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By Richard Sandrok|  Comment(s)

Maroon 5::House of Blues Chicago::6/24/10

I’m not a big fan of Maroon 5′s music. There, I said it. Best to get it out of the way first.

I certainly won’t claim to dislike them, but it’s not my style. I’m just indifferent. I also know the difference between music I don’t care for and music that is bad. Maroon 5 may not be my style, but they do not, by any means, create slop. I couldn’t help but notice their on-stage execution was flawless without being rigid. To put it as succinctly as I can — they have fun on stage and they do it without missing a beat.

Last night’s show was a promotional event for “Company X” brought to us by “Company Y”. In it, the band played several songs from their upcoming album, Hands All Over. Company X will be airing this in about a month. Their crowd was very in to the new stuff, so if you’re a fan, time to start your Googling. The program is called “Soundcheck” and it’s brought to you by the largest retailer in the world. ‘Nuff clues?

All those guys know how to do what they do very well. I was particularly impressed with Mickey Madden’s bass playing in relation to drummer Matt Flynn’s right foot. Making a rhythm section tight like that is why people spend hours in editing lining everything up in a DAW. They do it live. So I’m going to give credit where credit is due: I can respect them even if I’m not going to run out and buy a record. Added plus: everyone I’ve met with the camp has been a pleasure.

There is a saying that personality goes a long way. I first met the band and crew when we were doing an ad shoot for Shure. In that day with them they impressed me as nice guys — funny, approachable and not pretentious, which can unfortunately be a little rare when artists have achieved the level of popular success they have. Nearly fifteen million records sold worldwide is certainly nothing to sneeze at. Many a musician that got there have let that go straight to their heads. Not these guys.

There was another treat with this show. Bill Sheppell is an engineer I’ve known ever since I started this job. I met Bill early in this decade when he was FOH for Korn. Since I’ve known him he’s done only what we can solidly call “A-Level” acts, among them ZZ Top, Mellencamp, Prince, MJ…as in Michael Jackson. Yeah. He’s the guy that got that call. Listening to him mix is just flat-out fantastic. I’m pretty sure he could make wax paper, a copper coil and a rolled up kitchen magnet sound good. Here’s hoping it’s not too long before he’s in town again.

Richard

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