Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Show Review: MAX Indian

Local 506, Chapel Hill
November 11, 2008

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"HEY," came the blurted shout of an eager fan from somewhere behind. Turning around to look I noticed the room had filled so much so that there was no longer a discernible escape path, just walls of wide-eyed vintage-clothes clad scenesters getting comfortable with their own little piece of Local506 concrete where they would spend the next forty-five minutes, sipping PBR and swaying along to MAX Indian who had just finished sound check.

"Hey" retorted MAX Indian front man Carter Gaj in the mic with a welcoming smirk. The eager fan cackled with glee and the excitement of the room notched up noticeably. We were about to be treated to some of the best southern rock that Carrboro has to offer and you could cut the anticipation with a knife.

The set opened with the rhythmic marching of the kit keeping friends with the groaning bass as Nick Jaeger's Gibson brought in the melody of the first tune. Carter effortlessly glued the parts together with a riff from his tele that was as beautiful as it was utterly complex. Stepping with eyes closed into the mic, he delivered the signature MAX Indian voice, crisp and eerie, soulful and haunted. Song by song the crowed fell deeper into contentment, none of us trying to catch ourselves.

The beguilers didn't long make the beguiled wait before the first bars of the hit-ish "Heaven Help Us" swelled through the room like the first sip of a cold beer. Across the room shoulders dropped and swooped as if an invisible masseuse had just gripped the crowd, thumbs deep in our backs dispersing tension and replacing with solace. Heads gently rocked and pocket hinged hands tapped hips as the boys turned the night into a coveted memory.

With their CD release party scheduled for Local 506 on Dec 13, 2008 it can be concluded that this is a band on the upswing. We should all enjoy it while they are still local because if the talent we saw last night is a bellwether, we'll be sharing MAX Indian with the rest of the world soon enough. On the bill at the CD release party will be The Old Ceremony and my personal favorite, The Love Language who are local boys that left us for the beach. Please come back Stu, this is madness.

Here's a pic I snapped:

"MAX Indian drummer James Wallace chatting with Embarrassing Fruits bassist Lee Shaw between sets at Local 506. Carter and Nick in background."

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