kevin max live at the rev room: a night in review

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Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

kevin max live at the rev room: a night in review

for those of you who may have been following me yesterday on twitter, you are well aware of the fact that christen and i were in attendance at the kevin max show last night at the rev room. for those who didn’t…now you know. i thought, tonight, i would share a few of the highlights (and lowlights).

this is probably the 6th or 7th time we’ve seen kmax and while it wasn’t necessarily in the top 1 or 2 performances, it was certainly a really good show. but…i’ll get to him in a minute. first, the two opening acts.
the first guy, which we showed up a little late for, was your typical skinny guy in skinny jeans with a guitar and his heart on his sleeve. (by the way, i have no clue what his name is…sorry dude…) i don’t want to get too down on him. you know, he’s clearly just starting and playing the local scene, so he’s still getting his feet wet. he was obviously nervous and led to him having absolutely no engagement with the audience and had painfully nervous and awkward banter with the crowd. at one point, he asked the sound tech how much time he had left, to which the tech answered back “15 minutes.” the dude painfully responded back, “oh man, this is going way slower than i thought it would.” ouch…
the second dude wasn’t too much better (although i’m pretty sure he thought he was…). christen and i affectionately refer to him as justin bobby (you know, as in justin bobby, our favorite character from the hills…what? you know you watch the hills…). his name is actually justin ryan cox, but he had the whole justin bobby vibe down pat. he had the long wavy, over-brushed dark hair, the snug white t-shirt (in an attempt to make us believe that he just “threw it on” and doesn’t take 3 hours to plot out every outfit he wears…) and, of course, skinny jeans with chuck taylors. oh the humanity of the cliché… before i go off too much about this guy, let me just say that he has talent and has a good vibe to his music (acoustic stuff), but he’s just trying way too hard lyrically and with his look. he forces lyrics and his phrasing/lyrical structuring is really odd and unpredictable (unpredictable in a strange way…). anyway, he played a few songs (closing with a creepy song about his dead grandma…) and cleared the stage for mr. max.
finally, armed with his faithful sidekick and band member erick cole on guitar (who christen is now officially in love with…can’t argue…he is a good looking man, seems like the kind of dude you could hang out with and is pretty mean on the guitar…) and jesse (last name??) who played drums and keys (this was his first time playing with kmax), kmax entered stage left. now, let me just get this out in the open right now: kevin max is, indeed, my mancrush. (just look at the guy…seriously…) 🙂 so, the initial mancrush anticipation was at a fevered pitch. once he got on stage, though, it was straight to the music. here was the setlist:
1. ask (smiths cover)
2. existence
3. wonderwall (oasis cover)
4. god’s gonna cut you down (traditional folk song popularized recently by johnny cash)
5. stranded 72.5
6. baby, i’m your man
7. traveler
8. future love song
9. modern dance (lou reed cover)
10. 21st century darlings
11. come on feel the noise (quiet riot cover)
12. stay
13. can’t help falling in love with you (elvis cover)
14. sanctuary
so, as always, it was a good blend of old, new and interesting covers. some of the highlights were the wonderwall cover, god’s gonna cut you down, baby i’m your man (from the brand spankin’ new ep, crashing gates. available excusively on itunes), 21st century darlings and, of course, come on feel the noise (acoustic and awesome on a profound and deep level…).
thanks to the trusty iphone, i managed to capture some audio. now, for all you audio-snobs out there, quitting reading now. while the quality is horrendous, it was more in the spirit of trying to capture a little something for the blog, rather than trying to get into the recording industry. because of our proximity to the speakers, everything is totally peaked out and cringe-inducing, but i did tweak one of the tracks in garageband to make it somewhat listenable (and, unfortunately, to get rid of the clipping, i had to make it pretty soft overall). here’s one of the new tracks, baby, i’m your man:

overall, the show was great. kmax was in rare form. seriously, the one thing, no matter how many times i see him, that i’m struck by is his voice every single time. it’s one of the most distinct and amazing voices i’ve ever heard. i can think of other artists with distinct and beautiful voices, but i can’t think of anyone who has his particular sound. it’s deceptively strong and makes you listen. it’s where gospel meets rock meets irish meets powerful. on top of his voice, his stage presence is unmatched and he’s a very entertaining performer to watch. christen is convinced that he must throw back a few before going onto stage because she doesn’t think anyone could contort themselves and lose control like he does without the help of a little friendly inebriation. 🙂
so there ya go. kevin max. amazing as always. seriously, go check out his new ep, crashing gates. it’s really amazing and it only costs $5.99 in the itunes store.