I’ve been to Maxwell’s in Hoboken so many times over the past few years that I’ve lost count. In fact, I couldn’t even tell you the first show I saw there. I can tell you, though the feeling I felt every time I was inside: comfortable. While waiting in line to see the last show the venue would host Wednesday evening (July 31) before it closed its doors indefinitely, I befriended an older man who lived nearby. Talking about the venue and the shows we’ve seen there over the years, I described Maxwell’s as “homey” and he agreed.
I can’t explain it, but it’s the closest I have gotten to finding my Cheers bar. Over the years I have covered countless shows there and I didn’t even need to have my name added to the guest list. It was one of those places where, yes — everybody knows your name. One of the first shows I saw there was Tyrone Wells and Jason Reeves, both singer-songwriters who I went on to interview after thoroughly enjoying their sets at Maxwell’s. I also interviewed one of my childhood favorites — Kris Roe of The Ataris in the basement of the venue. (Picture below).
In 2008, I hosted my one-year blog anniversary show. I pitched the show to the booker of Maxwell’s and said my goal was to have 150 people attend. He laughed at the idea because hardly anyone who books their first concert can guarantee that amount will actually show up. But I was set to prove that I could do it. Josh Charles, Joey DeGraw and The Canon Logic, a band I would later come to manage, performed and 152 people attended. Not too shabby for my first concert.
I have reviewed countless indie sets, folk bands and even a few hardcore groups at Maxwell’s and loved every second of it. Covering concerts at Maxwell’s really helped pave the way of my career in music journalism, whether I was writing for my own blog or the Hoboken Patch.
Maxwell’s was hailed by Rolling Stone as one of the best rock clubs in the country and I couldn’t agree more. It has quickly become my favorite concert venue and it’s truly a shame to see it go. Maxwell’s, thanks for the memories.