Music News

As the Hollywood Bowl turns 100, Maroon 5 guitarist recalls “really special night” at “home venue”

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One hundred years ago today — July 11, 1922 — the Hollywood Bowl officially opened. It’s since gone on to become one of the most iconic venues in the world, and the location of countless famous concerts and live albums. Maroon 5 got to headline the venue for the first time in July 2011, and guitarist James Valentine recalls it being a very meaningful show for the LA band.

“I mean, being a Los Angeles band, it meant so much for us to play the Hollywood Bowl. It was a really special night … for a lot of different reasons — just being there, it’s such a beautiful venue,” James tells ABC Audio. “We also had Stevie Nicks come out as a guest. We did ‘Leather and Lace‘ with her, which was incredible.”

The group’s since played the Bowl a few more times, and James says, “It’s just an amazing feeling because, y’know, I’m at the Hollywood Bowl a few times every year for different shows. So it feels a little bit like a home venue.”

He puts the Bowl right up there with the world’s other famous concert venues Maroon 5 has headlined, including Colorado’s Red Rocks — “a really special one,” James says — plus Washington’s The Gorge, the Forum in LA, Madison Square Garden, London’s Wembley Stadium and Tokyo’s Budokan.

“We’re really fortunate that we’ve played a lot of these these iconic venues, and Hollywood Bowl is definitely on that list,” says James.

Speaking of iconic venues, just a few months ago Maroon 5 performed at the Pyramids in Giza, Egypt.

“That definitely felt very special, too, although it was very windy the night that we played,” James laughs. “So there was a lot of sand flying into my guitar pedals! But we made it through!”

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