Maroon 5 Tour Review

The first time I saw Maroon 5 was in August 2011 at Jones Beach Theater while they were on tour with Train. Their entire set was amazing, but after the crowd sing-a-long to ‘She Will Be Loved’ I knew I had to see them again. The next time I planned to go was a flop because I waited to long to get tickets and the prices were just outrageous. This time around when the tour was announced I knew I had to be there. Four years from my first time seeing them, I have to see them for a third.

This time around it was at the Izod Center and it’s one of the last concerts to be played at the venue. Getting there and finding a parking spot was no problem, thanks for the $25 parking fee (it could be worse), and getting in was a semi-breeze. The first thing my friend and I did was get the overprice T-shirt. I mean how could you pass that up? They weren’t that bad, priced at $40 a pop. Sweatshirts were like $50+.

Enough rambling, on to the show. I had decent seats sitting in the 100 section directly in front of the stage. First up was Adam’s artist, Rozzi Crane. She had a very powerful voice and even merged in Beyonce’s ‘Flawless’ and Jay-Z’s ‘Can I Get A’, but the music drowned her out and it was hard for me to comprehend what the hell she was singing. The last song she performed, ‘Psycho’ she said was off her EP, Space, and I enjoyed that one. Once she left the stage there was like a 15-20min. gap before Magic! came out.

Another reason I jumped on this concert, aside from Maroon 5, was because I knew Magic! would be opening for them and I loved their album. Luckily I had great seats because for some reason they decided not to put the band on the screen. The screens obviously worked as they did for the previous set and there were advertisements during the set changes. They performed: ‘Don’t Kill the Magic’, covered ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’ and mashed in ‘Message in a Bottle’. My night was made as they performed one of my favs from the album, ‘Mama Didn’t Raise No Fool’. Their set ended with ‘Rude’, obviously. I got a very Bruno Mars vibe from the group, especially with their red suits. Only thing that would’ve mad the set better was to actually see them clearly. I enjoyed the music regardless.

UntitledNow on to the main attraction, Maroon 5. They opened up their set with ‘Animal’ and the energy kept going from there. The set list included: ‘One more night’, ‘Stereo Hearts’,
‘Harder to breathe’, ‘My 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’, and ‘Sugar’.

The best thing about their set was the constant interaction and wanting the energy from the crowd. It’s nothing like going to a show and feeling a part of it the entire time. The best moment was during ‘She Will Be Loved’ when Adam asked everyone to put their cell phones away and enjoy the f*cking moment (his words). That’s by far my favorite Maroon 5 song  and to have everyone in synch singing their hearts out was amazing.

The show was mixed with the old and the new music which I loved. I mean I enjoyed their new stuff, but it’s nothing like vintage Maroon 5. What was surprising was how many families were there. Kudos to Adam’s coaching job on The Voice for that crowd. Great show, great energy, and I can’t wait to see them again.

New Sia Album Coming Soon!

The 2015 Grammy AwardsI was excited to read that Sia had was working on new music and that her album would be released sometime this year. I had heard of Sia prior to the release of 1000 Forms of Fear, but that album (click HERE for my review) really made me fall in love with her music. What I did not know was that her portfolio was as lengthy as it was.

Sia is not a new artist although her smash ‘Chandelier’ has made her brand new in the United States. Her first album was released first album in 1997 so this claim to fame in the U.S. as an artist was her sixth album. She has worked with artist such as: Beyoncè, Rihanna, Kanye West, Flo Rida, Christina Aguilera, Eminem, and more. Six albums in and it took all this time to really notice just how awesome of an artist she really is. I had heard of her name moreso behind the scenes, but this album that I can’t stop raving about really made me take notice of her career.

In a recent interview with NMESia talked about why she released 1000 Forms of Fear:

“Basically, I put this out to get out of my publishing deal. I was planning to be a pop song writer for other artists. But my publishing deal was as an artist so I had to put one more album out. I didn’t want to get famous so I kept all the songs I wanted and had a lot of fun making it.”

As for her new album?

“I’m super productive. I have a full album ready to go and it’s much more pop,” she said. “I’m calling it This Is Acting because they are songs I was writing for other people, so I didn’t go in thinking ‘this is something I would say’. It’s more like play-acting. It’s fun.”

I love the title of the album because it coincides with what she’s putting out. If she were writing it for other artists clearly it’s not particularly how she feels. I’m curious to see if she’ll spill the tea on who she would actually write each song for. I’m excited that she’s doing something different with the album and I expect more radio hits from this project. Hopefully fans won’t have to wait long for her new release.

