Adam Levine is sexy _ and he knows it. The highlight of the third visit here by Maroon 5 was an hour-and-a-half performance on Monday with Levine's sensual moves backed up by a cavalcade of hit numbers from the US pop-rock band.
Hailing from Los Angeles, the quintet sure do have a strong fan base in this part of the world, as this gig, entitled Maroon 5 Live in Bangkok 2012, was totally sold out.
The venue, Impact Arena, was packed with screaming fans of different ages, some 10,000 of them, with teenage girls dominating the demographic.
Kicking off dead on time, the opening act was a fresh-faced alternative-rock band from Las Vegas, The Cab, who played their unfamiliar tunes to a crowd which gave them an enthusiastic reception even though they didn't know the songs. There may have been some problems with the microphone or perhaps the voice of lead singer Alexander DeLeon was in a bad shape _ it did sound a tad raspy _ but there was no let-up in the energetic and sustained screaming and cheering.
Then, for the best part of an hour, the audience was left to amuse themselves, the only activity being roadies scrambling around, moving equipment. Finally, a spotlight lit up the centre of the stage revealing the defined physique of Levine standing with his back to us. The minute he flexed his bootie and began the chart-topping number Payphone, the arena went wild.
Guitarist James Valentine, bassist Mickey Madden, drummer Matt Flynn and keyboardist PJ Morton (filling in for Jesse Carmichael, who's taking a break) were all decked out in matching T-shirts and trousers in army green.
The hunky Levine was the only one sporting super-skinny jeans which worked perfectly for the way he likes to move.
After the first act we were treated to the melody from Don't Stop by the late king of pop, Michael Jackson, which got the crowd worked up for another Maroon 5 hit, Makes Me Wonder. Lucky Strike, a new track from the band's latest album, Overexposed, came next. This is the sort of up-tempo pop that their fans always go for so the song definitely has the potential to be a chart-climbing single.
A non-stop parade of previous and current hits followed, from early-career success Sunday Morning, Won't Go Home Without You and If I Never See Your Face Again to Misery, Harder to Breathe, Hands Over and recently released single One More Night with its catchy electronic-reggae beat. The guys must have been very chuffed (and not a little surprised) that so many Thai fans were able to sing along to practically every song they pumped out.
Nicely designed lighting lifted the ambience of the show which was made even more enjoyable by the audience's willingness to sing, wave and do whatever else the master, Levine, ordered.
The best fun of all was This Love, the Maroon 5 number most often played in pubs and bars here. Levine took advantage of its popularity to divide the crowd into two halves and have them battle it out _ which side can sing louder? _ as if he was back doing jury duty on The Voice USA, the TV singing contest for which he was recruited as a judge. At the end of that display, Levine grabbed a white guitar, got down on his knees and began strumming. Entertaining to watch his antics, even if the sound was screechy and a tad too loud.
A sudden lengthy break was the sign for us to demand an encore. For many, this prompt was apparently too predictable, so while there was a wave of clapping and screaming most people just stayed put and waited, knowing that the show was far from over. For the final set the band treated us to four numbers: Stereo Hearts, the love song that Levine created with Gym Class Heroes; the romantic ballad She Will be Loved; another single from the latest album, Daylight; and, to cap off the evening's entertainment, Move Like Jagger, that mega-hit of theirs from last year.
As much as the crowd was aroused by Levine's moves and moved to sing their lungs out, this 90-minute show was an even-tempoed performance, there being neither wow factors, nor peak moments, nor surprises. The last song, while a major crowd-pleaser, was delivered in rather lacklustre fashion.
The most disappointing thing of all _ and I believe many fans will agree with me on this _ was that Bangkok didn't get even a glimpse of that tattooed work of art which Levine bares and flaunts in so many of the band's music videos.
It's not overexposed if you keep your shirt on all the time, Adam! Now you know what you have to do on your next visit here.
About the author
- Writer: Yanapon Musiket
Position: Life Writer