A while back I read a blog post about a man who was taking his daughter to a Miley Cyrus concert. What struck me about this blog post was that his daughter’s first concert was also his first concert.
And I realised that one day, this could be me.
At the age of 23, I’d never been to a concert. There were many reasons for this; I am not music obsessed and you won’t catch me saying ridiculous things like, “Music is my whole life!”. I do have my favourite songs and unfortunately those bands either don’t tour anymore (Bon Jovi, U2) or more likely, head to countries as soon as I have left that place (Yes I am talking about you Coldplay and The Script!)
So when I heard that Maroon 5 was coming to Korea, I decided I wanted to go for their concert. Not because I am the biggest fan but because I liked them from when I was in high school and they seemed like a good band to watch live.
Through some miracle, Kerissa organised 4 tickets for herself, Shardale, Faraaz and I despite the tickets selling out within the first hour after ticket sales opened. And last Saturday, the day arrived! We headed off to Seoul Olympic Park Stadium to join 23,000 other fans.
An American band named The Cab started off the evening with a quick thirty minute set of original songs. Lead singer, Alex Deleon was very talkative with the audience (even though I doubt the majority of Koreans understood most of what he was saying) and seemed very comfortable onstage in the spotlight. The crowd seemed to give Cab a very warm reception as fans waited patiently for the main attraction.
As the lights went down, the first few rows of fans rushed to the stage to be as close as possible to the band and front man Adam Levine. The band kicked it into high-gear early with “Payphone” and “Misery” as the screams from the audience (well, mainly Shardale and Kerissa) were deafening at times.
I cannot even tell you how incredible they were. Usually when you hear a singer singing live, they don’t sound half as good as they do on their CD. But these guys… they sounded BETTER than their pre-recorded songs.
And as for Adam Levine… he is one sexy, sexy man. In a live setting, it is obvious that Adam likes to have a lot to do, whether it is throwing down vocals, playing guitar, playing drums or running all over the stage. It’s almost as if he feels the music and it’s wound him up and he’s working hard to express as much of it as he can to the audience.
Maroon 5 has been around as Maroon 5 for about a decade now, and as their sound is still fresh and popular, I think it shows that they were fairly innovative in the pop/rock genre from their original material forward, as the overall style of music that they produce has been extremely consistent in sound and quality. They know how to make hits, and I feel that their myriad of diverse influences come through in their songs, and Adam’s unique vocals really stamp their music as their own. I’ve always found their music to be fun and catchy, and this translates well onto the stage.
I was pretty engrossed in the concert but while I was up on Faraaz’s shoulders, I managed to snap a good few pics!
Though their set up and division of duties is fundamental rock and roll, somehow their sound, to me, has a distinct funk and R&B vibe to it, and it is interested to watch it all come to life on stage, as they really look like a rock band, but sound more like a R&B type of group.
One of the highlights for me was when Adam played the drums and the guitarist (James Valentine) sang a cover of The White Stripes’ song, Seven Nation Army. Then the guitars of Levine and James Valentine blazed a path through a cover of Justin Timberlake’s “Sexy Back”and they teased the crowd with snippets of Psy’s Gangnam Style.
Much of the setlist touched upon the group’s first album, “Songs About Jane” as the album approaches its 10th anniversary. It was fantastic when I realised that I knew all the words to their songs, both old and new! (I had been doubting my memory).
Everyone, including me, had light saber/wands to wave!
When Adam threw in a few Korean words when chatting to the crowd, the Koreans went mental. I wasn’t aware that the simple “kam-sah-hab-ni-da” (thank you) got so many Koreans excited- they normally don’t cheer when I say it… hmm.
Another highlight was Levine interacting with the audience during a sing-along of the chorus of “She Will Be Loved.”
As soon as the keyboards and guitar locked in for “Moves Like Jagger,” the stadium turned into one giant dance floor as everyone was on their feet, infected by the groove to move.
The biggest hit of the evening were found at the end of their set as Maroon 5 performed their brand-new single “One More Night.”
What can I say about my first ever concert?
Well… Maroon 5 doesn’t just give you a performance, they give you an EXPERIENCE! They make you feel special! Maroon 5 were high energy which reflected off the audience as we paid-back the favour by singing and dancing to every song performed. I truly am now a much bigger fan of Maroon 5 (and Adam!) than I was before going to the concert. The quality, showmanship and energy that Maroon 5 put into their performance is why they are becoming the “must see” band of 2012.
If you get the chance to watch Maroon 5 live- GO!
Setlist for Seoul 2012: This Love, Harder To Breathe, Sunday Morning, If I Never See Your Face Again, Misery, Makes Me Wonder, Won’t Go Home Without You, Payphone, One More Night, Sexy Back, Seven Nation Army, Moves Like Jagger, She Will Be Loved.