Maroon 5 says “technical difficulties” were to blame for their strangely lackluster performance at the Viña del Mar festival in Chile on Thursday.
Singer Adam Levine seemed distracted and uncomfortable throughout his group’s set, which was broadcast live on television.
The star was “cold, reluctant and concerned,” observed La Tercera de Santiago newspaper.
Broadcast live on Chilean television, the ensemble lasted just over an hour, with the group playing a truncated ensemble of 15 songs.
A video filmed as Levine left the stage was uploaded to social media and showed her to complain: “It was a TV show. It was not a concert.”
Quarantine explained later that the sound problems “had an impact on my behavior on stage, which was unprofessional and I apologize”.
The name of Maroon 5 evolved on social media during the concert, with many viewers criticizing their performance.
“Adam looks awful and doesn’t have the moves like Jagger at all,” wrote Angelica while watching the show in Nuevo, Chile.
“I love your music, but your show at Viña del Mar was disrespectful to all the fans who paid and waited to see you live,” Ray Beron wrote on Twitter.
“Ugly show” wrote another Twitter user in Santiago. “I haven’t seen such a lack of professionalism in quite a while. There is no excuse for doing such a bad job.”
Even politicians got involved. Francisco Undurraga, vice-president of the Chilean Evópoli party, born without three of its members, tweeted: “I apologize for the self-reference but Adam Levine has less voice and soul than my right arm.”
- Chile protests opening night of Mar music festival
Others were more forgiving.
“Her voice is shaking,” observed a fan. “Maybe something happened in his private life, we have to be empathetic.”
A message from Chilean actress and singer Denise Rosenthal has been retweeted 3,600 times, after claiming that Levine had “asked no one to look him in the face [and] turned to face the wall“as he entered and left the place.
The Chile International Song Festival in Viña del Mar is the oldest music festival in Latin America and combines live performances with a Eurovision-style song contest and other awards.
Before the event, Maroon 5 had asked to play its set without interruption, receiving its “seagull” prizes behind the scenes instead of the live TV broadcast.
It was not an unusual turn of events, according to local media reports that artists like Morrissey and Calle 13 have made similar requests in the past.
More problematic was their late arrival on stage, which forced television presenters María Luisa Godoy and Martín Cáracamo to “fill up minutes that have become eternal for those present,” reported CHV News.
When they finally appeared, Levine was “clearly uncomfortable” and “her face showed no interest,” said CHV in its review. When the crowd sang to sing She Will Be Loved, the singer commented, “Well, if you want to do my job, go ahead.”
In a statement to the BBC, representatives of the group explained the difficult circumstances surrounding the show.
“Before their arrival in Chile, Maroon 5 was informed by their representatives of the civil unrest in the country,” said the press release.
“Despite this, the group insisted on going ahead and playing the show for their fans.
“Unfortunately, during the performance, the group encountered many technical difficulties throughout the performance, including problems with the monitor and with the two of Adam Levine in their ears”, referring to the headphones that most of the artists wear on stage to allow them to hear music.
“It created a very difficult situation for the group to deliver their normal show. The group loves its Chilean fans.”
Levine also posted a two-minute apology on Instagram, which you can see below.
Images of the concert seem to confirm the group’s account. Although Levine was rarely offside, her voice sometimes seemed hesitant or shy during the first songs.
Things got better as the show continued, especially with the 2004 song Sunday Morning, which came to life with a fiery solo by guitarist James Valentine.
Videos from inside the Quinta Vergara arena also suggest that the audience of 15,000 people had a better time than those watching at home.
Known colloquially as “El Monstruo” (The Monster) for its ability to decide the fate of an artist, the crowd sang enthusiastically on hits like Payphone and Moves Like Jagger; and screamed in appreciation when Levine pulled a Chilean flag out of his pocket during Makes Me Wonder.
The start of the Vina 2020 festival was marked by violent clashes between the police and anti-government demonstrators; with masked protesters attacking shops and the O’Higgins Hotel, where many of the festival’s technical teams resided.
Although the opening ceremony of the red carpet was abandoned, the concerts took place in a context of increased security. Before Maroon 5, Ricky Martin and Pablo Alborán were among the headliners earlier this week.
Puerto Rican star Ozuna will close the festival on Friday evening.
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