It was a bit of an ordeal (which I chronicled on Feb. 6), but in the end, I had in my possession one of the hottest tickets for the 2014 concert season.
Then came the waiting. The Moonshine Tour wouldn’t hit the Bay Area for the first time until May 28 (he’s coming back to San Jose Aug. 15, and yes, the show is sold out).
I passed the time by memorizing all the songs on Doo-Wops & Hooligans and Unorthodox Jukebox. I watched all his videos on You Tube a few times.
Well, depending on your definition of few, I may have watched them more than 10 times each.
Monday arrived and the anticipation of the show started taking over my life. I created a Bruno Mars playlist on my iPod, playing it every chance I had.
I’m sure my neighbors were sick hearing him, but that was none of my concern.
Wednesday’s passing of Dr. Maya Angelou tempered my spirit – but only for a moment. As I reflected on her life, I realized Dr. Angelou was a woman who lived her life to the fullest at every moment.
And I planned to enjoy each and every solitary second of Bruno Mars.
At 9:30 p.m., the Oracle Arena in Oakland fell dark and the screaming commenced. Even though the stage was surrounded by a black and gold palm tree designed curtain, from my upper-level seats, I had a great vantage point and could see through the openings on the side.
Once I saw movement, I went into a zone.
With strobe lights flashing and drum beats and gorilla sounds permeating the air, out strolls Bruno and his Hooligans singing Moonshine.
And the rest of the show is mostly a blur for me. I tried really hard to pay close attention so I could come back and write a blow by blow for you all.
But once Bruno said, “This is what we came to do tonight, we came to get ya’ll moving, get ya’ll shaking, get ya’ll sweating. Maybe we could get you to put your camera phones down and you dance with us. Can we try that tonight?” I found myself obeying his request.
I danced. I sweated. The more I danced, the faster the sweat came.
Oh, and I also sang every song I knew at the top of my lungs.
It’s a challenge to have a good time at a show when you are simultaneously taking notes, photos and video (which I managed to do a little of), but for once, I stayed focused on just having myself a plain old good time.
Bruno’s show was everything I anticipated – high energy, full of fun and lots of dancing.
What stands out for me about Bruno is his apparent love for a wide-range of music. This 28 year old is more than a pop star; his show spans across musical genres, including soul, rock, dance, reggae and old school. “I named my first album Doo-Wops & Hooligans because that’s the music I grew up on,” he said.
It’s apparent he’s been influenced by the likes of Ray Charles, and he’s borrowed more than a few moves from James Brown.
During the performance of his song Our First Time, he switched it up and mixed in Ginuwine’s Pony and R. Kelly’s Ignition (Remix).
And the crowd went bananas.
Bruno is beyond just singer; he’s a musician, grabbing the guitar several times throughout the night (while singing Marry You, he added the guitar riff from Prince’s Purple Rain at the end of the song), and he also has mastered the drums, which Bruno showcased during the Gorilla encore.
A friend tweeted the following during the performance, and I think it’s a great summation of the show, “@BrunoMars is an amazing performer with a authentic respect for all genres and periods of music. He’s rocking The TOWN tonight!!”
I could only find one flaw with this concert – the music over-powered Bruno’s vocals. I hope that was not intentional.
So by all means, if you are able to snag these hard-to-come-by tickets, do yourself a favor and spend the money! If the opportunity presents itself, I will be there – ready to sing, dance and sweat my ass off once again.
Setlist: Moonshine, Natalie, Treasure, Money (That’s What I Want)/Billionaire, Show Me, Our First Time, Marry You, If I Knew, Runaway Baby, Young Girls, When I Was Your Man, Grenade, Just The Way You Are. Encore: Locked Out of Heaven, Gorilla