Friday, March 22, 2013
Concert review: Adam Levine owned the stage at sold-out Maroon 5 show
Despite The Voice’s premiere in just a few days, Maroon 5 front man Adam Levine didn’t mention the reality TV show.
DALLAS From the start of Maroon 5’s sold-out concert at American Airlines Center, it was clear that this was front man Adam Levine’s show. He posted up at the top of the stage, which was in the shape of a giant white “M,” kicking his feet and swaying his hips to the beat.
Levine owned the stage all night. And it’s easy to see why he's earned that popularity: Maroon 5 has three singles on the radio; Levine is a judge on the NBC reality competition The Voice, which premieres on Monday; and his female fans just can’t seem to get enough of him.
Levine’s stage presence was friendly while he masterfully worked the room. The band kicked off the evening with a mashed-up version of “Payphone,” which included a snippet of Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough.” Tempo tweaks and changed keys added originality to their live performance, making it clear from the beginning that their show wouldn’t be a live rendition of their catalog.
Even with lead guitarist James Valentine’s roaring electric solos, all eyes were on Levine and his tight black t-shirt. But the stretched choruses and unforgiving verses anchored the show and gave Levine the chance to show why they’ve gained popularity since the release of megahit “Harder to Breathe” in the early 2000s. The front man strutted like Elvis, with crisp vocals and near-perfect pitches as the band blazed through song after song from their career. The well-balanced set list dated back to the jazzier hit “This Love” — one of several that put them on the map a decade ago.
Adding his own hard rock spin in the conclusion of "This Love," Levine dropped to his knees for a frivolous guitar solo that touted his flashiness instead of his skill. Regardless, female fans ate it up, for a strong ending.
For the four-song encore, a giant bridge was added to connect the main stage and a small platform embedded in the pit. Valentine and Levine played on the extended stage for a gentle acoustic version of “She Will Be Loved,” one of the best tracks of the night. Their unspoken chemistry put the attention on the romantic lyrics and Levine’s soft falsetto peaks – the biggest strength of this pop-rock group.
The night ended with a scream instead of a whisper, with “Daylight” and “Moves Like Jagger.” We’re still humming them this morning.
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