Bruno Mars – Vector Arena 16/03/14

After bursting onto the music scene in 2010, Bruno Mars has become one of the most successful male artists of our time. On the 16th of March 2014, Mars performed a second sold out show at Auckland’s Vector Arena and managed to break the venue’s attendee record. This would come as no surprise to those who have had the pleasure of seeing Mars perform live.

With a charisma and a talent that is very rare to find these days, Bruno Mars and his band put on such an effortlessly flawless performance that makes it’s difficult to believe that they’ve only been performing together for the past 4 years. Despite dancing and playing his guitar throughout the show, Mars’ vocals did not falter at all. Every note was on point and every moment was beautifully put together. With his trademark retro look, Mars opening the show with a dramatic sheet drop and launched straight into ‘Moonshine’, the title track from his newest album. Following up with a combination of songs from his new album, including ‘Treasure’, ‘If I Knew’ and ‘Show Me’, aswell as old favourites such a ‘Billionaire, ‘Grenade’, ‘Lazy Song’ and ‘Marry You’, Mars had the audience captivated throughout the entire show.

While Mars was undoubtably the star of the night, he allowed for the members of his band to shine as well. Providing some comedic and light-hearted fun, the band interacted with the crowd and each other in a way that was reminiscent of old-school jazz bands. Despite keeping the mood upbeat and carefree throughout most of the set, the most heartfelt moment came when Mars performed ‘When I Was Your Man’ which he declared to be the hardest for him to write and perform. Standing centre stage with a single spot light and tears in his eyes, it was nothing short of breathtaking. Mars puts his heart and soul into both his performances and his music and so it’s not hard to see why he’s become such an acclaimed musician.

A personal highlight saw Mars spice up his raunchy track ‘First Time’ by combining it with covers including ‘Ignition’ by R Kelly and ‘Pony’ by Genuwine. Some who weren’t familiar with the songs beforehand were even left stifled, wondering if these were unreleased tracks of his. Mars has a confidence and the vocal ability to turn every song he sings into his own. Yet, without a doubt the best part of the entire show came with the encore. Returning to the stage by showing off his drumming skills, Mars performed his hits ‘Locked Out Of Heaven’ and ‘Gorilla’. With gold confetti falling from the ceiling and dramatic pyrotechnics, it was one of the best and most exciting encore sets I myself have ever witnessed.

Bruno Mars is a performer unlike anybody else in present day. When it comes to his shows, you are not just getting a concert, you are getting an experience. As his career has continued on an upward slope, so too has his stage presence. He is the embodiment of high-class showmanship and raw talent. If you ever get the chance, make sure you attend one of his shows. You will not regret it.

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