Maroon 5's Adam Levine sings (but this wasn't taken at Target  Center)

Associated Press photo

Why was Maroon 5 playing an arena in the Twin Cities on Thursday night? That makes about as much sense as the Maroon-and-Gold Gophers trying to play Big 10 football.
Part of the explanation is tradition. Maroon 5, winners of the Grammy for best new artist in 2005, have played three (previous) times at Target Center and a similar number of shows at Xcel Energy Center (some gigs were as openers, others as headliners). But M5 didn’t belong Thursday at Target Center, where a crowd of maybe 5,000 showed up.
Even though frontman Adam Levine gave one of his best Twin Cities performance ever, this Maroon 5 show was not geared for an arena. The L.A. sextet (an extra keyboardist is on tour) didn’t have big effects (unless you count  a disco ball) that demanded to be in arena. Neither the group’s music nor its stage manner project big. And the group’s month-old third album, “Hands All Over,” is not exactly selling like Eminem. (“Hands” fell out of the Top 10 after only two weeks.)
This concert would have been better suited for Northrop Auditorium on the campus where the Gophers try to play Big 10 football.
Levine was a charming frontman, friendly, loose-limbed and all over the stage. And he was in fine voice, that appealing blue-eyed soul tenor with its sweet falsetto. He sounded soulfully sexy on a faithful rendition of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” (in the set list instead of the usual cover of Alicia Keys’ “If I Ain’t Got You”). And he smoothly slid from his soulful croon of “Secret” into Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got To Do with It.” Highlights, though, had to be the Maroon 5 hits “She Will Be Loved”and “Sunday Morning,” the breezy falsetto number that closed the 85-minute show.
Here is the set list:
Misery/ If I Never See Your Face Again/ Harder To Breathe/ Give a Little More/ The Sun/  Won’t Go Home Without You/ Secret > What’s Love Got To Do with It (Tina Turner)/ Let’s Stay Together (Al Green)/ She Will Be Loved/ Wake Up Call/ Shiver/ Stutter/ This Love ENCORE Makes Me Wonder/ Sunday Morning

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