Early this century, the band was still pretty much unknown, touring in the shadows as a support act for Matchbox Twenty types. It had a new name in Maroon 5, a new guitarist in James Valentine, and a debut album, Songs About Jane, that was off to a slow start.
You are watching: Maroon 5 @ blue cross arena in rochester, ny, blue cross arena, march 5
Touring through Western New York in 2002, it stayed at the Irondequoit home of the parents of its road manager, Ron Mesh.
“We were broke. We couldn’t afford hotel rooms,” Valentine says. “I remember sleeping in Ron’s childhood bedroom.”
A good road manager knows how to keep the guys well-fed, where to find food value for your dollar. Wings at Richmond’s. “Still some of the best sauce I’ve ever had,” Valentine says.
A lot’s happened since then. By 2004, Songs about Jane had climbed into the Billboard magazine Top 20. It won a 2005 Grammy for Best New Artist and another Grammy in 2005 for “This Love” as Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.
Maroon 5 didn’t release another album until five years later. That’s rolling it and smoking it right down to the seeds and stems. There are more than 10 million copies of Songs About Jane out there now.
And lots of hit singles since then. “Makes Me Wonder,” and the electro-sizzle of “Moves Like Jagger” with Christina Aguilera. Maroon 5 moves a lot of digital music.
And we’ve watched lead singer Adam Levine elevated to pop-god status, with People magazine seizing on his stubbled jaw to declare him the World’s Sexiest Man as Levine took a seat as a coach for the aspiring singers of NBC’s reality talent show, The Voice.
This band has come a long way since crashing for the night at the Mesh house. Been too long, in some respects. “It’s been years since I’ve had a proper Garbage Plate,” Valentine says.
Maroon 5 can make up for lost culinary opportunities when it returns to Rochester for a March 5 show at the Blue Cross Arena.
Valentine has watched the changes that come with success, not only in sleeping accommodations, but also in the ways that the band functions.
“When I joined the band back in 2001, Jesse and Adam were doing the songwriting,” he says; Jess is Jesse Carmichael, the band’s keyboardist. “They had already been working together since junior high. I came in with kind of a fresh new voice. New ideas, with riffs and stuff.
“And we were used to do everything ourselves. Then we got to the point of songs like ‘Moves Like Jagger’ when we had to say, ‘OK, maybe there is something to injecting some new life into it.’ ”
It wasn’t just the one-time hookup with Aguilera. Now the band was working with co-writers and producers. And ‘Moves Like Jagger’ was a dance-club sound that wasn’t really Maroon 5. But Levine needed a bigger setting for his expanding universe. And there was no arguing with the fact that the song was good. And a huge hit.
If you go
What: Maroon 5, Tinashe and R. City.
When: 7:30 p.m. March 5.
Where: Blue Cross Arena.
Tickets: $126, $80.50, $50.50 and $30.50 available at livenation.com, ticketmaster.com, (800) 745-3000 and the arena box office at 1 War Memorial Way.