2015 NBA All-Star Performance Review

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Photo Cred: Tumblr

I’m not that much into basketball as I used to be, but the All-Star game is a big deal and I thought I’d review the performances. The show opened with Christina Aguilera who took a different route than performing her own hits and performed hits that paid tribute to the mecca, New York City. She performed a medley of: ‘New York, New York,’ ‘On Broadway,’ and ‘Living for the City.’ It didn’t stop there and she brought out Nas after singing a bit of ‘New York State of Mind’. Enter Nas coming out and spitting a few bars from his ‘NY State of Mind’ (Illmatic).  Aguilera then came back with the Rockettes as she sung the hook to Jay-Z/Alicia Keys’, ‘Empire State of Mind.’ She ended the set with what she started with, ‘New York, New York.’ Vocally Christina sang at a comfortable lower octave, but had a stellar closing and reached every note with ease. Great way for her to come back into the spotlight.

No formal performance for the players to come out as in previous years. The National Anthem was sung by Queen Latifah and the Canadian National Anthem was sung by Tamia.

unnamedAs for the half-time performance headed by Ariana Grande, I was bored. Bored not because I’m not a huge fan, but because it was boring. She performed every hit she’s ever had:

  • ‘Problem’
  • Love Me Harder’
  • ‘The Way’
  • ‘One Last Time’
  • ‘Bang Bang’
  • ‘Break Free’

I’m glad there was a  ton of music for her to perform and she had enough time to put on a mini-concert as she didn’t speed through her songs. I will say that I’m still not a fan of her voice and she sounded nasally as usual, but I could understand what she was singing. For those who have no idea what I’m talking about, she usually doesn’t annunciate her words.

The attire should not go without mention. It’s a basketball game so there was a play-up on the warm-up gear for the guys and the sexy cheerleader for the girls. It looked like she was representing the Brooklyn Nets, but based of the NY Knicks colors, black & white sufficed. As for her the girl backup dancers I liked their skater skirts, crop tops, knee high socks and Addidas. Of course it wouldn’t be signature Ariana Grande without her ponytail.

Photo Cred: Tumblr
Photo Cred: Tumblr

The downside to the performance was that the energy wasn’t there and no real energy came until Nicki Minaj came out in a skirt, bedazzled top, and boots. She looked great and matched Grande’s fly with the ponytail (TWINSIES). Nicki spit her bars in ‘Bang Bang’, but her fake smile didn’t show that she really wanted to be out there. It wouldn’t be Nicki though without a little grind plus the two step. Her grind almost knocked over Ariana, but in turn she just slapped Nicki’s butt. I see Ariana was trying to give “sexy,” but it was just looked to forced standing next to Nicki.

I will say that instead of performing her slow tracks Ariana could’ve brought out more stars. I also know that other stars can outshine a performance so I can see why not many were brought out even though she had three other options other than Nicki: Mac Miller, The Weeknd, and her beau Big Sean. Overall I give props where props are due. She performed all the way through with no mishaps. Only thing is that it could’ve been more energy.

Video Review: Maroon 5, ‘Sugar’

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Photo Cred: Tumblr

Maroon 5 has released the visual for their latest single ‘Sugar‘ and its not as grotesque as the previous two Maps‘ and Animals.’ I’m very happy with the approach of this one as its a more personal feel from the group.

It’s December 6, 2014. We’re gonna drive across L.A. and hit every wedding we possibly can. It’s gonna be awesome. And we’re late.

-Adam Levine

So as the group treks cross the city it’s interesting tow order just how many wedding would be featured in the video. Half o f the band splits up into two Cadillac’s while the set up crew gets into a van. Adam gets behind the wheel, drives off, let the music begin.

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Photo Cred: Tumblr

It looked like this could all be some type of horrible prank from the looks of the guests faces at wedding #1. This crew comes in and starts to quickly assemble this and that. It then shoots back to the band driving there and as they pull up Adam got out and looked hotter than ever. What I don’t get is how they walked in so discreetly without any one seeing. Clearly they must’ve been distracted by what was sitting on the dance floor. The couple looked confused and then as the hook dropped the curtain fell and their faces are priceless.

Moving on to wedding #2. This time they entered in through the kitchen. Another priceless look on the cooks face. A pat on the back from Adam was just to show, “Yup. we’re real dude.” They enter in without being scene, the shot of their silhouettes was pretty cool. The hook drops and BOOM another surprised couple. The husband looked more surprised than the wife in this one.

