Bruno Mars performing his 24K Magic Tour at The Barclaycard Arena Birmingham on Monday 24th April 2017


Review by Kevin Cooper

At a time when both Ed Sheeran and Bruno Mars are touring the UK, the only similarity between the two is that they are both touring to promote their third studio albums.

Think of Ed Sheeran and you think of a man with his guitar. Think of Bruno Mars and you’ll likely envisage excess, swagger, bright lights and a massive party, and that is exactly what Mars delivered to a near capacity crowd at the Barclaycard Arena last night.

He delivered a flawless 90s inspired production that included reflective surfaces, flashing coloured light boxes, hydraulic mini stages, mobile spotlights, dry ice, pyrotechnics and fireworks as well as his supremely drilled seven piece crew, The Hooligans.

Showcasing eight new songs from his latest album 24K Magic, he opened with the funky Finesse before treating the audience to the title track of his new album. There was the energetic dance fuelled Perm, the hip swinging That’s What I Like, whilst Chunky saw Mars dancing around the stage to its infectious funk riff.

As the evening moved on the funkster gave way to the sweet sugar balladeer with the likes of Straight Up And Down and Just The Way You Are showcasing his clear voice as he had the audience in the palm of his hands.

Bounding around the stage Mars may not have the presence of Prince, the physical command of James Brown or the spine tingling vocals of Marvin Gaye, but he certainly does have something that gets the crowd going and keeps them begging for more.

Slowing things down and taking it right back to vocals and keyboards for When I Was Your Man, he produced the highlight of the night.

Finishing with Uptown Funk, his biggest hit to date, he polished off what was a thrilling master class in showmanship from a sensational performer, leaving this crowd singing and dancing all the way home.