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I feel sorry for Gen Y.

Poor things. We Boomers were lucky—our parents didn’t like our music in quite the same way. But in music concerts all over the world these hip young folk are forced to witness the party animal coming out in us old fogies because—let’s face it…they ain’t the only ones that are hip! I took my daughter to the MAROON 5 concert last night at the HP Pavilion in San José. Ooo baby!! It RAWKED!

OK. You probably wanna know this: According to this list recognized by demographers, my daughter is part of Generation Y (born in 1994) or the Millennial Generation, born 1980-2000, after Gen X (1965-1979), which came after the baby boom of Western post-World War II.

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But let’s get back to the whole point of this post: Adam Levine, Jesse Carmichael, James Valentine, Mickey Madden, Matt Flynn and  PJ Morton—as touring member on keys—MAROON 5 did indeed rock last night. Singer Rozzi Crane is on tour with them.

Last night at 7:30 PM sharp the band OWL CITY warmed up for NEON TREES who then warmed up for the main event. Then we waited  as the stage was transformed. Around 9:30 the lights  went low as 16,000+ screams lifted the roof.

Next we heard only the amplified sound of coins being swallowed up by an old fashioned “Pay Phone” (2012). Screams escalated (which I didn’t even think was possible through my ear plugs) when we saw the band appeared silhouetted on the gargantuan cloth screen used for projections by the warm up bands. Then, in one fell swoop the cloth disappeared—Cirque du Soleil style—up and off into the wings.

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From that point on with mind-blowing lights and projections—including rain, fire, ocean, and of course the band members bigger than life—MAROON never let us down. They moved through hit after hit after hit, including “She Will Be Loved” (the 2002 hit that launched them), “One More Night” and “Daylight” (2012), “Stereo Hearts (2011)” and sent us home with “Moves Like Jagger” (2010). This is popular music I can handle; great beat, poetic, cool lyrics, and most importantly: no need to bleep out curse words.

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Of course these days we see the stage above or through a forest of arms holding cell phones and iPads (for goodness sake) like the woman directly in front of us. Finally had to tell her I paid too much money for dem tickets to have her blocking our view with an iPad—taking video! What happened to relaxing, being in the moment, like the size 16 woman on my left: 50-something with a size 6 teenager trapped in her body, flashing back to the Grateful Dead.  Almost non-stop jumping with flailing arms, the bingo flap of her upper arms keeping beat with every song. She enjoyed herself, that’s for sure.

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I enjoyed myself, too. Was even able to let the following racial infraction by Adam Levine roll off like dirt from the back of Farmer John’s mule (well, not quite that easily, but…): Levine took a video camera around for close-ups of band members as he did introductions. When he came to touring member, PJ Morton—the sole black musician on stage—Levine asked him to smile. Yep. He did. Of course he didn’t ask any of the white guys to smile. At firt, rightfully, Morton chose not to and Levine asked him AGAIN! Morton then grinned for the camera. I know. I’m wondering, too…WHAT the bleep was that about? Gen Y doesn’t see the problem, so that’s where Boomers still have work to do.

But I can let go of that. There are a lot worse things 16,000 people could be doing together. And, as I told my kid on the drive down: this is the last time I can go to a Maroon 5 concert with her while she’s in high school. She just laughed. . .

We had fun!

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All stage photos by: Miranda Roehrick

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