As thousands left Stanford Stadium dejectedly following the Cardinal’s loss to Oregon on Saturday night, a fortunate few detoured to Ford Plaza for an exclusive concert featuring Maroon 5.
An enormous white tent housed the event, divided into a stage area and a ritzy, club-like zone with champagne, hors d’oeuvre and a lounge complete with pristine white couches.
Several unnamed Stanford alumni hosted the private, invite-only event titled “Stanford Rocks,” which featured a lineup including newcomer Larissa Ness, who was followed by Maroon 5 and Mötley Crüe‘s Tommy Lee.
As the crowd of about 150 sipped at their drinks, Ness sauntered onstage first and quickly gained attention for her 30-minute set, which included several songs from her upcoming album, “Break the Mold.”
Supported by a ridiculously heavy bass, backup dancers that closely resembled the Pussycat Dolls, a fashion sense and musical style similar to Britney Spears with large amounts of glitter, Ness shone on stage in the most literal sense. However, her powerful vocals and array of musical talents – Ness performed two flute solos and a piano solo during the show – left the crowd cheering for one more song by the end of the set.
But the audience truly came alive as Maroon 5 took the stage an hour into the show, opening its set with the new single “Moves Like Jagger (feat. Christina Aguilera).”
Under neon blue lights and a haze of fog, lead singer Adam Levine strutted across the stage like a glamour model in front of a crowd largely composed of screaming women. Though the California native’s microphone was a bit quiet for the first few songs, Levine was at his vocal best, breaking out his distinctive falsetto in almost every song.
The band performed singles from all three of its studio albums for an hour, including “Sunday Morning,” “Harder to Breathe,” which was remixed with Kanye West’s “Power” for a surprisingly catchy update, “Stutter” and perhaps its most successful hit, “This Love.”
Though Maroon 5 – particularly guitarist James Valentine and drummer Matt Flynn – sounded spectacularly good, all eyes were on Levine. Members of the crowd wrestled with each other for a chance to get to the front and touch his hand, but the singer took it all in stride, throwing out a few jokes between songs.
“When you see singers turn their heads to the side in the middle of a song as if they’re changing the lyrics, like I just did…they actually just have to burp. Now you know all the trade secrets,” Levine said, as he paused to take a sip of water.
After Maroon 5 concluded with the encore ballad “She Will Be Loved,” many fans filtered out. Most, however, stayed for high-energy performer Tommy Lee, who finished out the show with his recent solo work as an electronic disc jockey.
Though a stark contrast from his usual rock sound, Lee’s set was the perfect end to the night. Thoughts of fumbles and interceptions seemed all but forgotten as the crowd, stepping over abandoned “Go Stanford” posters, filtered out of the venue after midnight.