mitchm33: 7-15 MSG the end is almost here for MJT. Will miss it badly
mitchm33: 7-15 MSG the end is almost here for MJT. Will miss it badly
HQ Bruno on stage at Wireless Festival (credit)
Canon PowerShot SX280 HS
That Smile!!! Bruno Mars 2014 Cincinnati
BigBootyMoody2: What @BrunoMars did for Zumyah Thorpe was amazing
grace_palmerrrr: she was in a car accident with her younger sisters and they passed away but she made it out alive & can’t talk but can sing Bruno Mars songs, it’s honestly a miracle & there was not a dry eye in the crowd when he sang this to her. I’ve never felt so much emotion during a concert. Bruno Mars is so incredible.
“lilstarchar: Of all the concerts I’ve been to, I think I had the most fun at this one. More dancing, more fun and it was a family affair with my parents, aunt and cuz @ebby_symone #BrunoMars #Hooligans #PNCArena”
jazzyylee: I just can’t stop. So glad i finally took some pictures.
(June 4) Bruno performing ‘Gorilla’ in Tulsa
"May 31 2014 Hollywood Bowl. Bruno Mars collab with Pharrell Williams perform Rockstar."
Avid concert-goers who regularly frequent the Hollywood Bowl are accustomed to the wide-eyed gawking that comes from young superstars when they first play the most world-renowned venue west of the Mississippi.
Take Gwen Stefani, who briefly returned to this hallowed stage Saturday night, thrilling the crowd by busting out “Hollaback Girl” during Pharrell Williams’ debut set, a warm-up for an even more electrifying Bowl first from headliner Bruno Mars. No Doubt’s vocalist was certainly taken aback when she initially performed here.
“Think what it felt like for me when they said the Hollywood Bowl sold out in 20 minutes,” she remarked that evening in October 2005. “This is (bleeping) crazy. The Hollywood Bowl? Who the (bleep) am I?” Just an Orange County girl living in an extraordinary world, she answered.
At about that same time, Mars, the 28-year-old sensation who competes with only Justin Timberlake for the current crown of most exciting live performer, had just launched his career inside the City of Angels’ array of shoebox-size clubs.
“I’ve been living in L.A. for over 10 years and this is the first time I’ve ever seen the Hollywood Bowl,” he admitted at the outset of his terrific, fireworks-filled show Saturday.
It isn’t unusual for upstarts who make it here to share their history, and Mars was no different: “About five years ago,” he mentioned later, “you could find us playing every bar in Los Angeles.” He rattled off some favorites: Bardot, King King, Molly Malone’s, Pickwick’s Pub. “I wasn’t working on my original material – I just needed to eat.”
He could have left it at that, as most would. Instead, in a brilliant move that perfectly summed up his neo-traditionalist rock ’n’ soul aesthetic, the Hawaiian transplant reflected on his ascendancy from tiny joints to Grammy-grabbing, platinum-selling, Bowl-packing status with a show-stopping moment.
“Y’all wanna see what we used to do?” he asked. Striking his red Telecaster, he then fired up the monster riff of “Whole Lotta Love,” roared out Robert Plant’s wailing part on that Led Zeppelin classic – and started shifting gears like a NASCAR driver avoiding an accident on his way to the finish line.
He signaled to his drummer, brother Eric Hernandez, who cut the beat just as Bruno switched to the Outfield’s “Your Love,” the sort of high-pitched melody he was born to nail. He signaled again – and the band jumped into Bell Biv DeVoe’s “Poison,” with cohort Phillip Lawrence (for whom the term “hypeman” is a sorry understatement) handling low lead before Bruno cried out the chorus.
What next? How about Montell Jordan’s “This Is How We Do It”? And Bobby Brown’s “Every Little Step”? And one for the king, the forebear to whom Mars bears the most artistic resemblance, Michael Jackson? He was note-perfect reviving “Rock With You,” then flashed his million-dollar smile and dedicated it to the song’s producer, Quincy Jones, who was among the dozens of celebrities on hand Saturday night, from Lea Michele and Zac Efron to Quentin Tarantino and Paul Anka.
