Maroon 5 Manila: Pre-Show Insanity, The Cab, a Continuous “Overexposed” Set, and the ILLEST Encore to Date!
When In Manila, to say that the Maroon 5 Manila concert 2012 is a sold-out success would be an understatement!
Sold out, you say? More like EPIC-ally sold out!
Two months prior to the event, tickets were already sold out. People I know were buying them off scalpers and other people who for one reason or another sold their tickets (usually at a higher price). One of my students got hers through Sulit, and the story goes that the seller was supposed to go with her boyfriend, but they broke up days before the concert, and she didn’t want to go because of the painful experience attached to those golden tickets.
Come concert night, the Adam Levine fan fever showed no signs of slowing down. Arriving at 6:30 PM, rows upon rows of fans and media were already lined up outside the Araneta red gate. The people were very intense, even irritable, as they forced their way into the Coliseum to secure their seats. It took us until 8:00 PM to secure our passes and get inside the building. In the 90 minutes in between, there were a lot of lining ups, re-lining ups, frustrated complaints, heated arguments, and quite unfortunately my wallet being snatched from me.
The Cab Opens for Maroon 5 Manila
Inside, a packed dome full of crazed, hyperventilating fans who were singing and cheering for The Cab as they opened for Maroon 5 Manila was surreal, confusing, inviting. I’ve been to a lot of concerts, but in my experience this is definitely the most packed the Coliseum has ever been for a concert! People were crowding through the aisles to look for their designated seats. Sometimes, the seats were already taken, and so the rightful owners would either politely ask the occupants, seek the aid of the ushers, or rudely confront the ones seated in their place. In the Upper Box sections, the stairs and aisles were transformed into seating areas as well.
Alexander DeLeon setting the stage for a Chantry Johnson solo.
The Cab sang the ballad-esque “Endlessly”, alternative anthem “Animal” (co-written by Maroon 5), and funk rock “La La” for their final three songs. Like Maroon 5, this band has frequented Manila, last seen in Dayly Entertainment’s Smash Project 2012. So when lead singer Alex DeLeon confessed how they loved playing in Manila, we believed him. They were received very well, and I’m pretty sure The Cab fans will not dare miss their performances at the Ayala Malls in the upcoming days.
More confusion, disarray, pushing and pulling followed in the next 30 minutes or so as everyone awaited Adam Levine and Maroon 5 Manila. At around 9:00 PM, the show finally started with a ring.
Alexander DeLeon, Alex Marshall, and Dave Briggs performed the rock ballad “Endlessly”.
Maroon 5 Manila: The “Overexposed” Concert Tour
The frantic crowd screamed their lungs out as the band opened with “Payphone” followed by “Makes Me Wonder”. I find it interesting that usually when bands come to play here, they’re usually promoting their newest albums. In Maroon 5‘s case, “Overexposed” needed no introduction. They interjected the new songs with those from their previous albums seamlessly. And from the perspective of one who listened to both the old and the new, the range of influences on Maroon 5‘s music is just inspiring! “Lucky Strike” received outstanding audience participation. “Sunday Morning” was as feel-good as it has always been. “Won’t Go Home Without You” was surprisingly a song I appreciated in this concert. (Admittedly, it’s not on my wishlist.) And “Wake Up Call” was sadistically fun to sing along with.
“I’m at the payphone, trying to call home…”
Maroon 5 Manila also included an extended play of Reggae-inspired “One More Night”, with Adam egging on his sold-out audience to sing with him as they played the intro again and again. And the band stopped. And they restarted as the crowd went wild! “Misery” was one of my favorites in their one-and-a-half hour continuous set. It was followed by Adam introducing the members of his band, some who were with them specifically for their tour. In their respective solos, I was impressed the most by touring member PJ Morton, who digged into his organ and keyboards like there was no tomorrow. The set’s final song was “This Love” which garnered a fitting, climactic response from the audience.
The light shows and visual effect panels put in for this production were fantastic complements to Maroon 5 Manila.