As the song is getting closer to the end, they are back to driving, there’s pictures along the way from fans that spot them, and then they hit quite a bit of wedding in the end of the video. I counted an additional 5 weddings. If Maroon 5 were to show up at my wedding I would say “What the f*ck” as well. The video ends with the repetition of the hook, confetti, and the the band driving off. Mission accomplished.

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Photo Cred: Tumblr

The overall goal of this video was not only to crash as many weddings as possible, but to shock the hell out of people as well. That was quite a daunting task to set up and deconstruct that as many times as they did. Kudos to the crew.

It would’ve been cute if there were clips added from his wedding. Might seem a little bit cliche, but hey it would’ve went with the theme. Maroon 5 is on a role with the videos. I really hope that my favorite from the album, ‘Feeelig,’ gets a video.

Check out my review HERE of Maroon 5’s latest album, V, and check out the video below:

New Music: Maroon 5 x J. Cole, ‘Animals (Remix)’

I recently posted that Maroon 5 had teamed up with Big Sean for the ‘Maps’ remix and now they are teaming up with yet another rapper for their remix to ‘Animals’. I absolutely LOVE it and the element that J. Cole adds to it. Be sure to click the links below to the latest Maroon 5 posts.

Listen to the remix below:

Original v. Cover [V.7]: Pharrell Williams, ‘Happy’

Maroon 5 is flying high off the success of their latest album, V (CLICK HERE for review) and they have taken on a new challenge of covering Pharrell’s, Happy.

Continue reading “Original v. Cover [V.7]: Pharrell Williams, ‘Happy’”

Maroon 5, V, Artwork + Tracklist

BtFvrboCQAAtsCJMaroon 5 is gearing up to release their 5th studio album, V, in September and the artwork and track listing has been revealed. The album features a track with Gwen Stefani which was written by Sia titled, ‘My Heart Is Open’. There are three bonus tracks as well. ‘ShootLove’ is Adam’s track from the movie, “Begin Again.” Check out the track listing below:

1. “Maps”
2. “Animals”
3. “It Was Always You”
4. “Unkiss Me”
5. “Sugar”
6. “Leaving California”
7. “In Your Pocket”
8. “New Love”
9. “Coming Back for You”
10. “Feelings”
11. “My Heart Is Open” ft. Gwen Stefani

B-Side:
1. “ShootLove”
2. “Sex and Candy”
3. “Lost Stars”

Video Review: Maroon 5, ‘Maps’

I gave a review of Maroon 5’s latest track, ‘Maps’, in my Then & Now Thursday (V.12): Maroon 5 (click the link).

I’m still in love with the song and I didn’t even know that a video had been released and although it’s been roughly a week since it’s release (7.3.14), I thought that I’d still give my review.

I love the song and I love the video concept, the two just don’t match. Well I wouldn’t say that the concept doesn’t match because in a way it does, it’s more so the music doesn’t match the intensity of the concept.

Instantly when watching the video you can see that something is wrong as Adam Levine rushes into the hospital asking where the emergency room is. Excuse me, the fucking emergency room. He races around and finds his girlfriend bloodied and heavily bruised in a hospital bed which looks like she’s been in a car accident based off the injuries. Time to backtrack in the video. Flashback to Adam dangerously weaving through cars as he arrives to the hospital. Flip the screen to his girlfriend.She’s walking down the street with a tear stained face,  when a drunk tries to touch and she pushes him off she stumbles into the street getting hit by a car. It’s clear to see she died instantly by the way her head violently hit the ground; very graphic.

Now switch back to how it all began, Adam went to a party with his girlfriend and they instantly get separated as soon as they come in. Insert members of Maroon 5. They’re both off talking to whoever when Adam heads to the kitchen, takes some shots, a girl feels all over him, and as she’s doing that of course his girlfriend would walk in and see it. As she leaves the house, Adam attempts to go after her yet he’s stopped by a friend.

The video ends with clips of all the scenes coming together, chronologically. It’s clear that a serious approach was taken with this one which I can appreciate because story lines in videos are  hard to come by. I see where they were going with this, I guess I just wasn’t expecting something so drastic as such.

With Adam’s movie debut, Begin Again, in theaters (7.11.14) this video was a great marketing way to show he could be serious and act. I’m interested in seeing the movie (but of course). The video overall was a great visual just it seemed a little too upbeat for the concept.

