It was great contrast from the warm open cobbles to the dark loud inside of the club that we walked into. Our schedules had met up serendipitously. Another friend could not make a concert, and now John was stuck with an extra ticket and a Yank. John assured me that the band, "Maximo Park," was worth it for the lead singer whom he described as an absolute "nutter" in a bowler hat. We packed into the floor, and a well-dressed young man in a red shirt and bowler hat came on stage. Sweat was already starting to glisten on his forehead, and the crowed packed a little closer.
He looked straight out of "A Clockwork Orange." Digital cameras and cell phones rose above the crowd, and everyone behind them could now view Maximo Park though a dozen tiny screens. Each song brought the hum of the crowd higher and higher. I wished I had earplugs and immediately thought to myself what an old dork I am at 25. I was later gratified when, at the end of this rollicking set, the lead singer, shirt now crimson from the sweat, told the crowd to hold on while he put in his earplugs. I was close enough to see they were the high-quality, small and discrete latex kind, not the standard yellow or orange foam ones from a factory that would no doubt clash with the message Maximo Park was trying to send. He had an uncontrollable ease of movement, a charisma of complete abandon that, as far as I can see, is the best reason to go to a live show. Unlike a studio-perfected recorded song, a live show has just that: life with all its imperfections, and because of that, it exists only once - for the audience and band. That combination of people and place and sound will never exist again.