Albany, New York was buzzing with anticipation Sunday night as Bruno Mars was set to make his debut appearance in Upstate N.Y, bringing his “Moonshine Jungle Tour” to the Tri-State area.
Fans of all ages came out for this highly anticipated, sold out concert. Some seats opened up right before the show, but were gone just as fast with some lucky fans even scoring front row seats.
After a short delay letting fans into the arena in the hot muggy weather, all was forgotten when this concert started.
Multi-talented Bruno Mars and his band are some of the best live entertainer’s I’ve seen on stage this year. A very charismatic bunch of musicians. This concert had a little of everything – pyro blasts, fire, sparklers and an awesome light show.
Both artists were very interactive with the crowd.
Aloe started the night off with the song “You Make Me Smile”. Some fans were still filing in from the delay during this song. The song broke down into a dance break, which prompted Blacc to ask the crowd “who likes to dance?”. He paused for the crowd’s response, then Aloe himself broke out into a dance.
The crowd stood for the rest of the performance when the song “Here Today” started.
Blacc now sheds his jacket and tells the crowd “here’s an oldie but goodie” and sings the song “I Need A Dollar”. Aloe had the crowd on their feet clapping along to his hit “The Man”. Blacc talked about his other hit “Wake Me Up”, saying, “I had these words that I wanted the whole world to hear”, and proceeded to talk about hooking up in the studio with DJ Avicii in 2013 to record the track.
Blacc was a great opener. The only drawbacks that I had were that his mic was a little bit low and he was drowned out by his band. Also, I didn’t like the plain black curtain behind him. I think a logo or themed curtain for intimacy as a back drop would have felt like more of a big deal, while the black made it seem like he was not that important.
Blacc signed CDs and T-shirts at the merchandise booth after his performance for fans.
Excitement from the fans started to rise as Bruno Mars was set to take the stage next. Concertgoers broke out into a wave around the arena in anticipation for Mars to come out.
After a quick intermission to set up the stage for Mars, the lights went out to a thunderous, almost deafening, roar. Everybody’s attention was now focused on the gold palm tree themed curtain, just waiting for it to fall as the beat started for the song “Moonshine”.
As the beat played, Bruno Mars welcomed the crowd to the moonshine jungle. A pyro blast cued the curtain to fall to Bruno and his band, jamming the first verse of the song.
Before he sang the song “Treasure”, Mars said how it was his first time in Albany, N.Y as a giant mirror ball lowered from the ceiling above the stage.
Mars then went into a medley of different songs, including the Beatles hit “Money (That’s What I Want)”, “Billionaire” (Bruno’s song with Travie McCoy), which drew loud cheers from the crowd, “Pony” (Ginuwine) and “Ignition” (R.Kelly).
Bruno blended his songs “If I Knew” and “Runaway Baby” by asking the crowd to sing along with him by hitting certain notes. Then, Mars asked the crowd to repeat the words “do you love me”. After having everyone repeat it, he asked for just the ladies to sing it. After singing it with all the women in the building, he answered them, “yes I do.” The screams from the ladies were insane.
When Mars teased the crowd that they were quiet, he said, “hey we can get quiet.” He and the band slowly faded down to silence, but were still dancing and snapping fingers like there was a beat still playing. Then Mars and the band slowly brought the volume back up; fans ate this up and just loved it.
Another funny moment happened at the end of the song “Nothing On You” (his song with B.o.B). Mars asked the guys to grab their lady’s hand, look into her eyes and say…”Bruno’s gonna do the talking tonight.” Mars then didn’t forget about the single ladies in the house. He said, “singles ladies don’t worry,” and he and his band shouted, “we’re here,” as they did a hip thrust gesture.
Mars then got serious and told the audience that his next song was the hardest song for him to write and was still the hardest for him to perform. He then played “When I Was Your Man” as cell phones lit up the whole arena during this song.
A minute-long keyboard solo led into the song “Grenade”, and finally, the smash hit “Just The Way You Are” ended the set.
During the last song, gold confetti fell from the rafters. It was an awesome scene. There was so much confetti it was like a white out in the middle of winter.
Mars introduced his whole band, while each member did their own signature dance as they were introduced.
The two-song encore started with Mars doing a drum solo, which led into the song “Locked Out Of Heaven” and wrapping up with “Gorilla”.
An amazing performance by Mars left me wanting more; he played about an hour and forty minutes it total. It’s nice to see Upstate N.Y. finally getting some different musical acts to this area who have never traveled here before, including Mars, Justin Timberlake and Paul McCartney. I hope this opens the door for more artist to come to our area for summer concert events in 2015 who would have not considered this area before.