Like a skittish wild animal reintroduced to its natural habitat, live music has been making a gradual yet strong return to Maxwell’s.
Over the past three months, the local fauna have been nosing around to see what they think of it. With a sold out performance on the bill for this Saturday, live music’s return to its rightful home offers at least the hopeful appearance of success.
Saturday, January 17’s show is SOLD OUT. The strong bill featuring alt rockers Deaf Rhino, Born Cages and Face the King will take the newly refurbished stage that now graces the back room of the legendary, albeit controversial venue.
When the venue officially changed hands back in February of 2014*, the initial redesign saw the removal of the existing stage. However, the current owners eventually decided to bring music back to the corner of 11th & Washington, and the spotlights went back on in October of 2014.
The move was met with skepticism—even anger. But those behind the initiative elected to fight their way through the backlash and continue down a road that would bring live music back to Maxwell’s on a regular basis.
Overall—at least in terms of tangible results—the response seems to be a positive one. Saturday’s show is the “new” venue’s first to sell out via advanced sale tickets.
“The positive response is due to the bands’ hard work promoting the show and their music,” says promoter David Entwistle, who coordinates the live music for Maxwell’s. “One of the bands on [Saturday] the 17th was just added to the Warped Tour this summer.”
Regarding the show on Friday the 16th, Entwistle says, “It feels good knowing that bands from NJ now have a room like Maxwell’s to host their shows.”[*EDIT: An earlier version read that the venue changed hands in July of 2013, which is actually when promoter Todd Abramson left Maxwell’s amidst a well-publicized farewell. Maxwell’s continued to operate until the new ownership took over in February of 2014.]