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Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Maroon 5 Has A Homecoming At The Orpheum Theatre - 10/19

Noelia Callejas |
October 21, 2012 | 2:19 p.m. PDT


Noelia Callejas / Neon Tommy
Noelia Callejas / Neon Tommy
“Los Angeles California, my home.” Maroon 5 front man Adam Levine returned to his roots Friday night for the Citi/AAdvantage Love the Journey concert series.

Levine and his band mates lit up the Orpheum Theatre in an exclusive performance for Citi/AAdvantage card members, which featured not only on their music, but their stories and journey to stardom. 

The Grammy award winning band stormed the intimate venue looking surprisingly angelic, clad in all white clothing and backlit by bright white lights, per Friday Night Whites tradition. And they wasted no time— as the group launched into “Payphone,” seats were shunned as everyone jumped to their feet.

And when I write everyone, I mean it. The older senior woman in front of this writer was shaking her hips, tipsy young couples made everyone (or maybe just me?) around them feel slightly uncomfortable with their PDA, adult frat boys (ed. note: frat men?) fist bumped furiously, and even kids were bobbing their heads instead of making their bedtime. No one was sitting down.

After “Payphone” (and throughout the concert) they remixed their songs with music from MJ all the way to dub, and created these really cool transitions that made the place feel like a club.

Noelia Callejas / Neon Tommy
Noelia Callejas / Neon Tommy
From there, the band’s “Makes Me Wonder” throwback prompted deafening applause from the audience, and held up Maroon 5’s famed up-beat nature.  

Levine bounced across the stage, clearly having fun and connecting with the audience as he explained the inspiration behind many of his songs.

More interestingly, he presented “Sunday Morning” as his “stalker song”. Apparently, Levine wrote the song for a girl he was infatuated with back at UCLA. Levine did not attend UCLA, but used to “hang out there” (he was one of those…).

“Sunday Morning” was a great break from his other pump up songs; besides being beautifully written, it slowed things down and presented a more emotional side to Levine.

However, the front man also didn’t fail to throw around his quirky sense of humor throughout the show, putting on a New Yorker accent when interrupted by cheering fans: “Hey, I’m talkin’ here!”

Levine reminisced about a moment in his life where he claimed “I couldn’t write anything.” One day however, he just stopped thinking about how he couldn’t write anything, and instead started humming this melody—the melody that would become his favorite song, “Won’t Go Home Without You.” He apologized for talking “so much” and claimed the show would only be “10% talking.” 

“Wake Up Call,” one of their “angry songs” and another great hit from their older stuff, was, said Levine, prompted an equally angry (explicit) phone call from his recent ex, who thought the song was about her.

The song was actually not about her, but about their record label. Levine explained that he opted for the love metaphor, acknowledging that “The record label is holding me back again” might not be particularly inspiring or Grammy-winning lyrics.  

Before transitioning into the super-catchy up-beat but yet somehow still emotional “The Man Who Never Lied” off of their new album, Levine asked “Who bought our new album?”

Screams, head nods, cheering. “You aren’t lying are you? If you pirated it off the internet, I don’t care, I just want our music out there,” Levine laughed, “Just go buy a t-shirt or something.”

After the #1 Top 40 Hit up-beat, even cross-genre “One More Night,” in which Levine asked the audience to leave their “cool LA” demeanors behind and sing along, the older women’s husband who did not share her enthusiastic hip swinging at the beginning of the concert was now bobbing for side to side, and as he put his arm over her shoulder, they danced.

And, instead of focusing on their phones, tweeting photos, or checking statuses on Facebook, the rest of the audience was as engaged in the show as that couple.  

“Misery,” a cousin of the song “This Love” according to Levine, allowed a solo for each member of the band, and the beloved “This Love” very near and dear to many hearts made the crowd come even more alive as the closing performance. 

Noelia Callejas / Neon Tommy
Noelia Callejas / Neon Tommy
Just as the audience was getting tired of cheering for an encore, they took the stage again, and Levine announced his “most important” song for “the ladies.”  

He apologized for getting nostalgic but explained that the next song was when he knew: “We’re gonna have a career because of this song.”

The crowd favorite “She Will be Loved” brought the entire audience to a roar as they joined together to sing aloud. They place got even louder with their last two songs and smash hits “Stereo Hearts” and “Moves like Jagger.”

Maroon 5 was usually a band this writer tended to take for granted. In some college-aged circles, the band tends to be dismissed as standard pop music Top 40 blah blah.

But this performance really reminded the audience that Maroon 5 is pop ROCK. With guitar riffs aplenty and solos from each of the band members, it was astounding to see how talented not only the band is, but how talented Levine is.

The multi-talented Adam Levine is a great performer, song writer, and guitar player, but still manages to let his personality shine through his performance. And boy, can that man sing. Maroon 5 is definitely popular music for a reason.

Overall, the show was great, the lighting was simple and effective, the talent was—talented, and the audience was loving it. The band perfected that delicate mix of throwbacks combined with new album stuff, and played all their most loved songs and crowd pleasers (all besides “Never Gonna Leave This Bed”, but no one’s perfect).

The combination of the intimacy of the venue and the theme of the concert series “journey,” added to the uniqueness of this concert, allowing the audience a glimpse into Levine’s life and allowing them to live through Maroon 5’s successes and stories. 

The Love the Journey Citi/AAdvantage tour included Maroon 5 in Los Angeles, and Alicia Keys in New York. Visit their website for future special events.  Maroon 5 will be continuing their “Overexposed” World Tour, with current listed shows for UK Summer 2013.  

Read more of NT's show reviews here.
Reach Contributor Noelia Callejas here.



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