Check out the video below:

Then & Now Thursday (V. 12): Maroon 5

0d8ffd41ec46First, let me just give a round of applause to one of my favorite bands of all time, Maroon 5. I remember the first time I heard Maroon 5. I was listening to it on a CD which for the life of my I can’t remember. I do remember that I kept switching between ‘Harder to Breathe’ and Jet, ‘Are You Gonna Be My Girl. Still I wasn’t sure who this band was until I saw ‘This Love’ as one of the morning videos on MTV. Then came the release and video for my favorite Maroon 5 song of ALL TIME, ‘She Will Be Loved’.

Still I didn’t know much about Maroon 5 and then I heard Songs About Jane (2002) which by the time I had heard it, it was two years old.  The entire vibe with Adam’s voice was just amazing. I became a fan instantly and couldn’t wait to hear more. To date the album has sold over 5 million copies.

As time went on with Maroon 5, Adam Levine became more AND MORE attractive. I think that his sex appeal really took off by the second album, It Won’t Be Soon Before Long (2007). That album featured ‘Won’t Go Home Without You’ and radio smashes  ‘Makes Me Wonder’ and ‘If I Never See Your Face Again’. What really took that album to the next level was the remix/collab with Rihanna of ‘If I Never See Your Face Again’. That video showed off just how HOT both Adam and Rihanna were. I love that version more than the original and after seeing them perform it live on FNMTV (Friday Night MTV) I could only anticipate that they would collab again (still waiting).

220px-Moves-Like-Jagger-Official-Single-CoverNext up came Hands All Over (2010) which had two of my favorites ‘Misery’ and “Never Gonna Leave This Bed’. It wasn’t until its rerelease that the album got real buzz and took Maroon 5 to the next level. They had officially become rock stars. The album was rereleased in June of 2011 and featured the mega smash hit and song of the summer ‘Moves Like Jagger’ featuring Christina Aguilera. The song was all over the radio and it was hard not to sing along. The collab was first performed live on The Voice as Levine and Aguilera were judges on the show. With a platform like that there was no denying that the song would take off. Aside from The Voice it was also performed at the American Music Awards and at the 2011 Victoria Secret Fashion Show as Adam held hands and walked down the catwalk with his girlfriend, now fiancé, Behati Prensloo.

I went to their concert at Jones Beach Theater in July of 2011 where they co-headlined with Train and it was AWESOME! I was close enough to the stage to see Adam’s face and the atmosphere of the crowd when this song came on was amazing. They ended their set and the show with ‘She Will Be Loved’ where the fans sang along as he pointed to the right and the left having each side sing something different. Awesome concert!

As Adam’s popularity skyrocketed due to the success of The Voice his sex appeal sky rocketed as well. He was always a good looking guy, but as time has gone on he’s gotten HOTTER and HOTTER! Hence why he’s became People’s, Sexiest Man Alive.

Their fourth album, Overexposed (2012). Click here for my initial review. I gave the album a 3.5/5 and here it is two years later and I can say that it’s still my least favorite Maroon 5 album and my favorite song off the entire album is ‘Love Somebody’. I don’t know with this album I just wasn’t really into it, but they had smashes on the radio such as ‘Love Somebody’, ‘Payphone’, ‘One More Night’, and ‘Daylight’. I’m so glad they stopped playing the Wiz Khalifa feature on the radio, then again they never really played it to begin with.

Now they’re back with a new track and count down to their fifth album, V, which is to have a feature Gwen Stefani. Their new track ‘Maps’ is a nice segue back to the radio airwaves and as the first single I like it so much better than that of Payphone’ from Overexposed. Take a listen below.

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I’m amazed with the success of Maroon 5 and the commercial success is really owed to that of the success of Adam Levine. He’s become like this sex symbol and there’s a whole bunch of ‘Maroon 5’ fans when it reality they’re just there for Adam. That’s fine, whatever takes the group to the next level I suppose. I just know that there are a lot of people claiming to be Maroon 5 fans. It’s ok, they’re really infatuated with Adam.

Collectively, Maroon 5 hasn’t done too shabby during their 12 year span as they’ve won three American Music Awards, four Billboard Music Awards and three Grammy’s. I can’t wait to see how their album pans out. Fingers crossed it’s a smash. It all comes down to, did Maroon 5’s sound REALLY change? I wouldn’t say drastically, but with time a sound would change as artists take chances and experiment more. To me that’s not change, that’s growth. As for my favorite Maroon 5 album, Songs About Jane. 

Original v. Cover [V.4]: D’Angelo, ‘Untitled (How Does It Feel)’

Before I get into this edition of Original v. Cover be sure to catch up with my previous ones by clicking the links below:

Continue reading “Original v. Cover [V.4]: D’Angelo, ‘Untitled (How Does It Feel)’”