Adam Levine works his magic again

Maroon 5's frontman carries the show with an arsenal of beloved hits and crowd-pleasing moves at band's return concert

A Maroon 5 concert is the sort where you are likely to know, and can sing along to, every song, given the sheer number of hits the American pop-rock band have.

The group's gig here on Thursday, after their last show here in 2015, proved just how popular they are as well, drawing a crowd of over 47,000 on a weekday night.

Kicking off with the quick one-two punch of What Lovers Do and Payphone, frontman Adam Levine's sweet, instantly recognisable falsetto was front and centre in a set list that weaved in and out of their catalogue of earworms that spans 17 years and six albums, including their latest release Red Pill Blues (2017), after which their current world tour is named.

On several songs, however, it felt like they were just going through the paces and ticking off a checklist of their hits - with Levine busting out the occasional, unenthusiastic guitar solo in between singing.

Then he realised he needed to do something more to get the crowd going. So, like a seasoned frontman, he strutted, preened and removed his Off White-branded hoodie to excited squeals from the crowd, showing off his much-talked-about ripped and heavily tattooed torso. His low-slung jeans showed just enough of a hint of his boxers by cult brand Supreme as well.

"Got you stuck on my body, on my body like a tattoo," he crooned on One More Night, gyrating his hips while the screens on the sides of the stage stayed focused on a shirtless, sweaty Levine.

Frontman Adam Levine performing with Maroon 5 as part of the world tour of their sixth and latest album, Red Pill Blues.

Frontman Adam 
performing with 
Maroon 5 as part 
of the world tour 
of their sixth 
and latest 
album, Red Pill 
Blues. PHOTO: 



    National Stadium/Thursday

He employed the shirt removal tactic several times throughout the 90-minute show - not that the crowd seemed to mind.

At one point, he asked: "Where are the ladies tonight?" and blew kisses into the crowd.

Levine knew exactly what he needed to do and, thankfully, the show picked up in the second half.

Though the band is made up of six other members - lead guitarist James Valentine, bassist Mickey Madden, drummer Matt Flynn, keyboardist/rhythm guitarist Jesse Carmichael, multi-instrumentalist Sam Farrar and keyboardist PJ Morton - it was very much the Adam Levine show.

While there were the more recent hits like Girls Like You and Wait, it was apparent that the crowd responded better to the band's beloved oldies off their debut album, Songs About Jane (2002) - like the easy, breezy Sunday Morning and gritty, riff-laden Harder To Breathe.

But it was the stripped-back performances during the encore that Levine's vocals really shone, like on the song Lost Stars from the 2014 romantic comedy Begin Again. Another beautiful moment was on the acoustic guitar version of the ballad She Will Be Loved, which saw the crowd's singalong reverberating around the cavernous National Stadium.

Levine kept banter to a minimum. He did ask the crowd for a "favour", pointing to the empty seats in the venue and asking them to "tell all your friends... next time we come back here, we're going to fill all the seats there".

As the leader of one of the most popular bands in the world, it seemed a bit of a hard-sell, especially when he already has the "moves like Jagger", sexy appeal and an arsenal of hits in his backpocket.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 09, 2019, with the headline 'Adam Levine works his magic again'. Print Edition | Subscribe