Someone said it had been ten years since the band has been to Toronto and the web backs this up. A friend told me that they played the same venue back then and the web backs this up, too. The length of time since their last local tour stop would explain why this is the first time I’ve photographed them or seen them live. That's really a shame because I love the music and would have very much liked to hear them play those first couple of albums when they were fresh and filled the set list.
No band should have to stick to the sound that gave them initial fame, and Maxïmo Park have certainly evolved over the years. Singer Paul Smith told us about how they like to add different things to their songs and break rules from album to album. One tune had a succinct guitar solo and new tune "The Hero" from their latest release Risk to Exist features their first-ever keyboard solo and sees the band getting funky in ways they’ve never been funky before.
Paul also told us about how "Alchemy" is their second disco song, "Sandblasted and Set Free" being the first, apparently, and about the local connection of the aforementioned tune. "Alchemy" is named after a bar in Toronto that they saw when they were here last time and wired on Red Bull. We also got to tighten up our already well used dancing shoes for "What Equals Love".
Of course, songs like "Books from Boxes", "The Coast is Always Changing", "Going Missing", "Our Velocity", "Girls Who Play Guitar" and final tune of the night "Apply Some Pressure" were highlights and personal dreams come true to hear live.
I don’t know if you could characterize me as young when A Certain Trigger came out but I’m definitely older now so I look back fondly on that album and many others I discovered at that time. It was amazing to see the band live and experience a number of the classics rocketing from the stage along with many great new tunes.
Let a bunch of highlights from the band's set list spend some time with your ears.
"Risk to Exist"
"Books from Boxes"
"The Coast is Always Changing"
"The Kids are Sick Again"
"What Equals Love?"
"Girls Who Play Guitar" closed out the main set
Encore tune "Get High (No, I Don't)"
"Apply Some Pressure" was the perfect song to close out the show.