LIVE: Maroon 5 @ Times Union Center, 3/7/17
Review and photographs by Amy Modesti
Let’s throw it back to fall 2007, when I was introduced to my soon-to-be favorite band, Maroon 5. My father was given a copy of their first album, Songs about Jane, and their sophomore album, It Won’t Be Soon Before Long, by his friend’s wife who was a fan of the group. She gave my father the CDs to give to me as a present. Once I gained control of the albums, I began to absorb the record’s melodic beats and hear their personably relatable, catchy lyrics that led me to becoming a fan of Maroon 5.
Watching the coach of the NBC-TV hit show, “The Voice,” and front man, Adam Levine, perform with his Maroon 5 members was a dream come true for me and the rest of the fans who came to Albany’s Times Union Center on Tuesday, March 7, to experience an evening full of amazing music.
The band had previously cancelled their originally scheduled appearance at the venue on September 21, due to Levine’s wife, Behati Prinsloo, who was about to give birth to their first child. Watching them perform to an almost sold-out crowd on the day of their re-scheduled show was an evening that I will never forget. If you thought watching the band perform with Levine on “The Voice” was awesome, watching their live performance in person at a live venue is amazing.
Opening up for Maroon 5 was the Virgin Islands-based group, R-City (also known as Rock City), featuring brothers, Theron and Timothy Thomas, along with their DJ who was mixing their tunes during their half-hour set of Jamaican-based hip-hop, rap and pop-based hits straight from their debut album, What Dreams Are Made Of. After their hit, “Make Up,” the brothers continued to make their show “kid-friendly” by teaching their fans some “Virgin Island slang” with “Fete You” before advancing on to “Crazy Love.” During “Crazy Love”, the brothers encouraged the fans to turn on their cell phones and face them towards the center’s ceiling to light up the sky. The hands holding the cell phones were raised and swinging side by side illuminating the ceiling while R-City transitioned into “Don’t You Worry.”
An entertaining moment occurred towards the end of their set as the brothers performed a mash-up of songs that they had written for other performers. The crowd went crazy when they began singing Iyaz’s “Replay,” then switched to Miley Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop,” Usher’s “I Don’t Mind” and a snippet of Rihanna’s “Pour It Up.” Listening to these tunes was not only an interesting throwback but also an homage to the stars that they wrote these chart-topping hits for. After getting the crowd to wish their friend a happy birthday, R-City closed out their set with their final single, “Locked Away,” which they recorded with Adam Levine. And in fact, Levine would later reprise the tune with Maroon 5.
A rousing, electrifying drum solo introduced the crowd to Tinashe and her group of female dancers as they arrived on stage to perform “Ride of Your Life” from her sophomore album, Nightlife. In her half hour set, Tinashe thanked Maroon 5 for allowing her band to tour with them and the fans for coming to their concert while performing hits from her albums, Aquarius and Nightride.
After performing a few more songs, she danced along to a cover of Justin Bieber’s “Let Me Love You” and a remix reminiscent of 5th Harmony’s “Work” before leading into her songs “Company” and “All Hands on Deck.” Tinashe closed out her set with her hit single, “2 On.” The dance choreography from Tinashe and her dancers was great to watch. At one point, they had transitioned from dancing on stage, to incorporating chairs as props to further enhance their choreography, and also danced in formation as if they were inspired by Beyoncé.
By the time the lights dimmed and the music began to blare louder and louder, the audience was on their feet in anticipation of Maroon 5. As the whistling began to kick off “Moves like Jagger,” the fans went wild as Maroon 5 took to the stage. Adam Levine (guitar/ lead vocals) and his band – featuring Jesse Carmichael (guitar/piano), James Valentine (lead guitar), P.J. Morton (piano), Matt Flynn (drums) and Mickey Madden (bass) – wasted no time in getting their audience to sing and dance along to hits from throughout their five-album catalog. Levine’s famous falsetto range was on point for every single song he performed.
Their set of encores was shorter, of course, but none the less, entertaining and satisfying. The front row of the stage was set up for the band to perform an intimate set with just an electronic drum kit and a piano. Levine and Valentine opened with an intimate take on their timeless hit, “She Will Be Loved.” Valentine took on the lead performing on the acoustic guitar, as Levine dedicated the song to all of the beautiful ladies that came out to watch their show. Morton and Flynn joined in to perform “Don’t Wanna Know,” and as the song ended, the group retreated to the back of the stage to perform “Sugar” and close out the night with an electrifying tribute to Prince with “Let’s Go Crazy.” Flashing purple lights illuminated the stage as each of the members poured their hearts out in a tribute that Prince would have been pleased to hear.
I was left in awe and wanting to hear more of their music. Maroon 5 delivered an amazing night of music at the Times Union Center that their Capital Region fans and beyond will never forget.
MAROON 5 SET LIST
Moves Like Jagger
Harder to Breathe
One More Night
Animals (with additional wolf hollowing from Levine to signal the start of the song)
Sad (an instrumental of this song was played as Levine thanked the fans for supporting him and the band)
Cold (newest single)
Sunday Morning (with beautiful intro played by P.J. Morton)
Let’s Dance (David Bowie) (Levine used this opportunity to introduce each of the band members.)
Makes Me Wonder
Payphone (a neat highlight of their first set. Levine gathered his entire band towards the center of the stage to first sing the opening of the song a cappella.)
She Will Be Loved (acoustic)
Don’t Wanna Know (new single)
Let’s Go Crazy (Prince)
Amy Modesti is a visual artist, photographer and musician who’s dedicated to sharing what’s surrounding her with the rest of Greater Nippertown and beyond. She is also a photographer for The Spot 518.