No surprise that pop singer, “The Voice” judge and occasional actor Adam Levine was the star of Maroon 5's concert, but the band's lead guitarist, James Valentine, got lots of love for being a Nebraska native.
“He's been very excited about this show for a long time,” Levine said when he introduced Valentine on Sunday night. “It's been a while since we've been here. You have a native in the house on that guitar right there.”
Valentine played a guitar solo while the audience cheered him on. After the crowd found out he was from Lincoln — if they didn't know already — they went wild for him any time he was featured during a song, including on “She Will Be Loved” and “This Love.”
The band played for more than 15,000 screaming fans in a sold-out show at the CenturyLink Center.
Maroon 5 bridges rock and pop with songs that feature a big sound, sing-along choruses, rock guitar riffs and plenty of stuff to dance to.
The band started with “Payphone,” and the predominantly female audience erupted with ear-splitting screams for Levine, Valentine, Mickey Madden, Matt Flynn, PJ Morton and Sam Farrar.
Levine popped and posed all around the band's giant stage, which was in the shape of an M with a Roman numeral V extending out into the crowd. Wherever Levine went, the audience screamed for him and popped flashes while trying to snap a photo.
The band's production was full of video screens, lasers, disco balls, glitter and lots of flashing lights.
Maroon 5 kept the set on a greatest hits-style trajectory including songs such as “Makes Me Wonder,” “Harder to Breathe” and “Misery.”
It also included a good sampling of the band's latest album, “Overexposed,” but the band dropped the synths and pop samples (mostly) for revved up electric guitar.
Openers Owl City and Neon Trees were also both popular with the fans.
Neon Trees have an amazing energy. Lead singer Tyler Glenn has more charisma than anyone this side of Mick Jagger. Aspiring singers would do well to take some notes from him.
(Also of note: Neon Trees sound engineer Neal Duffy is an Omaha native. Before the band took the stage, Duffy stood onstage and threw his hands triumphantly up in the air.)
Maroon 5 kept coming back to the hits, especially during the encore, which included an acoustic version of one of the band's biggest hits, “She Will Be Loved.” Valentine picked an acoustic guitar while Levine sang the song, which was simple but great.
The band also performed Gym Class Heroes' “Stereo Hearts,” on which Levine sings the hook, and they also played a cover of Sting's “The Bed's Too Big Without You.”
Fans were packed into the arena. During songs such as new tune “Lucky Strike” and the old hit “Sunday Morning,” Levine pointed at fans all over the arena, including in the highest seats.
“They're not the best seats, but we love you for being in them,” Levine said.
Fans echoed the lyrics to most every song, which made Levine smile. He said the tour's crowds have been amazing and pointed to a woman in the audience who sang along to every word to “Daylight.”
“I could hear you sing every word,” he said. “I'll never forget it.”
Maroon 5 ended the show with its 2011 hit, “Moves Like Jagger,” which caused Levine to spring around the stage — not unlike Jagger himself.
The song got those who had been seated out of their chairs and dancing in the aisles.
Levine again shouted his praise for the audience.
“We love you, Omaha!” he said.
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