Review: Bruno Mars @ Bell MTS Place
What was I doing three years ago? According to Facebook Memories, exactly three years ago, I was sitting in the MTS Centre watching Bruno Mars, with my Dad.
What did I do tonight? I sat in the MTS Centre and watched Bruno Mars alone, because my Dad is dead.
Crazy how life changes…and how it stays the same.
I clearly remember my Dad really enjoyed the show three years ago and I enjoyed it too. Bruno puts on super entertaining and energetic concerts. But like three years ago, this show irritated me and I’ll tell you why: I don’t know musician’s limits.
I’m not a musician, so when I sing something, I have a 35% chance of singing on key. If I move any part of my body while trying to stay on key, that percentage drops to 0%. Obviously, I haven’t had voice training and I haven’t been working at it my whole life.
I also have never played a trumpet, trombone or saxophone. But I have SEEN people play those instruments and I can tell you, even while standing still, some musicians can’t stay on key. Do you see where I’m going with this?
When I write reviews, I want to be accurate. If parts are pre-recorded, I want to take it for what it is, and write something like “Ooooh, he faked that so gooood.” If it’s not pre-recorded, I want to say, “OMG, I can’t believe he held that note while doing the running man with his horn section (who, by the way, blasted out precise notes the whole time). Such talent!”
Basically, I want to know what’s realistic for a musician to accomplish in a world that’s becoming increasingly unrealistic due to the sophistication of technology. When I watch a Bruno Mars show, this question eats away at me.
Sigh…this never happens to me during jazz shows…
Camila Cabello (from Fifth Harmony), opened the show with “OMG” and then pulled a Kanye and stopped the song in the middle to complain we weren’t loud enough. She encouraged us to “get as loud as when the Jet’s win.” DING! DING! Points for knowing something about the city you’re playing in; I like that.
“Havana” was dedicated to audience member, Michelle who indicated she was Latina and then Camila asked us all to pretend we were in Jamaica. She danced on stage and the camera panned her body, lingering around her bare midriff as she sang “Inside Out”.
“Crying In A Club”, “Know No Better” and “I’ll Never Be The Same” rounded out her set.
Her set was fine, but I’ve never really been partial to this type of music or this type of show, so it wasn’t really for me.
Bruno’s enormous white curtain with the words “Mars” on a gold crown came down over the stage and the audience cheered.
While the crew got ready for Bruno’s set, old skool 90’s hip hop was piped into the arena. I was never into that type of music, but when I heard “Rump Shaker”, my rump was shaking in my chair. That song is as catchy now, as it was 25 years ago.
Spotlights rotated around the arena and the curtain lifted as Bruno and his band took the stage to “Finesse”. The women around me (and one guy) were positively giddy.
Bruno and band were dressed in baseball shirts with “Hooligans” written across the front with matching “XXIV” caps and black pants. Fireworks shot off at the back of the stage during “24K Magic” and the crowd roared their approval.
The horns came out during “Treasure” and everyone in the 300 section stood up.
It was at this point that I decided to stop trying to figure out what was “real” and what wasn’t. I decided to enjoy the show for what it was; an epic dance party in a massive venue.
Bruno strapped on a guitar for “Calling All My Lovelies” and then traded it for a cell phone and proceeded to call one of his “Lovelies” which is when the woman beside me exclaimed to her boyfriend “SO GOOD!” I initially thought it was a bit cheesy, but warmed up to it at the end.
The floor came up during “Chunky” and blocked the drummer, but came down again during “That’s What I Like”. Bruno taught us how to “break it down” during that song, by putting one foot in front of the other and gyrating back and forth.
During “Straight Up & Down”, Bruno graphically showed us how he wanted to have sex with us (oh my!) and then it was straight into “Versace On The Floor”.
“Marry You” was the cue for a guy in the 6th row to propose to his girlfriend. Bruno congratulated them and the camera panned over to a couple who were having the time of their lives and smiling from ear to ear. I guess she said “yes”.
A cool drum solo started my favourite song of the evening. “Runaway Baby” was an energetic, sensory over-loaded performance which got progressively quieter and quieter until it was just Bruno dancing by himself on stage. Everyone cheered and the women behind me giggled uncontrollably. The song got louder and louder and ended explosively. It was phenomenal. I loved it!
Everyone left the stage and Bruno sang “When I Was Your Man”, while the crowd sang it back to him.
A twinkling piano solo gave the rest of the band a break and then it was right into “Grenade” and more pyro.
The set ended with “Just The Way You Are” which Bruno dedicated to me (and everyone else in the arena). We sang it back to him and he intro’d his band before leaving the stage.
Bruno left his two most popular singles for the encore. Twenty-four thousand pounds of gold confetti shot out of cannons on the floor and blanketed everyone in the lower section during “Locked Out Of Heaven”.
Then firefighters sprayed Bruno’s feet with fire extinguishers during “Uptown Funk”. The curtain went down as the song ended and that was it.
The lights came on and I watched kids jump into the confetti and roll around as the rest of the audience exited the building.
So, three years later (to the day), Bruno Mars still puts on energetic, worth-my-money shows. Once I stopped analyzing everyone’s performance, I really enjoyed it.
Most of these pics are courtesy of my fabulous friends, Kim & Amber; who were sitting much closer to the stage than I was and looked amazing in their sparkly outfits. Thanks Ladies!
TicketMOMster is a Rock and Jazz-loving Mom; single-handedly keeping Ticketmaster alive in Winnipeg. Follow her musical journey here: www.facebook.com/TicketMOMs