s about redefining success in the midst of a culture that has a very, very different idea of what that looks like.”

The Rotunda was set up differently for this event. Being a part of Program Board’s Coffee House Music, the lights were dimmed and there were round tables with chairs rather than rows for the event. There were also refreshments provided to attendees.

After the crowd sat for the first half of the performance, an audience member called out to Mains asking if they could gather around the stage. Mains encouraged this request, allowing the musician to interact with his audience on a more personal level.

Toward the end of the performance, Mains played a crowd favorite off his previous album: "Calm Down, Everything is Fine."  He said the song was inspired by some of the challenging events his band faced throughout his career. Fans sang along and swayed to the beat as Mains performed.

“'Calm Down, Everything is Fine' is definitely a jam," St. Louis senior Kalee Teeter said. “I’ve seen Mike Mains a few times before since he plays with some of the other bands I like.”