SARATOGA SPRINGS - Saratoga Performing Arts Center was hopping Tuesday for a chilly night in August.

Newcomer Sara Bareilles opened the show with a performance one listener called "bubbly and bright."

When Maroon 5 took the stage, singer Adam Levine had the crowd, young and old, in his palm.

The band was spread out, with plenty of room for Levine to run around while a spectacular light show illuminated the stage behind him.

Maroon 5 stayed true to its studio voice during songs like "The Sun" and "Sunday Morning," from its release, "Songs About Jane."

The band kept its set upbeat and jaunty with tracks like "If I Never See Your Face Again," from its latest, "It Won't Be Soon Before Long."

Levine promised the band would be back in the studio soon to record a new album.

Though he carries a tune with the blessing of those who have influenced him, it's easy to forget that Levine isn't just another pretty face in the pop music industry.

Then he shows up behind the mic with a guitar in hand and shreds up a mean solo, worthy of guitar player James Valentine.

The set's highlight came by way of a cover of Chris Isaac's famous "Wicked Game," which segued nicely into the Maroon 5 mega-hit, "Sunday Morning."

After the band ended its set, a man on a cell phone sitting nearby remarked to whomever was on the other end that the performance would be difficult for headliners Counting Crows to top.

The Crows were about to end that notion.

On a stage decked out like a city street, Adam Duritz and company launched into a version of "Round Here" that had him vamping like a Manhattan performance artist.

After performances of "Omaha" and "Mr. Jones," it slowly became clear that Counting Crows intended to perform its debut album, "August and Everything After," cover to cover.

And it did, with endless talent.

Late in the set, Duritz remarked that the "special kind of show" was a tribute to Isaac Hayes, the R&B singer and songwriter, popular for his role as Chef on the cartoon series "South Park," who passed away earlier in the week.

Highlights from the set included a jamtastic version of "Rain King," which had Duritz recalling some of the earlier lyrics of "Mr. Jones" and mingling them with the song's existing lyrics.

A solo Duritz also played a tear-jerking version of "Raining in Baltimore."


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