Bruno Mars

Glas­gow Green

The Scotsman - - Reviews - PAUL WHITELAW

Most pop megas­tars end their shows with a fire­work dis­play. Bruno Mars be­gins his show with one.

It’s a clear state­ment of in­tent: the big­gest cir­cus ever is in town.

In fact, the py­rotech­nics were so in­sis­tent dur­ing the first 20 min­utes of this typ­i­cally en­er­getic per­for­mance from the hard­est work­ing man in show­man­ship, they ac­tu­ally set the light­ing rig ablaze.

Thank­fully, no one was hurt, but the ten minute de­lay, dur­ing which thou­sands of be­mused fans stared at stage­hands ex­tin­guish­ing the fire, rather spoiled the in­fec­tious mo­men­tum that Mars and his band The Hooli­gans had worked up dur­ing this un­of­fi­cial cli­max to the TRNSMT fes­ti­val.

Still, ever the pro, Mars im­pro­vised a funky cho­rus of “We burned the stage down in Glas­gow!” be­fore get­ting back on track with his slick harlequinade.

Styled af­ter the sock it to ‘em soul re­vues of James Brown – one of his key in­flu­ences along­side Prince and Michael Jack­son – a Mars gig is pretty much ir­re­sistible.

It’s easy to see why he at­tracts such a broad fan-base: ev­ery­one from chil­dren to grand­mas were danc­ing on Glas­gow Green tonight.

The Hooli­gans groove along­side him in syn­co­pated for­ma­tion like an in­stru­ment-wield­ing Temp­ta­tions. Mars, a la Prince, plays amus­ingly OTT py­rotech­nic gui­tar. His voice, a la Jacko, is mel­liflu­ous and gritty. His mu­sic moon­walks con­fi­dently be­tween rock, soul, hip-hop, R&B and pure pop.

A charm­ingly self-aware ham, Bruno Mars is a born en­ter­tainer who makes most of his con­tem­po­raries look like Alan Ben­nett re­new­ing his li­brary card.

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