Maroon 5 Toyota Center March 19, 2013
So let's get this strait, er, straight. I wouldn't have covered Maroon 5, or Adam Levine and The Maroon Street Band on Tuesday night at the Toyota Center had it not been for my Adam Levine-loving girlfriend insisting we take leave of our weekday home life.
It was her love of Levine that drove me to Galveston a few years back to see the 5 play on a stage outside a ship to promote a new cruise liner.
But goddamn if, after two helpings, I don't find the band appealing now. I don't even mind that said girlfriend virtually forgot my name or that I was even at the concert once Levine and company opened up with "Payphone." I did kinda chuckle when his arm got sliced off on American Horror Story, in a self-aware hipster way.
By the way, what's a millionaire like Dreamboat here worrying about a payphone for? It seems to me he could just walk up to a woman on the street and take her phone from her from out of her very hand and make his phone call with no questions asked. They may even let him have the phone.
Direct openers Neon Trees seemed to be holding back on the flamboyance. They seem like they could be a really heavy Scissor Sisters if they really wanted to, and lord knows lead singer Tyler Glenn has moves built for an arena; they just need a spark. Get weird.
Here's hoping another touring cycle sees them ramp it up. That Human League cover showed promise. The few singles wrecked the room too. Make all your songs sound like the last song in the set.
Onto the M5...
The band catches hell mostly for Levine being on The Voice, and in general being a lucky son of a bitch. Who else can shave his head after getting dumped by a model and have millions of women come to his aid? Even guitarist James Valentine (sans horizontal stripes last night) was being feted like an axe god.
What the band is doing isn't offensive or vapid, though. It's pop-rock, which used to be championed before... (cue muddy grungy riff)
One of my best friends, who has more tattoos than I do, once confided to me how much he likes Maroon 5. It was comforting. By the way, that one song about tattoos is called "One More Night" and not "Tattoo" like I have thought the past year. Amazing.
Maroon 5 don't put on airs and claim to be anything more than a sturdy pop-rock band with great production values in the studio and onstage. All of these guys are likable, and that covers a lot of ground when the music strays into Air Supply territory.
Speaking of air supply, I think the A/C was off at Toyota Center. That, or the combined energy of thousands of screaming females can solve our energy woes. If we could harness the screams into stockpiled energy, people could stop hating Maroon 5.
I didn't buy a concert shirt because none of them fit me, OK? That and I could probably find a better one online. Yeesh.
Personal Bias: For the first year Maroon 5 was popular in the early '00s, I always thought their singles were actually Justin Timberlake tracks until it clicked. During last night's show, I remember seriously thinking during "Harder To Breathe" that in my heart "I am an Adam Levine Guy," the way some are Beatles or Stones people. It shook me to my core, but I stand by it hours later. Levine just seems like the kind of guy who would help me bury a body or change my oil.
The Crowd: Girls, girls, girls, plus some patient dads in the inner pit area. The smell of Red Bull was thick, too. Maybe they should make a perfume that actually works like Red Bull does? Million-dollar ideas, I tell you.
Overheard In the Crowd: "SOMEONE TAKE OUR PICTURE!!!!!!" was all I heard up until Maroon's stage entrance. May this show go down as one of the most-photographed in recent Houston history. Until Carrie Underwood next month at Toyota Center.
Random Notebook Dump: You simply must go to a pop concert mostly inhabited by females with your girlfriend who is a hairstylist. The hate! I didn't know that so many women wore weaves and had "nasty-ass roots." I guess this whole time I had been staring at other things. Stupid me.
MAROON 5 SET LIST (annotated with the proper amount of crowd "WHOOO")
Payphone (!!!!!!!) Makes Me Wonder (!!!!) Lucky Strike (!!!) Sunday Morning (!!!!!!!!) If I Never See Your Face Again (!!) Wipe Your Eyes (!!!) Won't Go Home Without You (!!!!!) Harder to Breathe (!!!!!!!!!) Wake Up Call (!!!) One More Night (!!!) Hands All Over Misery (!!!!!!!!!) This Love (!!!!!!!!)
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Stereo Hearts (!!!!) She Will Be Loved (!!!!!!!) Moves Like Jagger (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)