Bruno Mars and his Jungle Men continued grooving through their Moonshine Jungle Tour, wrapping up the Australia/New Zealand leg with a sold out Saturday Night crowd at Auckland’s Vector Arena – A crowd that Grammy winner Mars and his very capable band worked into a “frenzy”, according to the New Zealand Herald.
Following an illness that forced the rescheduling of last week’s Brisbane show, Bruno Mars appeared fully recovered and completely rejuvenated, the New Zealand fans sending Mars off to the Asian part of his tour with a uniquely spirited Kiwi farewell.
To finish off his second visit to New Zealand, Mars opened with “Moonshine”, “Natalie” and “Treasure”, setting a wicked pace that had fans roaring off into a raucous show. The Jungle Men – the band “behind” Mars – are actually anything but, the eight-piece Mowtown-influenced ensemble playing and interacting with Mars right out front, whether it be the dance routines or playful interaction, creating a cohesive magic that makes the American star shine all the brighter.
The stage was bedazzled with heart-thumping lighting and pyrotechnics, this technical supporting piece also standing out on its own but complimenting the exquisite showmanship of Bruno Mars. While the staging was first-rate and said to be right up there with other top acts from around the world, The Herald’s reviewer did note that, “many of the comedic ‘set pieces’ were rehashed from his previous tour here.” At the same time, the reviewer quickly wrote this off as a minor flaw in an otherwise “impressive night of entertainment.”
Mars continued into the hour-and-a-half set with favorites, “Billionaire”, “Runaway Baby” and “Marry Me”, nicely covering much of his work from recent albums. And speaking of covering, Mars’ cover songs didn’t disappoint, the performers making songs like “Bam Bam”, “Money (That’s What I Want)”, and “Ignition” sound like “new”.
Of course Mars’ huge hit, “When I Was Your Man“, was a pivotal highlight of the show, Mars alone with the piano beneath a soft spotlight, his amazing talent clearly evident while playing what he calls, “the hardest song he has ever written.”
The Moonshine Jungle tour and Bruno Mars are now off to Asia, their first stop being in Bangkok, Thailand. This March 20, 2014 show at Bangkok’s Impact Arena is SOLD OUT, so if you’re hoping to score some Bruno Mars tickets for a March show on the Asian leg of the Moonshine Jungle tour you should include the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore or China in your travel plans.
Along with the Moonshine Jungle Tour, Bruno Mars has other artistic items on his palette, including being featured with Janelle Monae on the soundtrack of the animated feature film, “Rio 2”. The song, “Welcome Back”, is performed with Monae.
Mars also voices a character in the film, Roberto, who is a childhood friend of the main character, Jewel, played by Anne Hathaway.
Besides Asia, where Bruno Mars’ talents take him next is anyone’s guess. By the way his career is currently firing, Mars continuing into the stratosphere is a pretty good bet.
Image via Bing