Date: July 25, 2013
City: San Jose, CA
Venue: SAP Center
Artist: Bruno Mars
Opening Act(s): Ellie Goulding
I have generally been on the fence about Bruno Mars’ music. After seeing both of his Grammy performances I decided I had to see him live. I thought that it would most likely be a fun show. I wasn’t wrong.
Being that Bruno Mars was born in Hawaii; the curtain to his stage was a Hawaiian backdrop with gold palm trees. We all waited in anticipation for the curtain to drop. The show stared with “Moonshine” and then moved to “Natalie”. After “Natalie” Bruno said something similar to “Now you know you all came here to dance. You can’t dance when you are recording the show so put down your cameras and phones and dance.” You can’t help but dance at a Bruno Mars show. The music is catchy and the energy of Bruno and his band is infectious. The guitarist and bassist worked the ‘pop outs’ from the stage to get closer to the crowd and get us all going. They would all gather together to dance in unison, yet each also shines on their own.
At one point during the show Bruno Mars selected one lady in the audience to talk to. As he looked around there was one girl he was initially going to choose until he saw her ‘big’ boyfriend. Bruno said he didn’t want to get involved in that drama even with the boyfriend trying to lift his girlfriend over the railing to get her on stage. Bruno ended up selecting a lady that didn’t come with a boyfriend. He didn’t bring her up on stage but talked to her in a sweet soft voice and then had members from his band talk to her to see who had more game. Bruno’s backup singer, Phillip Lawrence, definitely had the best game. Bruno then told the other girl “That could have been you. Next time leave your boyfriend at home.”
He performed all of the hits you know from radio including “Treasure”, “Billionaire”, “Marry You”, “If I Knew/It Will Rain”, “Nothin’ on You”, and “When I was Your Man”. The only song he didn’t perform was “The Lazy Song”. “Just the Way You Are” was the pre-encore song that ended with a ton of glittery gold confetti. For the encore, Bruno came out playing a set of drums that were raised from underneath the stage. He then performed “Locked Out of Heaven” with all the dance moves from the video. The show closed with “Gorilla” and fire explosives.
This was a fun, vibrant, and exciting show. I love Bruno Mars’ old school style and sound. My only complaint is that the vamping video with the ‘old white guy’ was terrible. I didn’t find it entertaining and there were a ton of ads. I realize someone has to pay the bills, but just playing music between sets would have been so much better.
Ellie Goulding opened up the show. I saw her at Lollapalooza in 2011. Back then she was a girl with a DJ with only “Lights” as a single. This time around she had a band, a back track and three singles that I’ve heard on the radio – “Lights”, “Anything Can Happen” and “Need Your Love”. Sadly I was still not impressed by Ellie Goulding’s performance. With the back track and how soft her voice is I wasn’t sure if/when she was singing. I realize there is big money in touring, but Ellie Goulding is best left in the studio and on the radio.