According to Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine, I am one of the smartest men currently residing in Sydney. In front of a three-quarters full Acer Arena last night, Levine took a moment out from his cocky-rockstar-ladies-man schtick to reveal some rarely seen self-deprecation. Joking there were 17 guys to the 4000 girls in the crowd, he reassured us that not only was it OK to be a guy at a Maroon 5 concert, it was intelligent mathematically. He explained that there are three kinds of Maroon 5 guy-fans at their concerts: those who genuinely like the band, those who don’t mind the band and were there with their girlfriends and those who were 100% dragged along by their female halves: “It’s alright! It’s cool. You can go to the Foo Fighters next week!”
We knew Levine was cocky and cocky to the point that many blokes are put off and can’t see the way through to the music which I personally feel is some of the best blue-eyed funk / soul this side of Hall & Oates and the Gibb brothers. But this little touch of humility, wrapped up in a gentle-natured dig at his band who in reality attracted substantially more than 17 men to their concert (not to mention more than 4000 girls), was refreshing. That said, it is undeniably fun to see someone relish in being a rock-star and even more-so than in the past, Levine struts the stage with as much borderline effeminate bravado as Mick Jagger. And as for that falsetto – as shown on his homage to one of his “favourite people” Al Green during Let’s Stay Together – it is one of the best in the business.
|Nile Rodgers, one of the greatest songwriter / producers of all time.|
For a hit-filled hour and 40 minutes, Maroon 5 showed why they are one of the tightest ensembles in current operation. It’s true the pretty-boy routine may ultimately deny them a bigger fan-base and there isn’t a great breadth of variety in their work, but songs like Misery are up there with Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers from the Chic organisation (think their productions of Chic’s Le Freak and Good Times, Sister Sledge’s We Are Family and He’s The Greatest Dancer, Diana Ross’ Upside Down and I’m Coming Out, David Bowie’s Let’s Dance, Duran Duran’s Notorious and literally dozens of others). In fact, the first time I heard the disco-scratch rhythm guitar of Misery I felt compelled to Tweet Nile Rodgers that it sounded like him and he should produce Maroon 5’s next record. He appreciated the compliment and with word Maroon 5 are planning a sooner-than-expected release for the fourth album, I can think of no-one better.