For any teenage fan of Adam Levine who finds joy in singing along with his music on the car radio and making Mom insane, Darien Lake Performing Arts Center was the place to be last Wednesday. The Maroon 5 Honda Civic Tour attracted a massive crowd, with dedicated fans forced to stand shoulder to shoulder on the packed lawn. The concert was an opportunity to close the summer with a bang.
As eager fans full of anticipation made their way into the venue, Tony Lucca, whom Levine, Maroon 5’s lead singer and judge for “The Voice,” described as “a talented friend that we [the band] want to expose to a larger audience,” kept spirits high and moods happy before Kelly Clarkson took the stage.
Pop icon Clarkson, the first “American Idol” winner, appeared barefoot, and got the audience dancing in a matter of seconds with her motivational hit, “Stronger.” Her energetic attitude seemed to appeal not only to her teenage fans, but to their parents and the surprisingly large number of kid-free adults that were also present. After mentioning that she has been “dabbling with country,” the crowd’s overwhelming excitement was almost tangible. She sang a solo version of her duet with Jason Aldean, “Don’t You Wanna Stay.” The song served as a fast transition from pop songs and Clarkson classics to a country tone that provoked obvious enjoyment. The fans were enamored with the Texas girl’s talent. Clarkson nailed Aretha Franklin’s “I Never Loved a Man” with not only the required powerful, soulful voice but also made a statement with her lengthy, black lace dress. Her final two songs were sung after another outfit change, exposing a colorful, neon setting that made everyone’s eyes grow wider. She closed with an old hit, “Since U Been Gone.” With such a clear, powerful voice, it seems impossible for Clarkson not to give a phenomenal performance.
After what seemed like a much-needed breather, the headliners approached the gathering of eager fans. With a set list combining old favorites and new hits, the band gained instant access into their listeners’ hearts. Bouncing from recent to old and energetic to emotional, the crowd was never able to predict the next song. In the midst of a lively rendition of “Misery,” the music shifted to a version of Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky.” Levine’s higher-pitched voice made for the perfect blend of a genuine and vivacious version of the popular electronic dance anthem.
The show consisted of several moments of audience interaction, and no doubt the place to be was the pit. Levine commented on the large number of people in the lawn area, telling the people in front, “You better watch out, they’re going to come get you!” His sense of humor yet obvious appreciation for his loyal fans gave off a sense of modesty, making ticket prices seem worth the cost.
The wildest and by far most amusing song was “Moves Like Jagger.” With confetti blasting from the stage in every direction and Levine’s enthusiastic mood, the entire crowd couldn’t resist a few moments of glee. A desire for the concert to never end made for a thoroughly pleasurable encore with an acoustic rendition of “She Will Be Loved.”
Alexa Rosenblatt is a sophomore at City Honors.