Local Wire

Bruno Mars @ US Airways Center

It's hard to believe Bruno Mars was playing small clubs like Martini Ranch back when his breakout single, "Just the Way You Are," started to gain traction. Now, after a steady takeover of pop airwaves, he's playing US Airways Center. It's hard to avoid hearing the tracks he's touched, whether you're aware of it or not — he co-wrote "Fuck You," and he's been featured on tracks by B.o.B., Lil Wayne, and Snoop Dogg. The secret sauce in all of it is his likability and versatility. He's been compared to Michael Jackson and Sting, and that variety leads to shows packed full of musical talent and big, choreographed bands. When he hits Phoenix this time, having outgrown Martini Ranch, be ready for lots of onstage moving and shaking, hysterical ladies, and some of the signature high notes that make him worthy of his more than a dozen Grammy nominations. Bruno Mars' focus on crowd interaction helps make any show feel intimate, so it's no surprise his ascent to the top has been a swift one.