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Saturday
Jun292013

Review: Those Mockingbirds @ Maxwell's 6.27.13

Those Mockingbirds

June 3rd, 2013 will go down as one of the worst days in the New Jersey music scene. Todd Abramson, co-owner and booking agent of the legendary Maxwell's, announced that the bar/venue will close its doors at the end of July. It wasn't an issue about money; it was the unfortunate tides of change flowing through the town of Hoboken. Reality television has reared its ugly head and transformed the town from a quiet music area to a town erupting with guidos, guidettes and possessed patrons pining for pastries.

Many individuals have stated that "Hoboken is dead" with the closing of Maxwell's, which Rolling Stone magazine recently declared the third best rock club in America, and they're absolutely right. This was the venue where Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees R.E.M. and Red Hot Chili Peppers played back when they were coming up. This was the same venue where Nirvana played in support of their debut album Bleach. Fugazi, Neutral Milk Hotel, Sonic Youth and Soundgarden are some of the others out of the long list of performers that graced the 200 capacity venue since its opening in 1978. And let's not forget about The Boss filming parts of his "Glory Days" music video there.

On Thursday, the mood at Maxwell's was pretty cheerful even with the forthcoming closure around the corner. Many people reminisced about old shows they've either attended or performed at the venue over the years. Some have found love at this spot while others have had their hearts broken. Whether the memories were good or bad, they're all connected with this impeccable spot on 1039 Washington Street.

Members of Montclair indie rock band Those Mockingbirds have had many memories at Maxwell's either with the current band or with their past bands. For the five piece act, it was their musical Utopia. They've opened for bands like Planes Mistaken for Stars and We Are Scientists and even held their record release show for Fa Sol La, which was a sold out success.

Those Mockingbirds went on around midnight in front of a crowd ready to see them perform at the legendary venue one more time. "This is our last time playing here so let's go fucking wild", Adam said before opening things with the track "Coast to Coast". The vocalist commanded the stage with a taped up guitar to complement his unfortunate taped up hand. For him, this was his last chance to perform on the same stage that his idol Kurt Cobain once did back in the late 80s. Violinist/ keyboardist Tory Anne Daines pounced on those keys like a lion attacking its prey. Tory wore a lovely outfit that got a lot of attention from people that night. "Doesn't Tory look like a Disney princess tonight?", Adam said to acknowledge his bandmate's keen fashion sense. "If there was a Disney movie about you, it would be called Tory Story".

Next up was "How To Rob A Bank", which had Mr. Bird changing things up by yelling in a bullhorn before drummer Kevin Walters pounded ever so hard on his kit. Those Mockingbirds are set to release some new music very soon and wanted to test some new material out on the audience. While the band have performed cuts like ''Teenage Fantasies" and "A Ballad From Hell" here and there over the last several months, the outfit debuted new songs "Model Myself" and "Loose Leather", a song that was named after a Rhode Island band that they've performed with in the past.

"Grab a dance partner", Adam said before going into the slow rocker "Don't Stray". Always believing in crowd participation, the vocalist stepped away from the mic and allowed the crowd to sing along to the first verse. The ladies were certainly in the house that night as they cheered during Tory's part in the bridge causing her to giggle a little bit. Those same ladies hooted and hollered when Tory took to the mic again during "The Difference Between Love and Addiction", a song which found Adam characteristically on the ground shredding away at his guitar.

For the encore, the band asked the crowd to decide if they should perform an older tune or a new track. The crowd leaned towards the latter and the band ended the evening with the new song "Bodies on the Road". Out of the numerous times that Those Mockingbirds have performed at Maxwell's, Thursday's performance was certainly their best set yet, and it's a shame that it had to be their final performance at the acclaimed venue. While all good things must indeed come to an end, there are many who wish this rock institution would outlast the rest.