Even for a guy who has killed more than once at the Grammy Awards in front of an arena full of bigwigs – and who delivered one of the most memorable Super Bowl halftime shows ever in February – this had to be a profound occasion. It showed all over his beaming face, more so than with seemingly nonplussed Billy Joel when he made his Bowl debut earlier this month.
How triumphant Mars must have felt coming offstage before his encore, knowing he’d just wowed a capacity crowd with an undeniable knockout performance – a premiere to rank with the greatest here – and was about to take it one level higher.
His set had already been a dazzling display of both his vocal prowess and virtuosity in a variety of styles: the disco blast of “Treasure” and the adrenalized soul of “Runaway Baby,” each treated to good-footin’ full-band choreography straight out of the James Brown playbook, or the electro-rock of “Grenade” and the reggae dreams of “Billionaire,” led into via the Motown staple “Money (That’s What I Want).” (Another Jamaica-fied groove, “Show Me,” got a coda of ’90s jams like Ginuwine’s “Pony” and R. Kelly’s “Ignition.”)
Mars also dug into the past to salute his father, in the audience this night, with a little slide work from Santo & Johnny’s “Sleep Walk” and a sweet snippet of the Chantels before his own retro homage “Marry You.” And he’d finished by soaring, dramatically so, in the piano ballad “When I Was Your Man” and then with sweetness for “Just the Way You Are.”
Now he was back for the same drum solo that kicked off his Super Bowl show, a huge singalong for “Locked Out of Heaven,” a visit from Pharrell to tear through N.E.R.D.’s “Rock Star,” and finally a pyrotechnics-powered take on “Gorilla,” the night sky resembling the Fourth of July.
Bowl debuts don’t get much better. Maybe the ghost of Jackie Wilson wouldn’t mind if we start calling him Mr. Excitement.
No one is apt to apply that same descriptor to Pharrell; his performance style, more a producer’s than a star’s, is much too laid-back and humble. That might explain why Saturday’s largely on-time crowd seemed only mildly engaged during the first half of his opening set, heavy on tracks from his recent album “Girl.”
Donning a green version of his famous Vivienne Westwood hat, he sounded vocally stronger than he did at either of his Coachella appearances, but he couldn’t get the majority to their feet until he started dropping samples of hits he has written or shaped: Nelly’s “Hot in Herre,” Jay Z’s “I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me),” Snoop Dogg’s “Drop It Like It’s Hot.”
Then Gwen emerged, people went nuts – and the energy, bolstered by Pharrell’s ace band, remained high through more recent smashes: Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” and his own anthem, “Happy.” It may not have been as rousing as Bruno’s set, nor as whoa-inducing as Pharrell’s parade of guests in Indio, but it certainly was a worthy first performance at this iconic spot.
When: May 31
Where: The Hollywood Bowl
Bruno: Moonshine > Natalie / Treasure / Money (That’s What I Want) (Barrett Strong cover) > Billionaire (with a snippet of California Love) / Show Me > Our First Time > Pony (Ginuwine cover) > Ignition (R. Kelly cover) / Sleep Walk (Santo & Johnny, snippet) > I Love You So (Chantels cover, snippet) > Marry You / If I Knew / Runaway Baby / Bar band medley: Whole Lotta Love (Led Zeppelin) > Your Love (The Outfield) > Poison (Bell Biv DeVoe) > This Is How We Do It (Montell Jordan) > Every Little Step (Bobby Brown) > Rock with You (Michael Jackson) / Nothin’ on You / When I Was Your Man / Piano solo > Grenade / Just the Way You Are
Encore: Drum solo > Locked Out of Heaven / Rock Star (with Pharrell Williams) / Gorilla
Pharrell: Lose Yourself to Dance / Come Get It Bae / Frontin’ > Hunter / Marilyn Monroe / Hot in Herre > I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me) > Pass the Courvoisier Part 2 / Lapdance / She Wants to Move / Beautiful / Drop It Like It’s Hot / Aerosol Can / Hollaback Girl (with Gwen Stefani) / Blurred Lines > Get Lucky > Happy