“Pop, pop, it’s show time! Guess who’s back again!”
Well, it’s actually happened, at the tender age of 35, I finally achieved my aspiration to see one of today's biggest pop stars’ play a live concert at a big venue. At last, something else ticked off my bucket list, and let me say it was a fantastic experience. Bruno Mars really is a treasure to behold.
The SSE Hydro I must say is a marvelous venue, very accessible in both getting there (traveling wise) and getting to your seat (I struggle to climb too many stairs). The staff is friendly and helpful and this event was very well organized start to finish. The only grumble about the venue is the same gripe that most people have with these places, the extortionate prices of food and drink, but let’s not start nitpicking at insignificant trivial details. We arrived at the SSE Hydro half an hour before doors opened, which for me and my wonderful son who paid for the tickets to see Bruno as my joint Christmas and Birthday gift, was the perfect time to arrive. We weren’t standing in the queue long freezing our pretty butts off in the chilly, typical for Scotland spring breeze before we were herded into the warm inviting foyer and ground floor. Our first stop was to procure refreshments for the night, which had a good selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Being a true scot but one who rebels against society’s norms and stereotypes, I ordered the soft drink IRN-BRU. We had plenty of time to find our seats so decided to have a look at the merchandise. The usual t-shirts, hats, and gym bags were there, but what caught my son's eye was the pinkie ring bling chain, which I will admit looks rather nifty. I, on the other hand, went with the tour dates t-shirt with a huge picture of Bruno’s sweet wee face on it. The merchandise wasn’t cheap but I would say it’s in line with what you pay anywhere at any concert or gig. We then made our way to find our seats, which were in what some people might call “the nosebleed” section, on the second level, to the right of the stage. Now all there was to do was wait (and try going to the bathroom right before it starts so you don’t need a pee halfway through the concert).
Bruno’s supporting act for the evening was Anderson Park (The Grammy Awards Best New Artist 2017) and his band The Free Nationals. He arrived onstage to a rather cool reception from the audience, who were unenthusiastic at best. Even though his style of music was not my cup of tea, the man and his band have real talent, Anderson jumped onto the drums and well, started hitting those skins as though he was being possessed by Buddy Rich. After that, the audience began to really warm to the act and by the time his set was finished, the crowd had been won over, cheering and happy all warmed up and ready to see the main man himself.
What you don’t realize, if you’ve never been to a big concert, is that like the more intimate gigs, is that after the support act, there is a good half hour of sitting around watching the crew reset the stage. If you’re clever enough, this is your chance to get that comfort break that I mentioned earlier, just don’t leave it too late and miss the grand opening section of the concert.
As the curtains came down to hide the preparation for Bruno’s big entrance, you could feel the crowd's excitement rising. As we sat waiting for his arrival, every so often you could hear cheers from the standing crowd below as they saw the curtains twitch and the anticipation for the show to begin increasing. Then it happened, the lights went down, a musical introduction came on and finally as the curtains rose, the venue erupted as Bruno and the band bounced their way to the front of the stage, kicking the event off with a very banging upbeat version of the song Finesse. There was very little time to catch a breath when 24K Magic kicked in. Bruno and his band had boundless energy while they danced and played their instruments. After a couple more upbeat numbers, it was time to slow things down a little by playing Calling All my Lovelies, some Versace on the Floor among other slower songs. After all the romantic songs, what else would you expect to come after other than the famous and wonderful Marry You, which drove the crowd wild, all up dancing and singing along, too? The atmosphere was electric and joyful and then when, When I Was Your Man came on, a whole arena of voices sang along, rather out of tune at the high notes if I might add, but hey not everyone can sing like Bruno. To finish things off, of course, it had to end with Just the Way You Are, which again had the full place singing along. But then no right minded superstar would leave without an encore and a funky one at that. Even in the nosebleed section, the second Uptown Funk hit that beat, everyone was up dancing. With plenty pyrotechnics and gold confetti, the show had to come to an end, and it was spectacular. What a night.
Now comes the part where I talk about the flaws of the night. Performance wise there was none, the event was well organized and highly enjoyable, but I must talk about etiquette as a spectator in the seated sections. In seated areas, I would believe you are expected to remain seated unless invited to stand and dance by the performer. Unfortunately, I was seated behind a woman who had no regard for anyone except herself, who proceeded to stand and dance over the space of three seats (the two seats in front of myself were empty) arms flailing like Kermit the Frog for the entirety of the show (even the slow ballads), blocking any view for myself and others seated behind me. This robbed me of my enjoyment of the night and I’m sure the same was for others too. Despite this, the event that was Bruno Mars 24K Magic World Tour was a fabulous experience and one that I would love to repeat.
I’m now looking forward already to the next tour (a little premature, I know) but I have to admit, days on from this concert and I am still buzzing every time I remember it, and you know what Bruno Mars? That’s what I like!
For tickets and further reading on current events, please see below.
10 out of 10 stars