MAX Gives Fans ‘Butterflies’ at ‘Love In Stereo’ Album Release Show in NYC


Dropping the big news earlier last month, multi-platinum Warner recording artist MAX announced his 3rd album Love In Stereo, out on February 16. To celebrate the release, MAX performed at three intimate shows held in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

Like his previous albums, Love In Stereo features collaborations with a handful of notable artists. For the most recent single “Stupid In Love,” MAX has teamed up with Huh Yunjin of the K-pop girl group LE SSERAFIM. As mentioned in his Instagram post, the collaboration came about when he met the group in Seoul and expressed interest in working with Yunjin. In addition, the album will also include previously released singles with keshi, JVKE, and many more.

On February 9, hundreds of fans gathered in front of Bowery Ballroom on a lively Friday night. The venue was packed from top to bottom as soon as the doors opened. It was a hometown show for MAX so his family was present in the audience for this special moment.

At around 9PM, the lights briefly dimmed until the opening beats of “Love Me Less” blared on the speakers. From the start, MAX exuded an intense stage presence while he urged everyone to scream. Although it has only been a day since the song “Stupid In Love” was released, fans were seen singing along word for word.

He treated the fans to a groovy performance of “Keep It Chill” ahead of the album release and had a few surprises up his sleeve. Speaking of surprises, a wave of shouts ensued as Duckwrth stepped on stage to deliver his rap verse in “Say Less.” After all that singing and dancing, MAX took a breather for a quick chat, even giving a loving shoutout to his wife Emily who was in the audience.

MAX and Duckwrth

Throwing it back to his Nickelodeon days, MAX performed the hit “Someday” from his movie Rags. He then transitioned to the upbeat, fun track “Blueberry Eyes” as he rapped Suga’s verse in Korean. The energy in that room was at 100%. Old and new fans were there to enjoy the show, some of whom were seeing him live for the first time.

“I want every show to be unique,” MAX declared as he gave the audience the option to choose between two unreleased songs: “Summer ‘16” or “Love Never Felt Like This” for him to perform next. Based on the reception, he went with “Summer ‘16” to kick off the acoustic medley segment. From then on, MAX continued to serenade the crowd with his charming vocals in “Butterflies” and a cover of Frankie Valli’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.”

Throughout the show, MAX commented on how great it was to be back in New York. He expressed his appreciation for his fans and encouraged everyone in attendance to hug their loved ones, even the strangers – “as long as it’s consensual” – according to his words. While on the topic of spreading love, he took a moment to hug his live band members.

The setlist included some throwback songs added to the mix. One of the loudest cheers that night was for his smash hit “Lights Down Low” as phone flashlights illuminated the room. “Do you have just a little bit more left in you?” MAX asked the crowd before proceeding to the next track “Mug Shot” while crowd surfing. An hour had passed in the blink of an eye and it was nearing the end but not without an encore. Returning for two more songs, MAX closed it out with the vibrant hits “Holla” and “Savage.”

All in all, MAX never fails to put on an incredible performance. From his powerful vocals to his dancing and split leaps, the fun vibes never left the room. We surely had a blast and will look forward to his album release!

Quotations have been edited for clarity and conciseness.

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Photos and words by Angela Leung

Keep up with MAX:
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