Maximo Park / July 12, 2007 / New York (Webster Hall)
There was a rush to get the equipment ready before Maximo Park's set at New York's Webster Hall on July 12 (all the gear was apparently left in Connecticut), and the crew barely managed to pull it togThere was a rush to get the equipment ready before Maximo Park's set at New York's Webster Hall on July 12 (all the gear was apparently left in Connecticut), and the crew barely managed to pull it together within minutes of the band's stage time.
But once everything was in order, the Newcastle, England, natives busted onto the stage with the spirited, keyboard-driven opener "Graffiti," and maintained that high-intensity vibe throughout their 17-song set. Bowler hat-clad singer Paul Smith immediately warmed himself to and entertained the sold-out crowd, establishing that personal connection with an impassioned vocal delivery all the while frantically pouncing around stage with the mic stand.
The band tore through hits off its 2005 debut, "A Certain Trigger," and latest album, "Our Earthly Pleasures," its brand of sharp post-punk with new wave flourishes on display at full force.
Songs such as the jagged "Girls Who Play Guitar" and hyper-addictive "Apply Some Pressure" showcased the band's spiky, agile guitar work, as did the insistent urgency of "Now I'm All Over the Shop" and the slightly disjointed "The Unshockable."
Smith held the audience captive on the more intimate songs detailing lovers' woes such as "I Want You To Stay," the melancholy break-up tune "Books From Boxes" and the bittersweet "Nosebleed." "The Coast Is Always Changing" found the youthful, angst-ridden crowd shouting along with Smith's every word as he repeatedly chanted "I am young and I am lost," with the drums providing a rapid backbeat to propel the song along.
Several songs were recreated live with notable sonic bombast, such as the textured and soaring "Karaoke Plays" and "Your Urge," which slowly built from twinkling keys into a massive, layered wall of sound.
There were a couple moments when Smith looked as though he could pass out from exhaustion, but that never prevented him from delivering a solid performance on each song. The band on the whole jived well and had a tangible chemistry that permeated into the crowd, keeping everyone fully engaged and up dancing on their feet.
Here is Maximo Park's set list:
"A Fortnight's Time"
"Now I'm All Over the Shop"
"The Coast is Always Changing"
"Girls Who Play Guitars"
"I Want You To Stay"
"Books From Boxes"
"By the Monument"
"Apply Some Pressure"