Bruno Mars might be known for “Uptown Funk,” but he brought the party downtown on Tuesday night.
The night kicked off with a performance by Zedd, and between the pyrotechnics and intense drops, he (somewhat literally) warmed up the crowd of 6,000. From there, Lil Jon and DJ Vice appeared and got the entire audience — even the VIP balconies — on their feet to dance along to remixes of current songs as well as throwbacks.
Mars took the stage to finish up the night. He and his entourage of hypemen, singers and instrumentalists launched directly into “Treasure.” While the choreography was perfectly synchronized, it felt authentic and candid. Next, Mars played “On Top of the World” — the first song he ever wrote but never recorded — to “get [his] band loose.” They then went into everything from samples of 2Pac‘s “California Love” to Travie McCoy‘s “Billionaire” and Mars’ breakthrough hit “Just the Way You Are” before closing out with a finale of “Locked Out of Heaven” and “Uptown Funk.”
Mars and his posse were all about engaging the audience. At one point, he asked, “Maybe you’ll put your camera phones down and party with us” (this was a T-Mobile event after all) and was met with a wave of screams. Later, during “Runaway,” Mars and the gang began to gradually lay on the floor to playfully tease the audience for being too quiet saying “we can be quiet too, y’all.” When the crowd was deafeningly loud, Mars brought the energy back up and even brought out a megaphone.
Mars also treated the audience to several guitar solos, which showcased his skills beyond the soulful vocals and smooth pelvic thrusts he’s known for. Throughout the night, his jokes, emotional ballads and retro dance moves proved why he was the headliner.