Sprawling video projections. Exhilarating eruptions of fire, horns, smoke and golden confetti. A disco ball reminiscent of Saturday Night Fever. From doo-wopp to disco to pop-rock, Sydney’s Allphones Arena was transformed into a shimmering, gold Vegas concert hall decked out to the brim in bright lights and colours.
With a string of hits to his name and two Grammy Awards, Bruno Mars channels an appropriate mix of Michael Jackson, Bob Marley and Earth, Wind and Fire in delivering a performance more than worthy of headliner-status.
Supported by R & B act Miguel, the Moonshine Jungle Tour is pure magic, through and through. From the moment the houselights dimmed, the screams and squeals of females and males alike occupied the arena, pulling the trigger on the heartstrings of each and every audience member. Admittedly, it’s quite rare to be moved out of your seats by a support act, but Miguel did not disappoint, particularly during his rendition of the smash hit, ‘Sure Thing‘. Even those who were questioning who the support guest actually was were swinging their hips as the sublime artist weaved through tracks like ‘#Beautiful‘ (by Mariah Carey), ‘Swimming Pools (Drank)‘ (by Kendrick Lamar) and Paroahe Monch’s ‘Simon Says‘. Moments like these truly illuminate the bright future ahead of Miguel, and the arenas he’ll be selling out in a matter of years.
But, judging by the colossal response as Mars’ eight member band took the stage, it was obvious that Bruno was the man we were all well and truly there to see. From the opening song ‘Moonshine‘ to his number 1 international hit ‘Locked Out of Heaven‘, Bruno Mars and his triple-threat — and rather cute — band showcased their versatility; exhibiting elements of disco, Motown, R&B and rock blended together to deliver one of the best live concerts of all time.
However, the Moonshine Jungle Tour doesn’t only showcase Bruno Mars’ impeccable vocal ability and sheer talent, but his beautiful, and quite witty, personality. “I gotta admit last night’s audience were killin’ it,” Mars said to a capacity crowd.
“They were dancing in their seats like they were at a motherf****** concert or somethin’,” he hollered, causing hysteria among the full to bursting stadium. The pick-up lines and rapport were nothing short of hilarious, as was Bruno himself during crowd interaction. It’s no wonder Mars’ extraordinarily catchy hit ‘Treasure‘ immediately followed.
The hit songs all made an appearance with ‘Billionaire‘, ‘Marry You‘, ‘Grenade‘ and ‘Locked out of Heaven‘ transforming the arena into a giant dance floor. This was followed by more sombre and slower tracks like ‘Young Girls‘, ‘When I Was Your Man‘ and ‘Just The Way You Are‘, exhibiting Mars’ tremendous vocal strength and passion, leaving the fervent crowd singing along.
It wasn’t until ‘Gorilla’ started playing that the bells and whistles truly went off. Loud shots arose, followed by four blazes of fire blasts assisted by gold confetti and green, ‘jungle-like’ lights. Bruno Mars had done it again.
Propitious credit must also go to Mars’ incredible band who, in their own right, deserve a show of their own. Despite their obvious talent and enthusiasm, they went out their way to support Mars rather than trying to overpower him. They are the epitome of a perfect team of accompanying musicians, and the show wouldn’t have been the same without them.
As the houselights turned on, I became aware of the fact that I — and many others around me — were drooling in sweat. That is, what I call, the ‘Bruno Mars Effect’. You become so immersed in the charismatic intensity of the music that you forget where you are as you experience a night that you’ll ‘Treasure’ for the rest of your life. The whole production value of the Moonshine Jungle Tour is astounding. It’s as if you’ve taken a trip through history as you delve into the different genres of each decade. It’s no wonder that Bruno Mars was a Michael Jackson impersonator because he’s got all the right moves (in all the right places, ahem). He truly is a force to be reckoned with. Mr. Mars truly is the best.
If it weren’t for the kindheartedness of the wonderful Richard Wilkins, I wouldn’t have been able to attend this absolutely flawless concert. Due to financial difficulties, I was unable to purchase tickets. This particularly saddened me as my Mum is a massive Bruno Mars fan and desperately wanted to attend — even though she was too modest to admit to it. After entering competition after competition to no avail, I made the split decision to contact Entertainment Guru, Richard Wilkins of TODAY. I did not, in a billion years, expect a reply, but gave it a shot, anyway. After listening to a little bit of Miguel (I kid you not), I went to bed following the realisation that I was not going to see Bruno live, nor was my mum.
Morning came, and per usual, I checked my Twitter feed. I wasn’t expecting anything, at all. But there, in my notifications tab, was a reply from Richard, himself. Was I dreaming? Was this a joke? I started trembling with excitement, and quickly turned the screen in my Mum’s direction. Ironically, at the time, we were watching the Today Show and were equally shocked that a man of high celebrity status (and deserving of it) were giving two ‘nobodies’ complimentary tickets. The rest, is quite literally, a blur.
Phil from Allphones Arena organised our tickets, which were absolutely phenomenal. I have never been so close to a stage, in my life. The staff at the Arena were very helpful and incredibly pleasant. No wonder it’s considered one of the best arenas in the Southern Hemisphere! Despite being inspired by both Miguel and Bruno Mars’ dazzling performances, I was so happy that my Mum had got the chance to see her favourite performer live. I have never seen her so energetic! She was on her feet the whole time, screaming like a teenager (she’s learnt from the best). I will never forget this.
Once again, I would like to thank both Richard and Phil for your beautiful acts of kindness. Your help will not go in vain, and I pray to God that good Karma is received by both of you.
As a media student specialising in journalism and PR, I aspire to be like you when I complete my studies. Not only career-wise, but attributes-wise, too. So, if either of you are in need of a reliable work experience kid, I’m the one to call.
Once again, thank you, Richard and Phil.
I owe you.