The band, which blurs the line between the post-hardcore sound of the early 1990s and the emo genre that originated later in that decade, has performed at Maxwell’s a handful of times, especially at the start of their career.
“Maxwell’s was in a lot of ways where we got our start,” said Chris Daly, the band’s drummer. “That’s where we saw a lot of our inspirations and played a few of our first big shows.”
The venue, which doubles as a restaurant, also graced the cover of one of the band’s albums.
“It’s a special place,” said Daly. “It’s comfortable, the stage sounds great. It’s always been a perfect fit for us.”
Formed in 1994 by Daly and Norm Arenas, the band broke up in 1997, but performed reunion shows in 2006 and 2012. Both reunions were hailed by critics and fans alike, and the band is still regarded as one of its genre’s most influential groups.
But now the band’s members are mostly married and leading professional lives, not to mention living all around the country. Still, they decided this year to do one final tour before calling it quits for good. They wanted to perform a show in the New York area before shipping off to Europe for the tour’s final leg, but Daly said he didn’t think it was an option.
“We didn’t really think that there was anything special enough that we could do, so we sort of just decided to skip it,” said Daly. “And then we heard about Maxwell’s and talked to [co-owner Todd Abramson] and there was one slot on one night and it was the night before we start heading to Europe, so it was perfect.”
Daly said that while he was disappointed that Maxwell’s is closing, he said that he understood the reasoning.
“It doesn’t really seem like Maxwell’s has a place in the neighborhood anymore,” he said. “The diehard fans who want to go just don’t live close enough anymore.”
Still, he said that the credit for Maxwell’s long tenure on Eleventh and Washington Streets lies strictly with the club, not the city which it has called home.
“Maxwell’s has been able to stick around this long because it’s Maxwell’s,” he said, “not because of its location.”
The band will play a handful of shows around Europe before performing their final show in London on Aug. 4.
Check out a video of the band’s last show at Maxwell’s here.
Maxwell’s will hold a block party on its last day, July 31, on Eleventh Street between Washington and Hudson Streets to say goodbye to its longtime home. – Dean DeChiaro