Sorry, Haters: Maroon 5 Rocked SNL


There’s an elephant in the room sporting some excellent hair gel, so let’s acknowledge it and move on before we dive into Maroon 5’s performance on Saturday Night Live. People lo-ho-hoooooove to hate these guys, the falsetto-favoring, Voice-judging, badly tattooed frontman in particular. Adam Levine is despised for everything from his looks to his unabashed adoration for pop music and whatever color he decides he wants his hair to be this week. He’s the anti-rock god, in that people never accept the music he makes for what it is: it’s always not quite pop or not quite rock and definitely Not [Their] Thing.

See also: Ariana Grande Doesn’t ‘Break Free’ of Mediocrity on Saturday Night Live

Maroon 5’s singles have been in constant rotation on pop radio and the Billboard charts since “Harder to Breathe” dropped in 2002, and they’re there for a reason: sky-high vocals, catchy-to-the-point-of-psychosis hooks and choruses that beg to be belted out in the car with the windows down are all hallmarks of a Maroon 5 production, and even if you hate them, you know Levine’s part in “Stereo Heart.” You goofily shimmy to “Moves Like Jagger” if it comes on at the bar just to show everyone how you really don’t like them. You nod your head along to “Daylight” but IT’S AN ACCIDENT I SWEAR.

As far as their live set goes, Maroon 5 is on point without phoning it in, and they–gasp–weren’t too terrible on the merciless stage at SNL. Like Coldplay and The National before them, Maroon 5 were up against a massive, faceless audience of armchair critics and dedicated foes who would love nothing more than to point and laugh at Levine and Co. should those high notes ingest even more helium or the sound malfunction. At the end of the day, the music isn’t the problem here: the problem with Maroon 5, if any, is celebrity, and the fact that it’s so much easier to despise a band that makes music you only kind of sort of hate when they’re doing (debatably) cheesy things like coaching pop hopefuls on The Voice and starring in chick flicks alongside Kiera Knightley. (It’s not like it’s lost on the band, either: Levine popped into the SNL sketch fray with hostess Sarah Silverman, and dude can laugh at himself alongside everybody else.)

The performances themselves stood on their own, arguably better than their chart contemporaries and tabloid cohorts. “Animals” was far more enjoyable at SNL than its super graphic and gross music video. If you need to scrub the images from “Animals” out of the creases of your brain, the SNL version could help, if only because it gives you a look at Levine when he isn’t pulling an American Psycho and bathing in blood.

Unlike their pop contemporaries, Maroon 5 actually made the SNL stage work for them, even if they did kind of rip off the Police and Sting in the process. The live vibe was present and accounted for, Levine didn’t hit a single bad note and the most offensive quality of the performance was that of his weird waltz with the microphone. This is an actual band with chops performing, not a vanity project fronted by a man with a Hollywood mission. You’d think the vitriol reserved for Maroon 5 would be catered towards an act of the latter variety.

How’d the rest of the world feel about Maroon 5 on SNL? They weren’t all too forgiving.

First of all, who ARE the other members of Maroon 5?

Please oblige the man, internet.


Bad Denim: more offensive than Levine’s high notes.

Yeah but cookies, though …

But what if Axl’s really into “Moves Like Jagger?” WHAT THEN?!

You’re not my dad.

Because Maroon 5 are people too. Or something.

Maybe “One More Night” could be like a fine wine?

Idk probably science

We LOLd, sorry.

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