Maroon 5/OneRepublic Concert Review

Posted: October 23, 2010 in MUSIC/CONCERT REVIEWS

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Superpages.com Center held a crowd of approximately 9,600 on Thursday night. Maroon 5 was the headliner with well-known opener, OneRepublic, and Australian-born singer and former surfer, Ry Cumming.

My first thought was why is OneRepublic still an opening band? They’ve been around since 2007 with huge hits such as “Apologize” and “Stop and Stare” off their debut album Dreaming Out Loud and “All the Right Moves” off their 2009 sophomore release, Waking Up.  I saw them open for Rob Thomas in the past, and now they are opening for Maroon 5. Don’t get me wrong. Those are great musicians to open for, but it’s clear from 1R’s huge hits, song-writing skills and live performances, that it is time to go it alone. Or, at least not as a supporting act.

Nevertheless, it is clear when OneRepublic hits the stage that, in their minds, they ARE the headliner. Lead singer, Ryan Tedder (who is also known for writing and producing Top 40 hits for several artists including Kelly Clarkson, Beyonce and Leona Lewis) has loads of energy. Sporting his typical vest and hat, one almost wonders if he may have ADHD (or perhaps too much caffeine in his system) as he runs and jumps around the stage like a mad man.

OneRepublic has something different to offer beyond your traditional pop/rock that primarily features guitar, drums, keyboards and melodies. They have all that and then some. In almost every OneRepublic song, you will hear a violin and/or cello. They even bring these instruments live on tour along with xylophone and tambourine. Similar to Maroon 5, OneRepublic offers a mix of pop/rock, dance/techno and R&B which makes for very diverse albums and concerts.

The band played their aforementioned hits from both albums as well as additional songs off their sophomore effort such as “Secrets”, “Everybody Loves Me”, “Good Life”, “Waking Up” and “Marching On.” Fan favorites were their hit radio singles, but also their cover of Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me” and Justin Timberlake’s “Sexy Back.”  But, as entertaining as OneRepublic’s set was, it was Maroon 5 that got the crowd on their feet.

When Maroon 5 opened with their new single, “Misery”, off their third album Hands All Over, it was clear who the audience was really there for.  It is amazing how much their fan base has expanded since they opened for John Mayer and Counting Crows in previous years.

Maroon 5 engaged the crowd with some audience participation and lighting complete with a disco ball. All M5 was missing were some pyrotechnics. Lead singer and heart-throb, Adam Levine (now covered in arm tattoos), marketed the audience by discussing how much better the Rangers are than the Yankees.  He made it clear that he was from LA, not NYC, and he is on the side of the Dallasites. As always, Levine’s voice, musical style and gyrations were reminiscent of the late Michael Jackson.

The band played tunes off their first album, Songs About Jane (2002), including their hits “Harder to Breathe”, “She Will Be Loved”, “This Love” as well as some others.  They performed songs off their second album, It Won’t Be Soon Before Long (2007), such as “If I Never See Your Face Again”, “Makes Me Wonder”, “Wake up Call” and “Won’t Go Home without You.” I enjoyed taking a stroll down memory lane by hearing them sing songs from their first two albums, but with this being a tour supporting their new album released last month, Hands All Over, it seems time would’ve been better spent cutting a few old songs as well as the Alicia Keys cover, “If I Aint Got You”. Although, I did enjoy their brief cover of Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got to Do with it.” But, with the band playing fewer than a handful of new songs, it made one feel as if they were just getting a repeat of the previous tour with an added bonus of the improvement in stage presence.

Putting this aside and with all things considered, Maroon 5 and OneRepublic make a good touring pair and complement each other quite well.

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