"It's nice that it went that way, and not the other way," Trews guitarist John Angus MacDonald says, laughing.
That way is headlining "Wednesdays on the Gorge" at Artpark in Lewiston on July 29. The other way is remaining a bar band, which is what the group was when The Trews performed in 2004 at the former Park West (now The Village Pub) on Center Street.
Not that there's anything wrong with that, or with opening (The Trews have supported acts such as Sam Roberts and The Rolling Stones). But, by hitting the road hard - the band practically lives on stage, with 200 annual concerts - and releasing three critically acclaimed albums, The Trews became a legitimate topliner band, and will headline at a very legitimate music venue.
"It's nice to be moving up," MacDonald says. "Certainly, a lot of hard work, a lot of playing, a lot of touring has gone into getting ourselves up to that position.
"It's a nice thing. It will be nice to get back there and see some of those familiar Lewiston faces in that setting. It's our first time playing (at Artpark), so, yeah, it's special."
With more stage time, as is afforded the headline act, MacDonald says The Trews can "dig a little deeper into (our) catalog and pull out some songs that people might not have heard in a while, or don't get a chance to hear as often.
"Also, we've been showcasing a few new songs, as well, in our set. So, that's always exciting for fans to get a window into what we're up to these days."
That would be touring, of course. This time out, the band is performing in support of 2008's "No Time For Later."
The album, produced by Gus van Go and Werner F, found The Trews seeking unity through division. In other words, the disc's crafters felt the tonal integrity would be more cohesive if MacDonald, brother and frontman Colin, bassist Jack Syperek and drummer Sean Dalton independently laid down tracks while recording apart from the collective.
On top of that, the band decided to throw some experimental hooks into its meat-and-potatoes rock and roll.
"I think, that was one of our things going into it, was with (2005 release) ‘Den of Thieves,' we were plagued by six or seven songs on that record that we just couldn't really take to the stage, comfortably," MacDonald says. "(With ‘No Time For Later'), I think one of our things going into this, was to really make everything punchy and impactful. I mean, we did take risks, artistically, but even those were easily transferable to the stage."
MacDonald says the production netted impressive results. Since the album's release, and subsequent concerts, "I think certain songs have become even better from their inception," he says.
"I wouldn't say I was disappointed at all, in that regard," MacDonald adds.
Nor will fans of the band be, when they catch The Trews performing as the marquee act at Artpark.The July 29 show begins at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free.