It’s a couple of minutes until eleven, and The Maccabees have just finished setting up their own equipment on the tiny stage of Bowery Ballroom for the annual CMJ Festival in New York City. After painstakingly watching the first four bands, a sense of excitement and anticipation finally begins to move amidst the patient crowd. The lights grow a dim red, and immediately the crowd bursts into cheers and applause.
The set kicks off with the song “No Kind Word”, and the Britpop five-piece already have everyone frantically pogoing along with big grins on their faces. The lead singer Orlando Weeks is hard to take your eyes off of. His charming looks, unique voice, and romantic lyrics instantly command your full attention. If he isn’t singing with the microphone in his hand, he’s strumming a guitar, playing accordion, or violently waving his arms to the music like a mad composer. Guitarist Felix White immediately happily interacts with the crowd. He almost never leaves the edge of the stage, constantly smiling and singing along with all the fans close to the stage.
Their set is packed with exhilarating, infectious, and melodic pop songs. The band play all of their hit singles from their debut album entitled Colour It In, such as “X-Ray”, “Latchmere”, “Precious Time”, “First Love”, “About Your Dress”, plus the slow and romantic “Toothpaste Kisses”. The small mosh pit of pogoing teenagers goes berserk during “Latchmere” and continues to grow until the very last song. They close with “First Love”, an obvious crowd favorite that has everyone singing loudly with their bodies flailing about.
The Maccabees not only have the talent to sound magnificent live, but they also have the talent to properly entertain a crowd. Their show never has a dull moment. After watching them quietly and boringly set up their equipment, one would never have been able to assume the extent to which they performed that night. It was obvious that the New York City crowd left the show feeling more than satisfied.
The band played the following songs:
“No Kind Word”
“About Your Dress”
Words and picture by Heather Allison for www.noizemakesenemies.co.uk