Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Bruno Mars 'Wows' At MTS Centre, Winnipeg

Bruno Mars performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime Show at MetLife Stadium on February 2, 2014. Photographers were not allowed into the show at the MTS Centre on Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014.`
Bruno Mars put on one hell of a show Saturday night, performing in front of an excited sold out crowd at the MTS Centre.

Hitting the stage at 9:20 p.m., nearly an hour after opening act Nico and Vinz warmed the already anxious crowd up with a thirty minute set that included their song ‘Am I Wrong,’ Mars and his six man crew immediately had the crowd at the MTS Centre under their spell.

The charismatic singer opened the show by asking; “Winnipeg, are you ready,” to which the crowd responded with cheers so loud that it sounded like inaugural season under that MTS Centre roof. Not to be outdone, Mars showed that he too was full of excitement and energy, kicking off his show with his song Moonshine, followed by Natalie.

From the second Mars opened his mouth, there was no denying that he was the real deal. People lucky enough to snag tickets to this sold out show were treated to an energetic performance that mirrored the Emmy-nominated spectacle he put on at the 2014 Superbowl.

That said, it wasn’t until the third song, Treasure, that Mars was able to fully connect with the audience. Since the song has received a tonne of airplay over the last year or so, it was familiar to all the fans and thus provided the opportunity for the first sing-a-long of the night.

 Following Treasure, Mars broke into Sam Cooke’s ‘The Best Things In Life Are Free,’ before transitioning into a cover of Travie McCoy’s Billionaire.

Performance aside for a second, the lighting and background videography both deserved recognition for bringing this already lively show up a couple of notches. While flashing lights and coloured lasers filled the entire MTS Centre, the screens on the stage mainly focused on Mars and his band. At times it looked the live feed of the concert could be an actual music video, because all of the elements from the performance to the lighting and the videography were flawless.

Mars went on to perform If I Knew, Sean Kingston’s Beautiful Girls, followed by pelvic thrusting to a medley that included Ginuwine’s Pony and R. Kelly’s Ignition—If he wasn’t so charming, this part of the show would have seemed a lot raunchier than it did. However, his devilish smile and his high intensity for performing seemed to balance the sexual innuendo and discourse woven into the show.

Mars performed all of his popular hits except for the Lazy Song. Since the show was truly great, and he and his bandmate put a whole lot of heart and soul into this performance, it seems petty to complain about the absence of one song that is still played on the radio dozens of times a day.

However, not hearing the Lazy Song live was a bit of a disappointment.

All in all the concert was incredible; there weren’t a lot of theatrics or story-telling, but Mars doesn’t need any of that stuff because he is one hell of a talented guy.

Shelley Cook | Metro

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