The Adam Levine show

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Adam Levine and his Maroon 5 crew rocked the pop socks off of fans here, writes Aref Omar

FROM the beginning to the end, one thing was certain — it was the Adam Levine show. The magnetic stage presence of the 33-year-old singer-songwriter couldn't be ignored as he displayed superb showmanship during Maroon 5's one-night concert at the Shah Alam stadium recently.

Here as part of the Californian pop-rock band’s world tour in support of its latest album (cheekily titled Overexposed), Levine displayed his talents to maximum effect.

A dynamo of energy throughout the 90-minute concert, the heavily tattooed frontman never missed a beat or went off pitch as he sang with feeling in his distinctive nasally high voice.

This was emphasised during a stripped down version of Maroon 5’s early hit, She Will Be Loved, where his falsetto vocals were the main event, accompanied only by the rhythmic strains of an acoustic guitar courtesy of Maroon 5 axeman James Valentine.

The song was naturally dedicated to the women who made up the majority of the screaming audience.

When the band played a cover of the Gym Class Heroes song Stereo Hearts (which Levine co-wrote), the spry and lean Levine also performed the rap parts originally done by Travie McCoy.

As a celebrity judge and mentor on the reality TV talent show The Voice, he surely walked the talk by delivering a solid performance as a potent entertainer who completely owned the stage.

The 20-song or so set list consisted mostly of Maroon 5’s hits from all four albums such as This Love, Won’t Go Home Without You, Misery, Payphone and One More Night.

The rest of the band — bassist Mickey Madden, keyboardist PJ Morton and drummer Matt Flynn — were no slouches either.

Each added to the energy and seamlessly painted out the kaleidoscope of sounds, alternating from pop to rock and back, for Levine to shine in.

It was interesting to see the almost bipolar nature of the band at work — from the jazzy, calm and easy going Sunday Morning to the edgy rock inflected Harder To Breathe and later an assault of loud layered guitars from the epic sounding Daylight.

The majority of the crowd, more acclimatised to pop candy, clearly enjoyed the lighter moments, with elements of funk, soul and R&B, better.

But in the rock department Levine rose to the occasion as well when he strapped on an electric guitar to coax out some gritty solos. He later occupied the drum throne to pound out some primal beats for The White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army.

Performing the cover as a power trio (drums, bass and single guitar), he sang three quarters of the song before giving Valentine a chance to stretch his vocal chords.

His vocal prowess, coupled with Maroon 5's tight and rocking musicianship, clearly outshone the opening act, alt-rock band The Cab from Las Vegas.

The concert, the band’s second performance here, was augmented by a dazzling array of overhead and effective background light sequences, as well as a great sound system which delivered the music with resounding impact.

Maroon 5 ended the night with a medley of The Human League’s Don’t You Want Me and Justin Timberlake’s Sexy Back with a brief sample of the Gangnam Style shout out, followed by a rousing closing performance of its red hot hit Moves Like Jagger.

Fans who can’t get enough of Levine can look forward to his recurring role in the upcoming second season of the TV series American Horror Story: Asylum. Talk about overexposed.

 


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