These bands sure came to rock! Freedom Hall was packed and the fans came to have fun!
Matt Nathanson, best known for his song "Come On Get Higher," showed off his strong, energetic voice and fun personality. He covered Florence and The Machine's "The Dog Days Are Over" and broke into a bit of Soft Cell's "Tainted Love" while singing "Queen of (K)nots." He even asked the audience who else had tried the Krispy Kreme burger at the fair! A highlight was "Modern Love", the title track from his CD released in June of this year. He closed his set with "Faster," also from the latest CD.
Amidst some costume changes and lots of backing musicians and a variety of instruments including electric cello, tambourine and Cuban box drums, Train lead singer Pat Monahan sure knew how to work the crowd, wearing his trademark skin tight straight leg jeans. He brought a crowd of 35-40 girls onto the stage, had them put on "Soul Sister" t-shirts and help him sing the chorus of "She's On Fire." At one point, he asked the crowd to hold up their cell phones and he took a picture saying, "I'll tweet it to you!" All of the crowd favorites were included: "Meet Virginia," "Calling All Angels," "Hey Soul Sister" (complete with ukulele accompaniment) "Marry Me", "Parachute," and the tribute to the band's hometown, "Save Me, San Francisco." During this song, the big screen over the stage showed images from San Francisco, but toward the end, the crowd roared when they showed pictures of the "Welcome to Kentucky" sign, Churchill Downs, Cardinal Stadium, and the Louisville skyline. A nice touch! Many times, he had the crowd swaying and singing along to favorite song lines like "I won't give up if you don't give up," and "I've been yes, and I've been oh, hell no!" A few times, the band broke into interesting bits of Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love," Blondie's "Heart of Glass," and U2's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For." Other highlights of the show were the cover of Rihanna's "Umbrella" and Pat Monahan running through crowd up to the 200 sections and back while singing "Marry Me." The encore was "Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)" from their 2001 album. This song won a Grammy Award for Best Rock Song. This show was just as good if not better than their performance at Hullabaloo (RIP).
Women throughout Freedom Hall were anxious for Maroon 5, specifically Adam Levine, to take the stage. They opened the show with their hit, "Moves Like Jagger," which premiered on the show "The Voice" (where Adam Levine was a judge). Levine and Monahan have the same quirky style, from the tight pants to the awkward dance moves -- but, somehow, they both manage to look very cool. Maroon 5's show was jam-packed with their numerous sing-a-long hits: "Harder to Breathe," "Sunday Morning, "Won't Go Home Without You," "Wake Up Call, "Stutter," "This Love", and "She Will Be Loved." Maroon 5 has some awesomely talented guitarists, so it was nice to see them get some attention. Levine and Maroon 5 never failed to have the audience completely submersed in the music, singing every song word for word. The last time I saw Maroon 5 was in Lexington with Kris Allen and VV Brown, also a good show. But I think the Freedom Hall crowd was more into it.
Although most people only know Train as "Pat Monahan" and Maroon 5 as "Adam Levine," we must give huge kudos to the talented musicians that backed them up and help make these groups a success.
This concert was a long one, starting promptly at 8pm....and I got home after 1am. But it was well worth it.
Photo: Alice Robinson