Finally, last Saturday night I saw a gig I will say is the first great show I've seen this year. On the heels of their best album to date, the Maccabees played a high energy, powerful set that sent everyone jumping around. If I would have known that it would going to be that type of show I would have worn my jumping shoes, and not some heavy ass Docs.
- William Powers
- Feel to Follow
- Wall of Arms
- Young Lions
- First Love
- Precious Time
- Can You Give It
- Forever I've Known
- No Kind Words
- Love You Better
- Grew Up at Midnight
- ENCORE: Toothpaste Kisses
As you can see by the setlist, the band relied heavily on their last two albums, Wall of Arms (which never got a proper U.S. release) and Given to the Wild. The albums show a great evolution in the band's sound. When they came onto the scene in 2007 with Colour It In, they kind of got lost in myraid of UK post-punk pop bands coming out of that time. Even when I interviewed lead singer Orlando Weeks at that time, he was already looking forward to changing the band's music direction and progressing pass their introduction. Alas, the Latchmere rave-up was not played by the gentleman that night.
What you have now are big soundscapes, lots of echoing guitars from my man Felix White and some tremendously atmospheric tunes. What made the show even better is that the tunes are cranked-up to make for a lively, active show for the crowd. The direction obviously paid off when they got nominated for the Mercury Prize last year for Given to the Wild.
For all the big rave-ups and people shouting for joy, the gig felt like an intimate affair. Orlando doesn't have the strongest of voices, but he's clear, gentle and at times, a little bashful. The real fire from the band comes from Felix, who doubles as the hype man of the band. I remember when I saw them in 2007 (the last time they headlined in NYC), Felix would shout at the crowd and encourage them to get into the show. This time, his wide-eyed stares and laughs were in response to the crowd.
Ending with their big hit from the album, Pelican, was fantastic. Leave them on a high note, indeed. It will be interesting to see what they do next, stick with the artsy, orchestral compositions or find a new angle for their talents.
As a couple of side notes, Florence Welch was there, who took the Maccabees on tour in the U.S. Also, I had tackle a cracked-out cunt to the ground after she was throwing punches, shoving people and being a disruptive nuisance. You had to be there.
Local boys Reputante are opening for the Macs for the month. You might remember lead singer James Levy from his previous band, Levy. This time, he's going all Nick Cave/Echo & The Bunnyman with these seductive, cosmic tunes with a little lo-fi electronic pop to give it a little retro 80s vibe. I actually really dug their deep tunes with some wicked guitar riffs. Whoever that their guiarist is, bravo my man.
Check out their video for Safe N' Sound and you'll get their vibe.