While it’s fair to say that Maroon 5 is becoming more and more like Adam Levine and the band, seeing them in concert would make you appreciate the individual contributions of the other band members. As a guitar player myself, James Valentine‘s Funk strums, clean riffs, and harmonious shreds were immensely enjoyable for me. And as Maroon 5 moves toward the direction of Pop (but still with a lot of Funk!), everyone has to understand that all the more each band member has to play harmoniously with the others, a product of years playing together and endless rehearsals put in for us to revel.
Still, the fourth Maroon 5 Manila is very much, maybe even all the more, about “His Hotness” (credit to one of my friends) Adam Levine. Every time Adam swayed his hips and moved like Jagger, the titillated girls and – ahem – boys would screech! Amazingly, his live performance voice quality is uncannily identical to their studio albums. He does sound funny when he addresses the crowd though; something like auto-tuned voice on helium. Maybe it’s just the sound system. I don’t know.
The Adam Levine Show!
So we know (and he knows) he’s sexy. And he has a great voice. And he plays instruments. Fantastic. I bet all the girls in the Coliseum had him in their hearts and minds instead of their boyfriends and fiancés *ahem* because he scored the trifecta. Adam played his guitar dirty (which is, I guess, how the ladies want it?) and his drum beats were decent. But on top of it all Adam is an absolute showman. We tip our hats to thee, “His Hotness”.
“So Adam, you know how to play the guitar, huh? How about the drums? Oh, you do too?” (Half of us lost our girlfriends to Adam that night.)
Maroon 5 Manila +: The ILLEST Encore!
After the fans raucously clamoured for an encore, Maroon 5 Manila obliged with one of the best encore sets ever! Starting out with a cover of The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army” with James Valentine on vocals and guitar, Mickey Madden on bass, and Adam Levine playing the drums. Based on the fan reaction, “Seven Nation Army” wasn’t a familiar song for most (but it was definitely one of my favorites!). Safe to say, that cover was one for the boys.
Adam then addressed the crowd, and dedicated their next encore performance specifically to the ladies. Levine and Valentine performed an acoustic version of “She Will Be Loved”, that iconic love song from the ever-relevant album “Songs About Jane”. It was a rousing performance, and Adam had the audience hook, line, and sinker. The band came back and played “Stereo Hearts” (sans Travie McCoy, so Adam did double duty and rapped Travie‘s lines as well) and the moving “Daylight” from their new album.
More Levine goodness for the ladies during the encore! YAY!
Maroon 5 Manila performed the first part of Justin Timberlake’s “Sexy Back” before the whistling from “Moves Like Jagger” was heard. Everyone was screaming and jumping and the platforms were quaking! Adam jumped and as he landed a recording of PSY would shout “Oppa Gangnam Style”. He did it again to the glee of the ecstatic crowd. A smile was plastered on Adam‘s face as they played “Moves Like Jagger” for their final encore. IT WAS EPIC!
The thousands of Maroon 5 fans waving their glow lights, screaming their lungs out, singing along, taking pictures, and recording videos in a concert night to remember. Pretty sure everyone went home with a smile on their face. I know we did!
When In Manila, Adam Levine thanked the packed Araneta crowd for continuing to support them concert after concert. He confessed that Manila fans are by far the ones who have made them feel the most love. Adam‘s voice was already breaking in the end. He was spent. Talk about an all-out performance by the band! The “Overexposed” tour is a testament to why Maroon 5 is on top of the charts and of the world right now. In addition, the band shared a glimpse of their influences (covering Michael Jackson, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The White Stripes among others) as well as the rich history of collaborations (Christina Aguilera, Travie McCoy, Rihanna to name a few) that they have done. Despite the tight, harsh security, arguments, pushing and pulling, and losing my wallet, Maroon 5 Manila was well worth it from a musical standpoint. And if you just so happen to ogle at Mr. Levine, then that’s a very big bonus I guess.