The Bruno Mars concert was awesome!!!
But… as an avid concert goer who proclaims to only see the greats, and by greats, I mean that elite arsenal of performers that don’t need opening acts, those so coveted there’s no way they would settle for a thirty-minute set as a part of some entourage tour rather they are given top billing at multi-day music festivals, and those who wrote the book on bringing their music to life so their fans have no problem spending lots of money for great seats… I left Bruno’s concert thinking…
There’s room for improvement. It really was a good show, but I have seen some G-R-E-A-T shows! And to use all my euphemisms at once, this show missed the mark, it didn’t cut the mustard, not quite a home run, didn’t hit the nail on the head. It’s just… something was missing.
To start, three things he could do differently:
- Get rid of the opening act, the greats don’t need them.
- Use the opening act time to give us more show because the show was way too short.
- Lose the frivolous extras. The moving stage, the yellow structures that appeared then politely vanished, and those inexplicably gratuitous explosions that kept scaring the little old lady sitting next to me.
Seriously, those explosions, there were just too many of them for no reason. Then, the one opportunity to usefully incorporate explosions, while singing Grenade. There was nothing… not one single explosion. How did his team miss that? Really, talk about a missed opportunity… the name of the song is GRENADE! (explosion!-explosion!-explosion!)
And look… I get that the 24KMagic show is for Bruno to serenade his fans with the new album, which is exactly what he did. But did he have to sing all nine new songs in succession??? I am certain he could have found a way to integrate the new songs with the old songs, especially since his earlier music is better. The girl sitting next to me leaned in and asked, did he sing Gorilla yet? (Because she was late) Unfortunately I had to tell her no and he never did. (And I love that song!) I eventually found myself counting the songs hoping he would just get through them already. For me, the show didn’t start until he sang Marry You.
Don’t get me wrong, Bruno’s show isn’t all doom and gloom. It really was a good show.
(But I have seen G-R-E-A-T shows) The influence of MJ, Prince, and even James Brown was felt all evening. There were actually times when I felt like I was at Prince concert, and that’s no small feat, unfortunately… it went right back to being a Bruno Mars concert. In addition to his musicality and his ability to make a guitar play without touching it (like Prince can), I was super impressed with the unique touches that made this a Bruno Mars concert. Me being the avid concert goer, trust me… I noticed:
- The main screen on stage behind Bruno was used for traditional concert purposes, to give the fans in the back a better visual, graphics, and lighting. But Bruno also used it to display what it looked like from his perspective looking into the audience. And, this wasn’t the ever so common aerial shots of the audience, this was a view of the entire arena from his vantage point on stage. (DOPE!) Seeing the perspective of him looking out into the audience, I immediately thought that his job right now is to say or do something that will keep the fans entertained, make them willing to come back, and hold their interest so they buy the next album. (It worked!)
- The Isley Brothers moment when they got “a little bit softer now” and the entire band laid on the floor and the arena went dark, only to hear the faintest beat in the background as Bruno Mars continued to sing and dance on stage… in the dark!!! It pays to have great seats… (So DOPE!!!)
All in all, Bruno Mars put on a very good concert. After posting on the Facebook that I was attending the Bruno Mars concert, one of my equally inspired by music friends commented that Bruno is the “hottest young talent in the game right now & a real true musician.” He also made a point to add, “since we ain’t got Prince no mo.” The 24K Magic Show was my first Bruno Mars concert, and my friend, a musician himself, is right. Bruno Mars is a talented and true musician. Imagine a show that combines the guitar stylings of Prince, dance moves to bring back memories of MJ, and the riffs of James Brown. It really was music (24K) magic.
Unfortunately my friend, who appreciates great music (so I know he would have loved this show) was right about something else… Bruno Mars is young. Bruno Mars is only 31, which means he may not have had an opportunity to see Prince, MJ, and James on stage live to take copious notes. Fortunately, their legend lives on in videos which Bruno should study, because you can see their influence all over him. It would be helpful if he studied how they mastered the ART of putting on a G-R-E-A-T show. How their shows invoked pure emotions. (MJ literally made people pass out… there will never be another)
I guess that’s what was missing from Bruno’s show, that connection with the crowd…
feelings, passion, awe. But in Bruno, you can see he has potential… the potential to rise to greatness as a musician, song writer, and even, a performer. I am grateful I made the decision to see his show, because again… it really was a good show, and since Bruno is young, he has time to develop. In Bruno, you can clearly see the makings of a young performer on the verge of being great. The audience was a mixture of old and young, diverse ethnicities, with various life experiences, and there was no weed (there’s always the stench of weed at a concert at the Garden), which gives Bruno Mars the following to stand the test of time. The show may have been short but it was good, and at this point, Bruno Mars has enough GREAT music to eliminate the opening act so he can get straight to the point… Bruno.
Despite the negatives, I intend to see Bruno Mars again in concert. I am certain that with growth, experience, and more years in the business, he will turn his good show to GREAT. And what I won’t do is… miss it!!! C’mon back to NYC Bruno… I will be there!!!