Concert Review: Maximo Park, September 17, Schubas

maximo park

Is it fantastic when a great band gets booked at a small venue because you can get up close and personal with them, or is it just plain frustrating? Like you want to shake everyone you see on the street and yell, “Hey! These guys are great! Why don’t you have tickets? What else are you doing with your Monday night??” A little bit of both maybe.

Maximo Park played Schubas Tavern on Monday evening in Chicago, and while I was super pleased to be in such close proximity to the band in such an intimate setting, I was also bewildered by the fact that there weren’t about 50 more people separating me from the front of the stage.

Instead of pouting about the fact that his band is used to selling out amphitheaters in Europe (according to the German girl next to me anyways) the lead singer of the British band, Paul Smith, was a hugely good sport about it, and he made the most of the intimate venue, engaging in lighthearted banter with the one guy in the crowd who knew every single song and would not be dissuaded from calling out suggestions no matter how many times they got rejected (you keep on keepin’ on man. Every crowd needs a dedicated fan like you.) The frontman played with the energy needed to fill a much larger venue, but with the down-to-earth level-headedness appropriate for an intimate setting like Schubas.

There wasn’t a low point in the set, but I would say the high points were “hips and lips” and “take me home.” The set pulled heavily from the band’s new album, “The National Health,” released this past summer. The songs were by turn sweet, funny, introspective, catchy, danceable, and not one was disappointing.

So I guess the moral here is to not tell any of your friends about them, and go see Maximo Park when they hit your city. Then, after the show, tell all your friends to go see them. That way they fill up large venues as deserved, but only after you’ve gotten up close and personal with them. Done.

Posted on by Celeste in Concerts