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Maroon 5, the three-time Grammy Award-winning American quintet, made Friday night's edition of the Jamaica jazz and Blues Festival an unforgettable affair, stunning fans at the Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium with a blazing performance laced with high energy, class and charisma.
Blending their sleek, crisp and engaging style, they simply mesmerised with the pleasing mix of pop, R&B and sometimes 'jazzy' funk, which had their teenage fans and other young-at-heart patrons regally entertained during their impressive 75 minutes of musical blitz, in which very few major hits were spared.
Taking the stage to deafening screams at 12:30 a.m., the group's lead singer, Adam Levine, opened with a dazzling rendition of the song, Misery; and as the screams grew louder and the onstage jamming, which featured impressive instrumental work, got more engaging, songs like, If I Never, Harder to Breathe, The Sun and Won't Go Home, kept driving fresh energy into the performance.
With the fans joining in with rhythmic handclaps, catcalls and bouts of competitive singalongs initiated by Levine, songs such as the soulful classic, Secret, which got incredible instrumental support; She Will, Wake Up Call, Stutter and their closing number, This Love, had the crowd in awe, especially during the segments in which the stirring guitar strains and pulsating drum beats took over from the vocal offerings.
When Maroon 5 initially departed the stage after one hour, the screaming teens, especially some hanging precariously over the security rails, all but forced them back on stage for an encore.
Despite the obvious strain of the performance (perspiration was everywhere), the group obliged in fine style, returning to centre stage to seal their incredible set with extended offerings of, Makes Me Wonder and Sunday Morning.
Prior to the magic of Maroon 5, the performances were generally good, but not compelling.
Regina Belle was quite soulful and engaging as she reminded older patrons of the captivating power of R&B, while the more youthful trio, the energetic SWV (Sisters with Voices) demonstrated that the future of blues was in safe hands.
Belle, looking a picture of elegance in full black, showed why she has won four R&B/pop Grammy awards with a most pleasing performance, in which she wrapped her amazing voice around memorable hits like, Dream in Colour, I Hope He Understands and the super sweet Lazy Afternoon.
The classy American songbird, who took time out of her performance to share her experiences of parenting and motherhood with other mothers, had the fans in her corner all the way. She must have felt quite satisfied with the ovation she got when she sealed her well-received set with Nancy Wilson's If I Could, and her own, thought-provoking Baby.
SWV came chockful of positivity and from their opening number to their blazing encore, Weak, their rich gospel-flavoured styling, which was supported by crisp roots melodies, had the patrons rooting for them. The physical and vocal treatment they gave to a male patron, who they had invited on the stage, added an extra burst of energy to the performance.
It was both sexy and soulful as SWV worked their way through songs such as All about You, Don't Waste Your Time and You Are the One, which clearly set the stage for the encore the patrons later demanded. Earlier, they had elicited generous roars after dedicating the song, The Way You Are, to the memory of the late king of pop, Michael Jackson.
Of the other performances, the group, The Tavares, nattily attired in silver and white, made a bold statement as they combined practice-perfect dance moves with strong vocals and rich melodies.
It was an interesting experience for the fans as the group rolled effortlessly through songs such as Fall in Love, Whose Done It, She is Gone and their first big hit, Check It Out.
The media missed some of the earlier performances, such as Blue Grass and Jimmy Graham, because there were security issues.