Maxwell in Concert
In the mid-90s I was taken to a Maxwell concert, at the Symphony Hall in Birmingham, as a birthday gift from the vocalist I was working with at the time. Our seats were quite good, being not too far from the front.
Maxwell sang songs from his recent album ‘Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite’, and performed extremely well.
There are three things in particular I remember about the concert. The first was that the sound was extremely bass heavy. I enjoy floor-shaking bass, but unfortunately the bass was so heavy that the intricate bass riffs in some of Maxwell’s songs were being completely lost in what I would describe as a cloud of bass mud coming from the PA.
Second, for one number the curtains closed behind Maxwell, obscuring his band, while he sang the Kate Bush song This Woman’s Work. He sang the song beautifully, but I’m sure the backing was coming from a recording.
Third, and what I regard as an astonishing blunder, was the encore. Despite rapturous applause I remember the lights going up after the last song, signalling the end of the show, and the audience leaving, myself and the vocalist I was with included, convinced that the performance was over and there simply wasn’t going to be an encore. We had actually left the concert hall and were heading for the main exit when we heard the music start up again. We returned to our seats and enjoyed a few more numbers from Maxwell and his band. However, unfortunately at least 40% or his audience had already gone home!