October 21, 2010
Dallas, TX USA
Review by Roy Turner
Photos by Michael Insuaste
Taking the Big Tent Approach
At a moment when many musicians view stylistic specialization as a way to reach listeners overloaded with options, here's an act deeply devoted to the big-tent approach. Led by one of the cheesiest and unlikeable frontmen in recent history, the extremely punch-able, Adam Levine.
Levine and his bandmates used their 90-minute set Thursday to showcase the various facets of Maroon 5's sound. In Wake Up Call and Stutter- the latter from the group's third studio album, Hands All Over, released last month - they were hard-rock road warriors, bashing out muscular riffs over stomping beats. If I Never See Your Face Again and Give a Little More were lighter and funkier, with guitarist James Valentine channeling Nile Rodgers of Chic; a glittering disco ball descended during "Give a Little More," emphasizing some kind of bad taste heritage. Can I barf forever?
They turned She Will Be Loved, its oily 2004 hit, into a pathetic acoustic reverie where they suddenly thought they were Crosby, Stills and Nash with some of the most ill-advised attempt at three-part harmonies ever.
That's the real problem here and the genesis for what's makes Levine so easy to dislike. He tries things he's completely incapable of, but not with a rogue-ish abandon or even a funny send-up, but with a total lack of self-awareness as he seems to identify that the people he emulates are his peers.
For example: When he had the arrogance with his lack of ability to try to cover Alicia Keys' If I Ain't Got You, you are hyper-aware that this guy is so full of his own shit, that he can't be stopped performing bad karoke at his own show.
Disposable, forgettable and most importantly: badly executed. The crowd, though large and mostly young females, were not concerned with any of this. They were as you can imagine, there to gawk at Levine, take pictures of themselves at the show at wait for them to play This Love and left happy when they did.