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11/06/2009 Maroon5, Kate Earl (Rochester, NY @ RIT Gordon Fieldhouse)

By Eric | November 7, 2009 10:04 am

I get the same reaction from everyone… “YOU, of all people, going to see Maroon5?” Indeed! I’m always game for well-done pop/rock, and these guys are pretty good at it. I arrived at the venue around 7:15, found Christina and her friend Elizabeth up near the front, and chatted with them while we waited for the opener. We commented on the makeup of the crowd, as it wasn’t *all* screaming girls, however, they were certainly there in large numbers. A fair number of cougars in attendance, as well as the typical RIT student (of both genders. You know what I mean.).

I left them to enjoy the show and the throng of people just as Greg and Mindy arrived, coinciding with the opener, Kate Earl, taking the stage. We retreated to the seats, and Ms. Earl did her thing with a keyboard and her voice, and occasionally a guitar. I’m not really into the female singer/songwriter genre that much, so I’m not sure what sets her apart from any other girl with a strong voice and a piano. (She’s from Alaska, so it must be the second coming of Jewel, right?) Some of the songs sounded like the early Evanescence demos to me (obviously without the effects), and at one point she even busted out a harmonica. She also throws like a girl, as she attempted to toss CD’s out into the crowd, and almost didn’t make it past the barrier. Honey, underhand doesn’t work when you’re throwing CD’s!

The people-watching continued between sets, as we saw a fine specimen, who I’ll refer to as Mr. Pink-and-Popped, who was in a class by himself. A male wearing a pink shirt with the most ridiculously popped collar you’ve ever seen, of course with the hat at the douche-appropriate angle. Far be it from me to judge on fashion sense, but this dude took the cake.

So around 9, the band we all came to see hit the stage. Maroon5 came out to the strains of No Doubt’s Hella Good (foreshadowing!), and launched into the hits right from the start. Harder to Breathe, If I Never See Your Face Again, and Makes Me Wonder all in a row. I thought that was pretty interesting, as most bands don’t do that! It made a little more sense after frontman Adam Levine (whose mere presence caused the females to swoon all night) mentioned that their regular drummer was off for the last couple dates tending to a family emergency, so they tapped Adrian Young from No Doubt to fill in. I’m assuming as a result of this, we got a nice surprise with the middle of the set performed Unplugged style! Five songs done acoustically, including a twangy country-fried take on Wake Up Call, a cover of Alicia Keys’ If I Ain’t Got You, and a version of Secret with a bit of Another Brick in the Wall tacked on. This led Levine to quip, “‘We don’t need to education’ was just the song, it was the 70’s, since we’re playing a school we gotta say ‘education is great! But hey, if you don’t want an education, fuck it!'” Considering this was dubbed the “Back 2 School Tour”, it was a fairly humorous line. At the end of the acoustic set, they gave the stool Adam was using to a girl celebrating her 18th birthday, and brought her up on stage to sit with them during Sunday Morning. “How old are you? 18? I’ll be standing waaaaayy over here then!” She just kinda sat there through the whole song, not really rocking out. Both Mindy and Christina remarked that they would have been a bit more animated had they been given the chance to be on stage. (I think just about every other female would have been a bit more, er, active up there!) This band has a sense of humor for sure, which showed again at the end of the song, as they told the girl, jokingly, “Okay, the song’s over, take your stool and get out of here!” All that aside, this band is popular for a reason, and they proved it live, as Adam Levine can definitely sing, the band was tight (even minus their usual drummer), and while the songs pretty much followed their recorded versions, there was plenty of improv and meandering within the songs to keep it interesting. As with Tonic, a bit more rock-oriented in the live setting than the CD would indicate, and that’s never a bad thing to me! Definitely a fun show!

Wake Up Call

Maroon5 Setlist:
Harder To Breathe
If I Never See Your Face Again
Makes Me Wonder
Won’t Go Home Without You
Wake Up Call (acoustic)
If I Ain’t Got You (Alicia Keys) (acoustic)
Secret (Another Brick in the Wall insert) (acoustic)
She Will Be Loved (acoustic)
The Sun (acoustic)
Sunday Morning
This Love

Sweetest Goodbye

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