Maroon 5 in Abu Dhabi: band delight fans as they take to the stage at Etihad Arena

The US pop band made their Abu Dhabi debut on Friday night as part of their Middle East tour

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Maroon 5 made their Abu Dhabi debut on Friday evening, with their highly anticipated concert at Yas Island's Etihad Arena.

Fresh from their show at the Giza Pyramids in Egypt on Tuesday, the US band took to the stage in the capital as part of the Middle East leg of their world tour.

The night was opened with a lively set from DJ Mailbox to warm up the crowd, followed by a performance from Jordanian sensation Issam Alnajjar, who played viral hit Hadal Ahbek.

Omar Badar, 19, came to concert with three friends. He said he was excited to be back at his first live show since the pandemic.

“I think it will be a good show,” he said. “It’s a cool arena and I’m excited for them to come on.”

Chloe O’Shea, 24, drove from Dubai for the event.

“I love Maroon 5 so I’m excited,” she said. “I bought tickets as soon as it was announced.”

Fans excited to see Maroon 5 live at the Etihad Arena, Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. Khushnum Bhandari / The National

Lead singer Adam Levine energetically burst onto stage, dressed in a grey silk shirt and casual blue shorts, diving straight into 2010 hit Moves Like Jagger, which led straight into early favourite This Love, during which he performed an impressive guitar solo.

“How you doing Abu Dhabi?” he screamed, before heading into Stereo Hearts, as colourful graphics played on the screen behind him.

Ahead of the show, the band spent some time enjoying Abu Dhabi's sights, including taking cars for a spin around Yas Marina Circuit.

Speaking to The National ahead of the show, the band's keyboardist and Grammy-winning solo artist PJ Morton said visiting Abu Dhabi was a special experience.

"This is our first time in Abu Dhabi and it's always cool to see new places and buildings," he said. "I know the guys took some cars around the F1 race track. We know how special these experiences are and we don’t take it for granted.”

He also talked about the band's Egypt concert, describing the experience as "better than the Super Bowl."

“In my opinion, I have to say that it was bigger than playing at the Super Bowl,” he said, referring to the group’s 2019 Super Bowl 53 half-time show, which was broadcast to more than 100 million viewers.

"I have to say that the Pyramids was better because the Super Bowl show goes so fast. It's about 12 minutes and it feels like a blur," he said.

The band's lead singer, Adam Levine, also spoke about experience earlier this week during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. "It's not one of the things that you think of as a musician that is feasible or possible because it seems so out of this world to do it," he said. "It's also rarefied air in that they don't just let anyone do it.”

The Middle East leg of the tour will conclude with a show at Tel Aviv’s Hayarkon Park on Monday.

Updated: May 06, 2022, 6:18 PM