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Phuket: Maroon 5 mesmerise Thai teens in Bangkok

PHUKET: Crawling out of the cab into the darkness of a suburban Bangkok night, I began to scratch my head, wondering why I had chosen to leave the safety of Sukhumvit.

By Coconuts Bangkok

Friday 12 October 2012, 09:35AM

Looking ahead, the inappropriately located Impact Arena came into view amongst the Orwellian architecture that passes for design in this miserable part of the city. Dim lights and the flutter of chatter strayed from one of the capital’s most established venues.

The threat of a treacherous storm didn’t appear to have deterred the crowd, who, lounging around the grounds equipped with cameras, beers, and the sacred ticket, were in festival mode and paying no attention to the brooding sky above.

Queues of young girls, and the occasional guy, waited anxiously to have their photo taken with a cardboard cutout of the evening’s act. This intimidating mass of teeming teenage hormones were eagerly awaiting to see a band with a triple platinum record to their name and one of the best selling singles of all time, up there with “Hey Jude” and Aqua’s timeless “Barbie Girl”. Queen? AC/DC? The Rolling Stones? No, although Mick Jagger did get a mention.

Adored by loyal fans and despised by critics, Maroon 5 is back on the road touring their latest album “Overexposure”. Since breaking onto the scene back in 2002 with trite, slushy break-up record “Songs About Jane,” the five-piece LA ensemble have had teenagers across the continents huffing their contagious brand of bastardised pop-rock like low-grade industrial glue.

Last night (October 9), it was Thailand’s turn to welcome the pied piper of heartbreak and his diligent band members.

Led by their tattooed imp messiah Adam Levine, the feverish masses followed his every laryngeal squeal as his band energetically gallivanted from uptempo heartbreak song “Lucky Strike” to downtempo breakup song “Sad.” At times Coldplay clones, referring particularly to “Daylight,” while on other occasions reminiscent of that band with the twat in the hat.

Thrown in to the mix to the delight of the crowd were the ‘90s Euro-pop homage “The Man Who Never Lied”; “One More Night,” a pseudo-reggae song that au courant middle-of-the-road bands now deem obligatory; and plenty of cock rock guitar licks courtesy of Mormon stringmeister James Valentine.

Thai Residential

And then it happened. The shrill whistle which signals the start of multimillion selling single “Moves Like Jagger” pierced the venue and in the midsts of the euphoria, strobe lights. and all-round juvenile anarchy, I looked down aghast. There it was. My foot. Tapping.

The maniacal public were then treated to a few of the old classics (used in its loosest form) and I tried, in vain, to maintain the momentum from the foot tap a few minutes earlier, but it was no use.

Maroon 5 have never been my cup of tea, closer perhaps to a bowl of vomit or tepid flask of hydrogen cyanide, but credit where credit is due. The energy and audacity displayed by a band lacking so much in originality is admirable and the Bangkok faithful certainly agreed.

A night that will linger long in the memories of all present, I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who dreamt about Adam Levine last night. My fantasy, however, included a squalid basement, rusty hammer and time, plenty of time.


Review by Liam Aran Barnes/Coconuts Bangkok.

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