Pop music may seem inherently inconsequential, but Maroon 5 proved that the form can be just as fulfilling as weightier forms of music in a deliriously frothy concert Saturday night at the Sprint Center.
One of the most commercially successful acts of the new millennium, Maroon 5 is touring in support of its fifth album. The composition and behavior of Saturday’s audience of about 15,000 indicated that the California band’s vocalist Adam Levine is an irresistible sex symbol among many women born between 1970 and 1990.
Screams and camera flashes erupted wherever Levine focused his attention. His occasional sashays down an arrow-shaped walkway elicited waves of awestruck commotion. The intense devotion of his fans made Levine’s social experiment all the more interesting.
During an acoustic rendition of “She Will Be Loved,” Levine requested that everyone in the audience place their cellphones and cameras in their pockets for “a technology-free moment.” He fruitlessly chastised the minority of people who kept their devices trained on him even as they were scolded.
Levine’s brief outburst of irritability provided the only unscripted component of Maroon 5’s otherwise carefully orchestrated 90-minute outing.
Illuminated by mobile lighting rigs that caused the sleek set to resemble a shape-shifting dance club, the sextet validated its coveted status as formidable hit-makers.
The 17-song performance opened with the infuriatingly catchy “Animals” and closed with “Sugar,” a disco track that serves as an homage to the Bee Gees during the “Saturday Night Fever” era.
Maroon 5 specializes in refurbishing vintage soul and dance sounds. The gentle swing of “Sunday Morning” took its cues from Stevie Wonder while “Makes Me Wonder” evoked the lusty funk of Prince.
The band added a gentle reggae lope to “One More Night” and “Maps,” a tactic employed even more effectively by opening act Magic. The Toronto based quartet played almost 30 minutes of innocuous but engaging reggae-infused pop.
The sunny approach is epitomized by Magic!’s massive 2014 hit “Rude,” a ditty that vocalist Nasri told Saturday’s audience “changed our lives.”
The show began with a delightful 25-minute appearance by Rozzi Crane. A protégé of Levine, Crane places her powerful voice in familiar pop backdrops.
Levine’s guidance appears to be reaping dividends. As with Maroon 5, Crane’s renditions of shallow songs proved deeply rewarding on Saturday.
Maroon 5 set list
Animals; One More Night; Stereo Hearts; Harder to Breathe; Lucky Strike; Wake Up Call; Love Somebody; Maps; This Love; Sunday Morning; Makes Me Wonder; Payphone; Daylight; It Was Always You; She Will Be Loved; Moves Like Jagger; Sugar