Live: Maroon 5

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Stage from Maroon 5’s show in Nashville, TN.

Maroon 5 may be one of the iconic and successful bands of the past decade, not to mention the gargantuan success of the band’s lead singer, Adam Levine. A group of musicians that have been playing together since 2002, the band has won three Grammy’s and topped the Billboard Hot 100 numerous times. Even when it seems as if it’s time for the members to go their separate ways, they keep recording new albums.

I would be the first one to tell you that I believe Maroon 5 has their ups and downs, their great songs and their mediocre ones. I’ve never been a large fan of some their breathier rock ballads, like She Will Be Loved, finding Levine’s vocals a little too grating and strained.  Yet the song Harder to Breathe off of the same album (Songs About Jane), a mixture of funk, rock, and Levine’s emotionally staccato voice, is almost impossible to resist.

When I ended up with a ticket to one of their shows on the extension of their 2012 tour for Overexposed, I was a little skeptical. With a sold out crowd of roughly 12,000 I could feel the hype in the room before the opening bands, Owl City and Neon Trees, performed. Unsure of what to expect, I was more than pleasantly surprised by their opening number, Lucky Strike (Overexposed).

The concert was a large production, with the stage in the shape of their classic M and enormous LED monitors as a backdrop, the camera always keeping the audience in touch with Adam Levine and with the others on occasion. They made a good choice in playing a set of their best-selling singles and mostly upbeat songs like This Love, One More Night, and Misery, only slowing down the pace for Daylight, She Will Be Loved, and Won’t Go Home Without You.

The most outstanding part of the show was, by far, Adam Levine’s talented and tasteful singing, closely followed by Jimmy Valentine’s guitar riffs. It’s rare to find a band that sounds better live than they do recorded, but, in my opinion, that’s what Maroon 5 is. Levine’s vocal talent is impossible to deny when you hear him sing without digital editing or autotune and his ability to keep a crowd full of adrenaline was incredible. With each of the 12,000 people singing along to every lyric of every song, there was never a dull moment. Not only was this show full of good music, it was what concerts should be: entertaining.

It may just be the teenage girl coming out in me, but I thoroughly enjoyed Maroon 5’s show and I would suggest that anyone who is given the opportunity to see them does so. I have a new appreciation for the band and their accomplishments over the years. If you haven’t heard one of their older songs in a while (I suggest Shiver or If I Never See Your Face Again), go listen to it and think about the legacy of music this band has created.

-RC

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