New Model Army @ Maxwell’s, Hoboken, NJ

Live Reviews | Mar 21st, 2008

New Model Army's Justin Sullivan

Opening Bands: The Last Conspirators, Echoes and Shadows
Date: March 19th, 2008
Band Links: link

Last fall I was suppose to see New Model Army for the first time, but their Visas were denied and they had to cancel their entire tour. They finally got their Visas and rescheduled their tour in support of their latest album “High.” The 2nd date on the tour brought them to the small club in Hoboken called Maxwell’s. I’ve only been there once before to see a show and it’s one of the very few clubs in the NY area that’s so tiny enough that you don’t get harassed for bringing a camera in.

I knew the show was going to start late so my brother and I decided to go a little later than usual. We got to Hoboken around 8:30pm or so but when we got inside the club, only the first band (The Last Conspirators) was playing. The club was pretty much empty at that point, with just a few people standing around in the back watching the band. I decided to take some pictures of them just for the hell of out. The Last Conspirators are from the Upstate NY area and play a political rock style. The singer used to be in an old punk band called the Morons. I thought they sounded better when they played faster songs but for the most part, I didn’t like this band at all. To me, it seemed like most of the crowd didn’t either.

The second band was a psychedelic/dub/experimental rock band from Brooklyn called Echoes and Shadows. I was wondering when they were going to bring out their mic stands, and they never did because they were an instrumental band. Their music was really cool, but seeing it live was kind of boring to me. They played about 4 or 5 songs and then it was time for New Model Army. I’ve only been a fan of NMA for about a year now so this was the first time I was seeing them live.

The band came on roughly around 11:15am and played ’til about 12:30am; thankfully I took a nap in my car at work that day. Some of us working folk have to work in the morning. New Model Army opened up strongly with “Vanity” and the tiny crowd of Maxwell’s was already getting rowdy. There must have been 3 or 4 almost-fights between the same group of people. People kept getting close to the monitors and knocking them over, so one guy kept protecting the monitors. Then punches would be almost thrown, bouncers would get involved, yadda yadda yadda. So it definitely made the show entertaining. Even singer Justin Sullivan said the small crowd managed to create such mayhem with such a little audience. Or something along those lines.

Like I thought they would, the band played many songs off their new album High’ like “Wired,” “Rivers,” “Bloodsports,” “One of the Chosen,” “Into the Wind” and “Nothing Dies Easy.” I’m glad they played “Wired” and “Into the Wind” because they are my favorites off the new album. Even though I prefer the faster songs to the slower ones from NMA, they still played them perfectly. From start to finish, the band just played their set flawlessly, and they sound just so good live! I’m even thinking about seeing them again next month at the Mercury Lounge in NYC. I thought the best songs of the night were “The Hunt” and “Poison Street.” The crowd was moshing up a storm for those 2 songs. The last song of the evening was a violin-less “Vagabonds” and its one song I was dying to hear live. It was a great to hear it finally live and a great way to end the show at Maxwell’s. I would have liked to have heard “Stupid Questions,” “51st State,” or the Freeborn John song “Rumour and Rapture.” Well I’m sure the band will be back later on this year or next after this tour so maybe I’ll hear those songs next time. If you ever get a chance to see New Model Army, be sure to do so because they put on one hell of a show!


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