TORONTO - Adam Levine appears poised for solo stardom whether it’s in music, on TV, or some other art form.
Not only is his sweet falsetto the best thing about L.A. soft-rock-pop act Maroon 5 - as he more than demonstrated on Monday night at the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre - but his profile has gotten much bigger as a TV personality.
As one of four celebrity judges/vocal coaches on NBC’s popular reality show The Voice, which will return for its second season in 2012 with a special edition after the Super Bowl (always a sure sign of a hit), he’s held his own against Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green.
He’s also indicated in interviews that Maroon 5, around since 2002 in their current form and only three studio albums into their decade long career, might disband before or after a fourth album and he could re-emerge as a completely new artist.
But back to the immediate matter at hand.
On a summer tour for the last month with Train (and opener Gavin DeGraw who was on the Toronto bill before his recent bizarre beating/getting run over by a cab incident in New York City), Levine admitted late in Maroon 5’s hour and 15-minute show, that their co-headliner’s biggest hit, Hey, Soul Sister, has rubbed off as he broke into the song a couple of times.
“Pat is going to kill me - ‘You son of a bitch, you’re playing our biggest hit,’ he kidded of what Train singer Pat Monahan would be saying to him afterwards.
“It’s a catchy song. It’s haunting my dreams.”
Even as Levine was belting out Maroon 5’s beloved ballad, She Will Be Loved, as the final song of their set, he inserted the Train song’s chorus into the middle of it.
“Remix! Sorry, where was I?” he joked.
But mostly, Levine and his five-piece band played it straight in front of nearly sold out crowd with the audience’s females swooning and screaming over the frontman who eventually stripped down to a white clingy t-shirt which showed off his tattooed arms and skinny black jeans as he worked the stage.
And while Maroon 5’s latest hit, Moves Like Jagger, opened the show, it wasn’t until the next song, Harder To Breathe, which began with Kanye West’s Power, that the crowd really got moving.
Often referred to as the poor man’s Justin Timberlake, due to their vocal similarities, Levine is his own man on stage. Even if he can’t move like Timberlake (or Jagger for that matter), he does possess a certain kind of charisma which was on full display during older, edgier songs like If I Never See Your Face Again, the funkier The Sun and newer tunes like Misery and Won’t Go Home Without You from their 2010 album, Hands All Over.
“God bless you Canada - we love you so much,” said Levine, after a particularly loud response to the older song, Makes Me Wonder.
“We’re from a foreign land called the United States. Man, we love you guys.”
But it was the harder rock number, Wake Up Call, which featured Levine on electric guitar that really packed a punch and you can’t help wonder if Levine - who has collaborated with the likes of West, Alicia Keys, and Natasha Bedingfield - might head off in that direction on his own in the future.
Or maybe not.
It was still the band’s biggest hit, the R&B-flavoured pop number, This Love, that got the biggest reception of the night.
Moves Like Jagger
Harder to Breathe
If I Never See Your Face Again
Makes Me Wonder
Won’t Go Home Without You
Never Gonna Leave This Bed
Wake Up Call
Hands All Over
She Will Be Loved