That, “Oh, I remember this!” feeling is an odd one to have when Maroon 5 plays. Well, that is until you realize that they’re more than a decade into their tenure as pop’s music’s most consistent group. So when the opening chords from cuts on their 2002 debut album “Songs About Jane” rang through the cool open air at New York’s Nikon at Jones Beach Theater on Sunday (Aug. 11) night, the notes greeted fans at the sold-out show like old friends not seen in years.
Dressed like guys more so ready for a night out at a chic Manhattan bar (crisp polos and button downs) than a troupe of hit-makers, Maroon 5 ran through all of their hits—ones from back in ’02 and fresher. Lead singer Adam Levine’s trademark 5 o'clock shadow appeared more like a combable quarter past 8. The guys hit the stage at half past 9. And below, check out our 10 reasons that it was a must-see show.
"Ni**as in Paris" Intro to "Harder to Breathe"
The guys used a portion of Kanye West and Jay Z’s “Ni**as in Paris” beat to lead into their former Hot 100 No. 18 single "Harder to Breathe." It wasn’t obvious either. They used “Paris’” midpoint, the part right Yeezus and Hov tell us we’re watching The Throne.
A Jazzy “Sunday Morning” and Taste of “Sir Duke”
Maroon 5 didn’t ever perform a song as it’s heard on its respective album. Each was picked apart and reworked. In this case it was “Sunday Morning” from their “Songs About Jane” debut album. With keys twinkling just a tad brighter and a splash of organ play, it sounded more like a jazz rendition than a pop song. Following that, they even eased into the intro of Stevie Wonder’s classic, horn-laden “Sir Duke.”
“I Wanna Be Your Lover” Cover
Two years ago, the crew killed the radio with “Moves Like Jagger,” but for a little while Adam Levine proved he could coo like The Purple One. The band launched into Prince’s 1979 cut “I Wanna Be Your Lover.” Many in the audience had no clue what song it was (the 25-and-under crowd was heavy), but it was a joy for anyone that could recognize.
The Horn Section
A sax man, tromboner, and trumpeter helped take several songs to new heights. Had there been a roof at Jones Beach Theater, they would have cracked it open, and then blown it off during “Sir Duke.”
"Dirt Off Your Shoulders" to "Wake Up Call"
“Paris” wasn’t the only Jay Z song the fellas lifted for the night. They used a portion of his Timbaland-produced single “Dirt Off Your Shoulder” to lead into former Hot 100 No. 19er “Wake Up Call.” Adam sang the cut from their sophomore album “It Won't Be Soon Before Long” about a cheating girlfriend with venom, as if he just found the chick in bed with another man recently.
Clearly, Adam Levine is the breakout star of the band. But not too far behind is guitarist James Valentine, who was given the spotlight on several occasions. He and his “glorious long hair,” as Levine referred to it, wrapped “Wake Up Call” up with some mean shredding.
“Misery” to a Daft Punk Jam
A performance of "Misery," which peaked at No. 14 on the Hot 100, morphed into a version of Daft Punk’s smash “Get Lucky.” “We’re up all night to get lucky,” Levine sang as he bounced around the stage.
Dynamic Digital Display
Maroon 5’s stage was about more than just a bunch of guys with instruments. Behind them was an captivating digital display, which was at times flashier than a bag of Skittles and at others attempted to swallow viewers into its vortex.
“Moves Like Jagger”
They certainly made us wait for this monster. Ninety minutes into the show, Maroon 5 finally got to their Hot 100 No. 1 banger, “Moves Like Jagger.” Levine leapt several times to get it started, as if revving up an old car whose ignition is the song’s opening whistles. When they got into it, “Jagger” was worth the wait. Levine wiggled and shimmied all over, like, as the song title suggests, The Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger. Confetti popped and showered the crowd to top things off.
The Encore: “She Will Be Loved” and “Daylight”
After the audience begged for just a little more M5, Adam and Valentine returned to the stage. The two split up the crowd into Side A and B. Performing an acoustic version of “She Will Be Loved,” their No. 5 Hot 100 single from 2002, Side A was asked to sing “And she will be loved,” B to sing “I don’t mind standing every day…” Together, a sweet round was created. They officially closed out the evening with “Daylight,” Levine wailing into the night before they all took a bow and left for good.