In 2013, I saw Bruno Mars on the ‘Moonshine Jungle’ tour and knew that if he ever toured again – I HAD to go. Last year when he announced his ’24K Magic’ tour dates, my heart sank a little when I realised that I was away in Singapore for most of his UK dates. When I looked closer, I saw that I was able to go to Manchester, so hope was not lost. When tickets went on sale I was lucky enough to get them, I knew I had to go by train. I couldn’t face driving after it took me 6 hours back in October to see Justin Bieber. The only stress I had this time was trying to sell my friends’ ticket who unfortunately couldn’t come with me as she had a sickness bug. After numerous attempts to sell the ticket online, I managed to sell it to someone in the hotel I was staying in (unfortunately, for far less than face value).
I arrived at the venue about two songs before the end of Bruno’s support act, Anderson Paak and The Free Nationals. Although I didn’t hear their entire set, they seemed pretty good. I’ve got to be honest though, I was only there to see the main man, Mr Mars! I’d already looked at the set list and he was due to come on stage at 9pm.
Was it any good?
At around 9.10pm the lights dipped and the crowd screamed but then the lights came back on. False alarm! This resulted in the crowd beginning to boo. Finally, at 9.30pm, the curtains dropped and the crowd erupted as Bruno opened the show with ‘Finesse’, one of the many tracks he performed from his album ’24K Magic’. I couldn’t believe how massive the stage was, but I suppose it had to be to allow room for the various props he had throughout the show.
Despite being 30 minutes late, Bruno made up for it with his energetic performances of tracks such as ‘Treasure’, ‘Chunky’ and his latest single ‘That’s What I Like’ which has recently become his seventh Billboard Hot 100 Number One song. The man oozes funkiness and his talent is endless. Having already seen him 4 years ago, I’d experienced him showcasing his musical abilities. Dancing, singing and playing the guitar, he performed note-perfect and didn’t once appeared breathless or having to rely on any backing track.
Of course, his band The Hooligans were phenomenal as always and joined in with numerous dance routines. which were choreographed, yet seamless. Bruno continued to engage the Manchester crowd as we all sang and danced the night away. His stripped back version of ‘If I Was Your Man’ was a perfect example of his vocal abilities and must have been pretty special for him to hear 20,000+ people singing back to him. This also gave the crowd the opportunity to put their flashlights on and wave their phones around simultaneously
Bringing the set to a close with yet another Bruno classic ‘Just The Way You Are’, he left the stage momentarily before finishing off the set list with ‘Locked Out Of Heaven’ and ‘Uptown Funk’ which had us all back up out of our seats dancing. After 1.5 hours of singing and dancing, I was shattered but still left wanting more. “Thank you Manchester, we’ll be back soon,” he said before leaving the stage for the final time. Yeah, you said that last time and it’s been 4 bloody years! Please don’t leave it that long next time. Bruno continues his UK tour in Leeds followed by Sheffield before leaving for Amsterdam. If you’ve got tickets to see him, you will have a night of pure 24k Magic.