Bruno Mars brought his sold out Moonshine Jungle Tour to the Smoothie King Center on Saturday night. Consequently, New Orleans got to witness an icon in the making. In an industry that relies on Auto-Tune, Bruno Mars is a breath of fresh and talented air. A true artist, Mars switches genre every other song and masters them with ease, visiting funk, R&B, soul, and pop elements. His vocals are a rarity, soaring and smooth with every note.
The production that supported Mars & The Hooligans was at the top of its game, with a video screen spanning the width of the stage, pyrotechnics that came at perfect moments in tandem with the beat of the music, and confetti that covered the arena from front to back. Mars' longtime band, the Hooligans, added even more personality to each number, dancing and at times, grinding the stage.
One could almost forget how long Mars' career has been building up, with hits like "Nothin' on You" with B.o.B. and and his first major single "Just the Way You Are," but the crowd needed no reminder from the first note. Mars' audience, which ranges from pre-teens to senior citizens, screamed and sang every word like it was their job.
The show's encore consisted of "Locked Out of Heaven" after a very impressive drum solo by Mars himself, and the unbelievable "Gorilla," which displayed the best of every element of the show. It was certainly a finale, with every production stop pulled out for the closer.
Mars was certainly the best way to spend a Saturday night, or any other night, for that matter. This may have been Mars' first tour stop in New Orleans, but judging by the crowd reception, it will not be his last.