Review: Maroon 5/Robin Thicke, SSE Hydro

Fiona McKinlay's verdict: four stars

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  • Adam Levine
    Adam Levine
  • Robin Thicke

With a moustache that looks like it was bought in a joke shop, People magazine's Sexiest Man Alive and Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine was looking a little below par.

A plaid shirt and jeans completed his odd, lumberjack look, his ripped, tattooed arms only becoming more and more exposed as the set went on.

Their entrance was strangely muted, as if Maroon 5 haven't noticed they're worldwide popstars and still think they're some little opening act at Sleazys. Their casual approach only draws the emphasis to their well constructed songs and strong live performance.

Peculiar visualisations cause an unwelcome distraction, particularly during Sunday Morning where unremarkable photos of clouds, a hill and a lamp-post are displayed. The fake fireworks during Moves Like Jagger are almost as disappointing as their puny confetti cannons.

They race through their set with little time for chatter, as the audience watch politely. Things don't even get raucous for their biggest hits, with oldie This Love getting the most notable 'Woo!' of the night.

Their career trajectory is a weird one, having almost disappeared into obscurity in the latter part of last decade. But collaborations with some of pop's finest songwriter producers (Max Martin, Shellback, Benny Blanco) thrust them right back to the top of the charts. It creates an interesting mix in their set between the old traditional Maroon 5 and the big, brash new one. They shine, though, in both modes.

A brief boring patch happens towards the end of their main set, but they pull things back on course with Levine's Gym Class Heroes collab, Stereo Hearts.

After what feels like no time at all, they reach their encore, and bring the house down with a semi acoustic version of She Will Be Loved and a dramatic Daylight.

Earlier, Blurred Lines, Robin Thicke's enormous global hit was met with a surprising amount of disinterest by Maroon 5's predominantly female crowd.

The winner of Sexist Of The Year 2013 climbed down to get up close and personal with the front row for his finale, and surprisingly no one there gave him a punch in the chops from womankind.

Maybe he softened them up with his earlier chat about love and keeping hold of that special someone when you get them in your life.

His cheesy banter was quite spectacular, earlier giving a beauty pageant-esque speech about wanting to live in a 'Dream World'. The childlike idealism perfectly complemented his goofy grin.

Starting his set with an overly grand entrance, donning shades and a trademark suit, Thicke danced around the stage like a wonky Ken doll, singing a good falsetto and playing piano quite a lot.

But his distracting mannerisms and competent band couldn't hide the fact that his songs lack substance. When he gets a hook he likes, he overuses it; and too often his alright songs just go nowhere.

He was neither overtly offensive nor offensively bad, and his female backing singers were even wearing clothes!

As for his tenuous claim to be Scottish via some tenuous ancestry: no thanks, America, you can keep him.

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