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Review: Miracle of '86 at Maxwell's

by Photo of Ross Bernhardt

Kevin Devine’s group played a fun show at the soon-to-be defunct Hoboken venue.

Halfway into the Miracle of '86 show on Friday night, a random person shouted, "Feels like 2002 up in this piece!"

To that, Kevin Devine yelled back, "F*ck you!"

Even though the songs brought back nostalgia that could be dated around 2002, it was very much 2013. All four members of the Miracle of '86 are very much in their own place right now, but they showed they could still jam together. 

Kevin Devine and the band that put him on the map, Miracle of '86, played their first show since 2004 at Hoboken's famed Maxwell's last Friday (and with the venue closing at the end of July, the show had a little more meaning as well). They played last year to benefit victims of Hurricane Sandy, including one fan of theirs in particular, but that didn't turn out to be a one-off show. It didn't look like the guys missed a beat. The four members, Devine, Chris McAllen, Mike Robertson and Mike Skinner, all had a blast on stage in front of an adoring crowd that was happy to see them performing.

The fans and band were in sync the entire evening. It seemed like everyone knew the words to every song, leaving a newcomer to the party like me feeling a bit out of place. But you couldn't help but feel energized by the atmosphere. Devine's veins looked ready to burst after a couple of songs, but after every one he and the rest of the band were joking on stage. The crowd was all smiles, too. A running gag throughout the whole show was the interjection of Bryan Adams' chorus to "Run to You." Devine would belt out, "I'm gonna run to you!" and burst out laughing every single time. They did this all night, and even though it didn't lead anywhere, it was whimsical.

It was a short but sweet set from the guys. They played Mercury Lounge the following night, the first NYC venue they ever played. It's unclear when they will do something like this again, but I was glad about two things: that I got to experience this band, and that I got to see the people that have loved them from the beginning experience them again. There really isn't quite anything like that, and you really can't put something like that into words. I can't equate it to anything from my music fandom, but perhaps it is something you only really know when you see. 

Hopefully, I'll have a Miracle of '86 moment of my own. Not discovering it for the first time, but being able to relive it again.

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