Adam Levine has become a very lucrative brand. He is on the wildly popular show The Voice, is introducing a clothing line and tours extensively with his band Maroon 5. This past weekend Maroon 5 stopped off at Mohegan Sun along with Owl City and Neon Trees. Now Adam and I go way back. I originally saw him eight years ago when Maroon 5 was the warm up act for the Rolling Stones; the best band in the world. I wasn’t that all impressed with Maroon 5 back then partly because I was way too anxious to see Mick, Keith and the rest of the Stones and I had ACL surgery the week before, and was in a bit of a Vicodin haze because I was in excruciating pain. Fair enough.
Fast forward to a few months ago when I saw the tour schedule. I really wanted to see Neon Trees and Maroon 5 was going to be a bonus. As for Owl City, their contribution was that sappy song “Fireflies,” which I spent the better part of last year changing the channel whenever it was on the radio. Their only redeeming quality is “It’s Always a Good Time;” a collaboration with cutie Carly Rae Jepson.
The whole process of buying tickets is one that I despise. When the tickets went on sale I hit the buy button at exactly 10 AM, only to be told the tickets were sold out. Huh? How is that possible? Did I hit it at 10:00:02? How did ten thousand other people beat me to a good seat? I will never know because I reluctantly went to the dreaded and much cursed secondary market and bought some overly inflated tickets, but in my favorite section.
The night of the concert my wife and jumped into the Mustang and enjoyed an exhilarating high-speed jaunt to the reservation. We get there and it is mobbed. Ten thousand concertgoers plus the gamblers, conventioneers and other assorted people packed into the casino. We take our seats and wait.
The guy on the PA system goes through the usual exit door speech and ends with “In the unlikely event of an emergency, please calmly exit the building…” Calmly exit? People can’t stand on a bank line without getting a murderous look in their eyes, calmly exit? I think not.
Owl City takes the stage and jumps into their first song. I’m not sure what it was because it is so FREAKIN’ LOUD! Now, I know what you are thinking. Barry, you are of a slightly advanced age and getting more crotchety all the time. This has nothing to do with that. It was, bone shaking, diaphragm punching, lousy sound engineering, I couldn’t hear the lyrics, my ears where bleeding loud. A few years ago I saw The Format. The Format was Nate Reuss’ band before he formed the Grammy Award winning band fun. Again, way too loud to the point of being uncomfortable. Their sound guy went to the Spinal Tap school of one louder audio engineering. Maybe that’s why Nate Reuss formed fun. Nobody could figure out what The Format was.
Mercifully, Owl City ends their set and we wait for Neon Trees. We somehow ended up in a row of people with the appetite of great white sharks and the bladder capacity of tsetse flies. I mean up and down, back and forth; I got a complete lower body workout during the show. Here is my advice. Sit the F@#$ down and watch the F$%^ing show. One gal, we’ll call her the carb queen, back and forth with beer and pretzels, Beer and nachos, and beer and a bag of King Arthur flour. Surprisingly her svelte 275-pound body carried it well. Perhaps Ticketmaster could sell a new type of ticket. Food and bathroom only; that would free up more seats for those of us who actually want to go to a concert and see the band.
Finally Neon Trees take the stage. I first saw them on TV and was very impressed. Catchy tunes, great lyrics and a girl drummer. I’m a drummer myself and I always enjoy seeing a woman’s interpretation of rock and roll. She also sings, which is no easy feat when drumming. Try walking, chewing gum and juggling. Got it? Didn’t think so. Oh, oh, the tsetse flies are back. The mom is pushing forty and wearing black leather pants. Really mom? I think leather pants should be illegal on anyone over eighteen. Just sayin’. Neon Trees played a fantastic set. Tyler Glenn, the lead singer has phenomenal stage presence. They even threw in a cover of “Don’t You Want Me Baby” by the Human League.
A bit past ten Maroon 5 takes the stage. They opened with Payphone. Adam Levine talks a lot about selling the song on The Voice. He does put it into practice. Every song he sung was authentic and honest. He worked the stage like, well, Mick Jagger. He sincerely thanked the audience for their support. The videos, lighting and staging were awesome. Did I mention the lasers? Yikes, they were amazing. He brought out Rozzi Crane, his protégée for a duet on “Wake Up Call.”
She also returned during the encore for “Moves Like Jagger.” For the encore a bridge descended from the ceiling and connected it with a smaller stage in the middle of the audience.
This time around Maroon 5 blew me away. They are very tight and precise. Really superior musicians. I highly recommend seeing them if they come around to the area again.
Makes Me Wonder
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
She Will Be Loved
Moves Like Jagger