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Maroon 5 & Train Concert ends summer with a blast

By Dagney Palmer

With special guest Gavin Degraw, Maroon 5 and Train exceeded expectations with an incredible performance in Columbia, Maryland.


On the night of August 27th, three bands gathered at Columbia’s Merriweather Post Pavilion to perform for an audience of over 10,000 fans. The main event consisted of performances by Maroon 5 and Train with special guest Gavin Degraw. The pavilion gates opened at 5:30 and the concert lasted well past midnight. This performance was one of the last legs of Maroon 5’s Summer US Tour with Train.
Merriweather Post Pavilion is a beautiful venue with plenty of room and great ambiance. One of the most remarkable things about this particular concert was the great variance in the ages of the audience. Fans from 14 to 40+ years old were in attendance, which proves the music’s ability to withstand time. Die-hard Train fans joined with teenagers who only knew “Save Me, San Francisco,” and kids who only came to hear Gavin Degraw discovered the similar vibe of Maroon 5 and became immediate fans. The other great thing about this concert was the plethora of music performed. From dance-club pop to bluesy soul to classic rock, the bands performed it all.
Gavin Degraw set the mood in the beginning with inspiring vocals and simple instruments for an hour or two. As the stage was being prepared for Maroon 5, the audience went wild. The lights went out completely, throwing the pavilion into darkness. Then a giant “M” appeared on all the screens as the catchy whistling intro to Maroon 5’s new single, “Moves like Jagger,” began to play. Suddenly all the stage lights came on and Adam Levine strutted onstage wearing his characteristic white v-neck and jeans. The next two hours consisted of top hits like “Harder to Breathe,” “Misery,” “Makes Me Wonder,” and “Sunday Morning,” along with a few amazing guitar solos and Adam Levine just being generally sexy all over the stage…
Maroon 5 was forced to return for an encore performance of “She Will Be Loved” after the audience chanted “Encore!” for ten minutes straight. Eventually the exhausted band stumbled backstage as the stage was being prepared for Train. A surprising portion of the crowd left after Maroon 5, allowing the remaining fans to crowd closer to the stage.
As smoke rolled over the stage, Train’s lead singer, Pat Monahan, rose through a trapdoor in the midst of swirling and flashing lights. The reaction to Train’s performance was incredible, especially considering half the crowd had already left. It was obvious the real concert had yet to begin. Train stole the crowd immediately with entrancing music and hypnotic stage effects. Pat Monahan was an amazing performer, using the entire stage and even the entire pavilion. During “Meet Virginia,” Pat took part in a nicely choreographed dance with a bunch of girls.  He then traced his way through the crowd, followed by a team of bodyguards, singing the hit single “Marry Me” (during which a lucky lady in the crowd was proposed to). He had the talent to hold the microphone perfectly with one hand while taking pictures with fans with the other, and intermittently playing some intense harmonica solos. Pat then invited a group of about 15 girls onto the stage to sing “Save Me, San Francisco” with him. 
The highlight of the entire night had to be Train’s performance of “Hey, Soul Sister.” Even though the crowd singing along completely drowned out Pat’s singing, the music and energy were really engaging and memorable. Overall, this concert was absolutely amazing. Plus, Pat Monahan changed his outfit six times throughout the show, which is super impressive.
To give a little background on the bands: Maroon 5 is a pop/alternative band from Los Angelos, California. The band, originally named Kara’s Flowers, began with lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Adam Levine, Jesse Carmichael on keyboard, and bass guitarist Mickey Madden. Kara’s Flowers started out playing music in Jesse’s garage while they were all still in junior high. When drummer Ryan Dusick joined in 1994, the band was complete. Soon the band got signed to a Warner Brothers management company and sold about a thousand records. The band spent the next few years regrouping and writing some new songs, which would eventually appear on the Songs About Jane album, and changed their name to Maroon 5. Madden says on Maroon 5’s website, “As to the origin of the name, it’s a secret, and aside from the five of us only Billy Joel knows its provenance.” (Provenance means origin.)
After Songs About Jane was released (going gold, platinum, and triple platinum in several countries), the band really took off. Over the next ten years, Maroon 5 won two Grammy awards, released four albums, and performed all over the world in front of millions of fans.
The American rock band Train was formed in 1994 in San Francisco, just a few cities away from where Kara’s Flowers was growing famous. The current members include lead vocalist Patrick Monahan, Jimmy Stafford on guitar and vocals, and drummer Scott Underwood. Their debut album, Train, was released in 1998 followed by Drops of Jupiter in 2001, which contained the international hit, “Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me),” that won two Grammy awards in 2002. The album went double platinum in the US and remains the band’s most popular album.
After 2006, Train disappeared from the public eye until their newest and most successful album, Save Me, San Francisco, was released in 2009. The 5 time certified multi-platinum hit “Hey, Soul Sister” made it to number three in the Billboard Top 100 and the album itself is coming close to platinum status.
Gavin Degraw is a New York based vocalists who emerged in 2003 with the platinum album, Chariot, which sold over a million copies and contained three hit singles. Degraw has just released a new album, SWEETER, in which Gavin experimented with some new sounds and genres.

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