Maroon 5's show in Hong Kong last Friday was more of a greatest hits concert than the promotion of 2014's V, as we heard just three singles from that album. It was a good call, and fans who had waited three years for the band's return to the AsiaWorld Expo had a great time dancing the night away to all of Maroon 5's most popular songs.
After an hour-long wait (why don't concerts ever start on time?), drummer Matt Flynn sounded a dramatic drum roll and Adam Levine pounced on the stage singing Animals. Before long the crowd was grooving along to One More Night, Stereo Hearts, and Harder to Breathe.
Wearing a blue track jacket and red trousers, Levine looked cool on stage, but it was clear from the start that he wasn't the only star of this show. His tuneful melodies would have been mediocre at best without the support of Flynn's slick beats, Mickey Madden's funky bass lines, James Valentine's finger-twisting guitar solos, and PJ Morton and Jesse Carmichael on the keyboards. There were even times when the singer's voice was slightly drowned out by the strong instrumental backing.
It was great to see Levine having fun rocking out with his band mates on stage, like when he would sling on a shocking pink electric guitar and throw in some solos. Despite his easy manner, you could tell that he was getting tired about three quarters of the way through the show. Towards the end, his interaction with the crowd was minimal.
Perhaps this is because the band played pretty much non-stop, with almost no breaks between songs. For most of the show, they used carefully thought-out transitions to blend each song smoothly into the next.
Slowing down towards the end of Harder to Breathe, they had everyone clapping along before upping the energy with the monster riffs of Lucky Strike. This was followed by the mid-tempo Wake Up Call, Love Somebody, and Daylight, which were some of the best performances of the night.
After a quick break, the band returned with an acoustic rendition of She Will Be Loved, with the audience crooning along to every word.
Then it was the climax that never quite reached its energetic potential. Moves Like Jagger and Sugar were over before the crowd could get completely hyped up, and as we wondered what song they were going to sing for the encore, the band bowed, hopped off the stage, the lights turned on and we realised that that was the encore.
The show ended just short of one-and-a-half hours. Some good things never last.