SHOW REVIEW: Maxwell at The Met

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WRITTEN BY: Wyatt Westlake

On Friday, December 2, Maxwell brought his NIGHT Tour to The Met in Philadelphia, following an arena run through North America earlier this year. The R&B legend’s latest tour is in support of his highly anticipated sixth studio album, blacksummers’NIGHT, the third installment of an album trilogy which has yet to be released. 

The Met was the perfect venue for Maxwell, providing an intimate theater setting for the sophisticated aesthetic of his music that large arenas might not be able to capture. Audience members dressed for the occasion too, some wearing suits and others in long dresses.

As soon as he stepped on stage, one could feel the suave charisma that Maxwell radiated through his stage presence, vocal performance, and dance moves. He ran through all-time R&B classics like “Bad Habits” and “Lifetime,” as well as his latest single “Off,” from his upcoming album, hitting high notes effortlessly and also occasionally going into a deeper register. He seemed to have a lot of fun interacting with the audience as well.

He flawlessly controlled the atmosphere of the room, switching between infectious grooves on songs like “Dancewitme” and “Get to Know Ya” and heartfelt ballads including “Fistful of Tears” and “Whenever Wherever Whatever.” His band was superb; the guitarist, bass player, drummer, keyboard players, and background vocalist all had wonderful chemistry and brought new life to his songs, which already feel like jam sessions of their own.

Maxwell was very gracious towards the crowd as they cheered loudly in between songs. He displayed his humility by expressing how grateful he was for the audience’s love and support. Overwhelmed by the applause, he smiled from ear to ear with his hands together over his face and even shed a few tears as the cheering grew louder. “Can we do this again tomorrow? I don’t wanna leave,” he told the audience. He even jokingly embraced the new “Maxwell Challenge” that started after a video from one of his previous tour dates went viral of him dancing on his knees.

Between the amazing performance as an all-time great in R&B, backed by a phenomenal band and his gratitude for the audience, Maxwell delivered an unforgettable night for fans and raised excitement for his forthcoming release.

Maxwell’s last album, blackSUMMERS’night was released in 2016.

Setlist:

  1. Sumthin’ Sumthin’
  2. Dancewitme
  3. Lifetime
  4. Fortunate
  5. Bad Habits
  6. Stop The World
  7. Always and Forever
  8. Off
  9. Pretty Wings
  10. Fistful of Tears
  11. Lake by the Ocean
  12. Get to Know Ya
  13. Ascension
  14. Whenever Wherever Whatever

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