Bruno Mars is a weapon. He is arguably the most successful songwriter on the planet and well on his way to becoming the world's biggest male pop star. Which is surprising because there's something quite old fashioned about him. He's not setting the clubs on fire like Taio Cruz or hiding behind a sheen of urban credibility like Chris Brown. Instead he's churning out pared back songs that capture simple feelings and emotions. "Just The Way You Are" is cornier than a Dorito chip but it will be played at weddings and funerals for the next 50 years because the sentiment is genuine. The same goes for "Grenade". Anyone who has ever been fucked over can identify with that bitter anthem. Scarily, that's just the tip of the dick. "Doo-Wops & Hooligans" is bursting with hit singles and future standards. A lot of it isn't really my thing - or, at least, I didn't think so until Thursday night - but I was excited to see him live. Particularly at Luna Park's inappropriately titled Big Top, an intimate venue that recently housed flops like Goldfrapp and Scissor Sisters.
Seeing Bruno up close and personal was amazing. I knew he could hold a tune but he is the complete package, playing a variety of instruments (guitar, drum and ukulele) and dancing like a young Michael Jackson. In fact, by the end of the show, I had the feeling that Hawaii's best export since Lost could be the heir to La Toya's brother's empty throne if he keeps his shit together - such is his raw talent. He sounded incredible and won over the audience with his easy charm and cheeky humour. There's not much point going through the setlist because Bruno basically played the entire album along with his smash hit features "Billionaire" and "Nothin' On You". Highlights were "Count On Me" (my favourite from "Doo-Wops"), current single "The Lazy Song" (see the cute video below) and a smokin' hot rendition of "Our First Time" that left me pitching a tent. He also delivered awesome covers of "Billie Jean" and "Seven Nation Army" before closing with "Grenade" and "Just The Way You Are". The man with the Midas touch then came back to sing "Runaway Baby" - complete with James Brown inspired choreography. It was a brilliant way to close one of the most impressive displays I've seen in a very long time.