What a long wayBruno Mars
has come in the last 8 months since he's been to Arizona last. Back then, his single "Grenade" was just catching on, andhe packed a sold-out Martini Ranch.
Now, he's got a third solo single under his belt, "The Lazy Song," which helped propel him to bigger things this time around. At the much biggerComerica Theatre
, there was a bigger band (including a three-man horn section), a bigger stage set-up (a massive video display background) and a few more thousand people singing along to his songs.
But no, Mars kept things simple and sweet. If there's one strength Mars has as a performer, it's consistency. His vocals were top-notch and clear, unlike the loud, mostly incomprehensible set for Monae (who, for the record, packed an energetic punch as a performer, running around the stage and through the audience and writhing around on the floor.) Mars' voice was, and should be, the star of the show, since his range is amazing. He sounds even better live than on his recordings, and his live musical talent was a testament to why he led this year's Grammy Awards in nominations.
Personal Bias: I have a huge crush on Mars and really enjoyed his debut album.
The Crowd: Mostly young women, with a sprinkling of guys throughout.
Overheard in the crowd: "I really liked the harmonies," my pal said after Mars and his crew sang a cover of The Schoolboys' "Please Say You Want Me".
Random Notebook Dump: I do think Monae has vocal talent, but I felt like her huge band overpowered her vocals and made the set sort of messy, which was a shame.
The Other Side
Top of the World
Money (That's What I Want) (Barrett Strong cover)
Our First Time
The Lazy Song
Count on Me
Nothin' on You
Just the Way You Are
Somewhere in Brooklyn (encore)
Talking to the Moon (encore)
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.