The excitement of breaking in a new casino venue, Revel's Ovation Hall, was equal to the excitement generated by a sold-out crowd of more than 5,000 people taking in the recently minted superstar pop-rock band Maroon 5.

The popularity of Maroon 5 exploded last year with the group's lead singer Adam Levine received nationwide exposure as of the judges on the NBC-TV reality TV singing competition "The Voice."

The first concert in a brand new venue went off like clockwork as Maroon 5 hit the stage right on time at 10 p.m.

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The band was a good choice to test the brand new sound system as Levine's voice could clearly be heard as he was singing such hits as "This Love" and the softer "Sunday Morning."

The concert turned into a giant sing-along, which was possible because the crowd could understanding every word Levine was saying, even though many undoubtedly had memorized the words to all the hits by heart.

The multi-colored lights were roving all over the stage, and the little instrumental jam that the band did at the end of the song "This Love" went over well also.

Maroon 5 was the first band to play inside Ovation Hall, which was setup to let the fans get as close as possible to the action by having it be standing-room only on the floor section of the venue.

Black drapes used to close off some unused seats matched the predominantly burgundy and black color scheme used in the balcony section of the venue.

All seats offer an unobstructed view of the performers, and people were in all four of the venue's VIP boxes by the time Maroon 5 came on.

One of the reasons to build a new casino and a concert venue was to attract new customers to the resort.

This type of visitor was in evidence in the crowd Friday night.

Reen Letizio, 47, of Ambler, Pa., had never been to Atlantic City previously. She drove two and half hours with her husband and her 16-year-old daughter to see Maroon 5.

"I'm a fan of Maroon 5. I have seen them before. This is my third time," Letizio said. "They are awesome. I watch 'The Voice' because of Adam Levine.'

Letizio said the venue and the casino were classy. She and her husband had what they described as "great pizza" at Lugo's. The evening left Letizio vowing that she would return to Revel.

Opening act Javier Colon, the first person to win "The Voice"

competition also tested the quality of the sound as soon as he hit the stage. He sang an acoustic version of Adele's hit "Someone Like You,"

which had the audience singing along.

Located on The Mezz level of the casino, the 5,050-capacity Ovation Hall looks more like a traditional theater than any other venue of its size in the city. The multi-purpose performance space was inspired by the Colosseum at Caesars Palace Las Vegas.

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