Last Sunday Maroon 5 played for the first time in the Palau Sant Jordi (Barcelona). To tell you the truth, I had great expectations on all levels for this show, perhaps too high. With a musical curriculum packed with mainstream radio hits (you just need to listen to their discography chronologically to see how they have adapted their music to the times so as to get ‘the’ tune on the radio), the audience’s positive response was guaranteed from the word go. Maroon 5 chained hit after hit, including, of course, the greatest ones from their debut album Songs About Jane (2002 – 13 years ago already!), and no dull moment hovered the venue, no lows were perceived, no place for boredom was left in the 1h 30′ during which Maroon 5, led by THE Adam Levine, pleased their devoted fans. The punters, who one hour before Maroon 5’s appearance had had the chance to listen to the dull-ish Nick Gardner (who only shone with his Madonna and Hozier cover mashup), and then enjoy the fun, fresh, dynamic crowd pleaser Magic!, could witness and feel in their own bodies how Adam Levine‘s moves, hip wriggles and slides made it “harder and harder to breathe” as the concert rolled. Backed-up by a very good band (all of which is kept at the back for most of the show but for their guitarist, James Valentine, who briefly walked on the catwalk a couple of times), Adam Levine‘s vocals showed no flaw. He has a high command of his falsetto as well as of his chest voice and knows how to moderate his moves so that they do not affect his vocal performance. It must be said, though, that it helps a lot to play some pre-recorded back-up vocals and sing songs full of chorus composed with the idea that they’ll be belted out by an army of fans. No hit was left in store. None. Think of any well-known Maroon 5 song and surely it was performed, for which I thank them, as I don’t have their latest album myself!
That said, gawd, if I don’t say it, I’ll explode: Adam Levine is darn hot. And he knows it. That’s perhaps the best and the worst thing that could happen to Maroon 5 in a live show. Starting with the pros, if everyone in this world had Adam Levine‘s ultra-high levels of self-esteem, we would all probably be happier, or at least look as if we are. He’s the proof that you don’t need to be a super model to spur a huge amount of sexiness from your skin pores. You either have it or not. You just need to believe that you can rule the world and make anyone kiss the floor you tread on just with a snap of your fingers, and there you go.
But what if what surrounds you does not excel in the same lines as you, yours being highly noticeable by the
naturally dirty human mind? Hmm… that’s what I believe I got in this concert. Not meaning that the wrapping was not up to the standards, it was indeed underestimated or, at least, not totally exploited. No complaints about the lightning, beautiful and elegant, with a combo of cold and hot colors (Did I say hot again? Yes, it seems so!), nor about the floor, remarkably glowing, which added an ingredient of class to the show. No complaints about the sound quality either, or the band’s outfits (or lack thereof). However, the catwalk, finishing in a V-shape in honor of the present touring album, was only used towards the end of the show, and… guess by who! That was probably to the detriment of those surrounding the V expecting to enjoy a higher dose of Maroon 5, I mean, of Adam Levine in front of the screen in front of their eyes. All in all, even if Adam Levine undoubtedly and unquestionably has the moves like Jagger, the voice and the talent needed to pack up stadiums, this is probably the one time when I can say I probably won’t be going to one of Maroon 5‘s shows, as there was nothing remarkable enough that makes me feel like repeating the experience any time soon, at least not in the next 13 years. Either that, or I’d better lower my expectations next time.