March 2, 2004
Georgia Theatre - Athens, GA


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Opening act Melbourne straddled a line between legends like U2 and R.E.M. but leaned too heavily on those influences, occasionally feeling more like Flickerstick as a result. The group has the chops but lack the commanding presence of a “band that matters.” The front man in particular, while earning a passing great in Jesus Poses 101, failed to ignite and take control of the crowd like he should. Melbourne could grow into something special if they could go beyond simply copping what made other bands special!

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"Athens, Georgia – it’s mother fucking hot in here,” shouted Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine about halfway through a sweaty Tuesday night set at the Theatre. The mostly female sold out crowd shrieked back and it was back into another rock-funk-jam. Leading off with your two biggest hits can be a tricky thing, but Levine and the boys managed an interesting and well paced song list that kept energy high, showed off the consistency of their work and a professionalism that proves why they deserve their place as one of the sleeper hits of the past year. As their nearly 2-year old album slowly slides its way toward the top ten, the California based group has really come into its own. Their “if Lenny Kravitz was whiter” style and “cute guy” status endeared them quickly to the college aged female fan base that pays their bills. It’s taken longer, however, for male fans to realize there’s more to Maroon 5 than the surface. They’re simply soulful guys who take re-treaded music and make it feel fresh again by way of their energy and vigor.


Maroon 5

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Hits like “Harder To Breathe” and “Through With You” are about the closest that modern pop has to Stevie Wonder and compared to the albums of the 5’s contemporaries, Songs About Jane is a triumph. Personally, I’m more impressed with the fact that the tunes translate so well in concert. Like all great bands, the music takes on an urgency and heat when face to face with them that is unmistakable and impossible to fake. And the heat only goes higher when the musicians can deconstruct and rebuild the static, insistent pulse of Nine Inch Nails’ “Closer” and turn it into a slinky invite all their own. In other words, don’t hate them ‘cause your girlfriend thinks they’re beautiful. There’s more to Maroon 5 than meets the eye.

Chris McKay /




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