Monday, September 23, 2013
Concert review: Maroon 5 and Kelly Clarkson added funky flair in Dallas show
A three-piece horn section bolstered both bands and inspired dance parties.
FAIR PARK DFW darling Kelly Clarkson and pop-rock band Maroon 5 successfully jazzed up their sets Sunday night at Gexa Energy Pavilion. Grooveline Horns, a three-piece brass section out of Austin, added funk and flair to a concert that could have otherwise felt like a recital of Top 40 songs.
Fans seemed ecstatic to see their local singer Clarkson perform, and she seemed equally excited to be home. America’s first Idol was especially candid, initiating conversation with people in the audience and divulging details about her engagement. (Her sparkling diamond was distinguishable from even the furthest seats on the lawn.)
Before the concert, I caught up with Mickey Madden and James Valentine, bassist ands guitarist for Maroon 5, who spoke highly of North Texas’ pop princess. They said she “opened the doors” for aspiring musicians with her success as a reality television star and paved the way for shows like The Voice, which have “exposed [Maroon 5] to a whole new audience.” Lead singer Adam Levine is a judge on The Voice.
Clarkson may have opened the doors back in 2002, but this weekend she blew the roof of the Fair Park venue. Her set was 45 minutes of high-energy tunes that intermixed old favorites with new flavors. Surprisingly, Clarkson shone brightest during her country songs “Don’t You Wanna Stay” and “Tie It Up,” which showcased her vocal talent alongside her bubbly personality. The horn section reincarnated several of her hits, like “Walk Away,” and spawned funky dance parties.
Maroon 5 followed with the same upbeat candor, bouncing from one end of its discography to the other. One of the highlights came mid-set when the band did a live mash-up of “Misery” and Daft Punk’s latest hit single “Lucky.” Lead singer Levine’s stage swagger and microphone antics were reminiscent of Depeche Mode front man Dave Gahan, who graced the same stage just two days before.
The only downfall of the night was Levine’s moves like Jagger, or lack thereof. The singer lacked the Rolling Stone’s signature body contortions and crazy facial expressions during that song. At the height of the chorus, however, a blizzard of confetti engulfed the venue, inspiring audience members to show off their own Jagger-swagger. The momentum kept lustrous young girls screaming through the encore before they clamored into the night, elated by near pop perfection.