On the Scene: (Another) Night with Maroon 5

Maroon_lAh, to breathe the air of the Bowery Ballroom again. I left New York some two and half years ago and headed west to sunny Los Angeles, but I can’t count the number of nights, back when I was a Lower East Side girl, that I spent watching bands play the Bowery — or toiling away in the downstairs bar. Last night, I found myself back at the old haunt, but to catch my new hometown’s favorite sons, Maroon 5, as they continued their club tour. Given the industry-heavy crowd the guys played for at L.A.’s Troubadour last week (yes, I was at that show, too), I was surprised when, walking up Delancey St., I noticed a ridiculously long line of actual fans. Inside, the scene was no different. People filled every inch of the room in what was certainly a warm welcome from an often jaded venue.

Truth be told, I haven’t seen the Bowery this packed since I caught the Coldplay show where Chris and Gwyneth first made eyes at each other. Maroon 5 inspired sheer pandemonium in the room, kicking off with their very first hit single, "Harder to Breathe" and their latest, "Makes Me Wonder." Say what you will about their brand of funk-infused pop, but on this night, Maroon 5 simply rocked.

addCredit(“Maroon 5: Theo Wargo/Wireimage.com”)

Frontman Adam Levine has a reputation for many things, but being astellar guitar player is not one of them. This is unfair. Playing thesignature First Act guitar that bears his name, Adam displayed animpressive knack for solos and hard-driving riffs. Add to hisinstrumental skills the serious chops of rhythm guitarist JamesValentine, bassist Mickey Madden, keyboardist Jesse Carmichael anddrummer Matt Flynn, and you end up with a tight band that can trulyjam. And so they did, on new songs like "Wake Up Call," "Little of YourTime," and "I Won’t Go Home Without You," as well as crowdpleasingchestnuts like "Sunday Morning" and "This Love," which Adam started offa cappella. I swear, if you hadn’t had access to MTV in the last fiveyears and just walked into the joint, you might have even mistaken themfor a jam band. Which would probably be just fine with Adam and Co.,who readily admit they were serious Phishheads back in their highschool days.

Then again, there were also the distinct Police and Prince influences, as heard all over the band’s new release It Won’t Be Soon Before Long,that got people bouncing ’round the room. Even a four-months pregnantDrea De Matteo, there with boyfriend Shooter Jennings, was all aboutgetting down. But no one was having more fun than the band — andespecially Adam, who handed his water bottle to a girl in the front rowand joked about not having the cooties. "They think I’ve slept withhalf of America anyway," he deadpanned.

The laughs continued well into the night, as the guys headed to theWest Village’s Beatrice Inn for a private champagne toast andafterparty. With DJ Samantha Ronson manning the decks, Adam, Jesse,Mickey, James, and Matt, ever the consummate hosts, walked from tableto table, checking in on friends and family members. The band’s onlyrequest: don’t talk Sopranos in their presence, as someof them hadn’t yet seen the final episode. (Between Howard Stern, thetour, and Letterman, who has the time?) With Drea — still fired upabout what she thought was "the perfect ending" — in the house, omerta was a tall order, but we tried our best. Now, back to that blackout…

Comments (10 total) Add your comment
  • Allie

    <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

  • HB

    I love these guys in concert. I caught a small club show in Camden in London in late 2003. Ryan was still on the drums, it was his birthday, shots on stage, AC/DC covers, and we met all the guys after the show. Hands down the most fun I’ve had at a show!

  • Nick

    Drea de Matteo was there????

  • Matthew

    Maroon 5 is one of the most underrated groups out there.
    And don’t even get me started on “The Sopranos” finale…
    :]]

  • paige

    EW! the lead singer is gross and i hate that in videos he gets all these hot women all over his withered body… he looks emaciated! pure disgusting… on and their music sucks too…

  • ?

    The lead singer of this group is so fine! Someone is jealous of him, I wont mention any names. He is sexy!!

  • bloomdude

    Jam band? Not. Michael Jackson circa “Off the Wall”? Perhaps. I was at the show. It peaked after the first five songs, just like the new album…

  • Anonymous

    they suck live! the leads singer’s voice is beyond annoying when singing live!!! he’s cute though! :)

  • Guitarhero

    i LOVE maroon 5 and Adam is a wicked guitar player. The one he plays in the “Makes Me Wonder” video is awesome! I think its made by these guys
    http://www.firstact.com
    If so, they make some sweet guitars!!!

  • Vivi

    I absolutely ADORE Maroon 5. I’m so happy for them and their success. I can still remember the 1st time I heard “Harder to Breathe”. I knew instantly that this group would be huge.

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