Adam Levine might not be able to move like Jagger, but he certainly can bring an audience to its feet. Levine stopped in Abbotsford last night (Sept. 12) fronting the six piece pop/funk/rock band Maroon 5, along with a stunning performance from co-headliners Train and a solid show from folk rocker Matt Nathanson. The crowd got louder throughout the night and was in a frenzy by the end of Maroon 5’s show at 11:15 pm. This will most likely be remembered as a record breaking evening as the loudest crowd ever held at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre, and most likely Abbotsford itself.
Maroon 5 is a band mostly for the ladies and girls, who made themselves known with loud cheers and screams, as well as signs proclaiming their love for both Levine and the band. In one of the only interactions with the crowd, Levine actually recognized the abundance of signs in the crowd and thanked the creators for making them. Other than that, Levine spent most of his time performing all of his band’s many hits, avoiding the chatter. He was surprisingly a man of few words and never once acknowledged where he was that night.
Overall the Maroon 5 performance was solid, but the music was juiced up with louder guitars and heavy busting bass, making for an overall harder rock sound than one might have expected from a band that has seen the pop charts with more than a dozen hits, including the show opening Moves Like Jagger, which is their biggest world-wide hit to date.
The highlight of the evening was a stunning visual and musical performance from Train, who are in the final weeks of a three year road trip. The San Francisco rockers produced a show that was reminiscent of Queen from the late 70s. It was a visual assault, perfectly mixing ramps and risers with video and lights. The band held nothing back, interacting with the crowd, bringing a group of local girls on stage to dance as the “Trainettes” and even dropping the pace for a stellar acoustic set. Not many bands could bring an audience to screams and cheers with the use of a cello and ukulele, but a Train show would not be the same without them.
Vocalist Patrick Monahan has a powerful voice (the most powerful of the evening), providing smooth passages and hard driving rockers when needed. Everyone was a bit surprised when Monahan took center stage on one of the risers and belted out a passage from Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love before breaking into a Train version of Rihanna’s Umbrella.
Train’s reaction grew as the hits came out. Calling All Angels, Hey Soul Sister, Drops of Jupiter and the acoustic jam featuring Blondie’s Heart of Glass and U2’s I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For brought out the loudest cheers.
Show opener Matt Nathanson was a good choice. His style was more attuned to that of Train rather than Maroon 5, but his folk-rock style and upbeat personality made for an enjoyable early evening set. The crowd reacted favourably to the Lexington, Massachusetts singer, but seemed to respond well to the little cover songs he interspersed throughout the show, adding pieces of David Bowie’s Modern Love, Cee Lo Green’s Forget You and even The Tragically Hip’s Ahead By A Century. Nathanson started the night of screams when he sang his biggest hit Come On Get Higher.