The one-night only Moonshine Jungle Concert of Bruno Mars is definitely one of the best acts that has landed in Manila’s shores in recent years. The SM MOA Arena was filled to the rafters as audience flocked to see the half-Pinoy sensation perform his hits. Opening the show was Season 5 America’s Best Dance Crew winner Poreotix. With their monkey masks on (Yes, they’re the plaid wearing, hip hoppping apes on Mars’ Lazy Song video), the boys showed the crowd their fluid dance moves. Soon after, the black and gold curtains with golden palm tress fell signalling the much awaited appearance of the “freakin’ man” of the castle.
There were no wasted minutes in the two hour show. All the songs were familiar. Everyone was on his feet, singing , dancing and , of course taking pictures/videos! After the first song, Bruno told the people to put down their phones first and sing along with him. The audience was ecstatic as he sang “Locked out of Heaven”, “Treasure” and “Natalie.” I was wise enough to wear comfortable Charles David wedges this time so I had no problem dancing to my heart’s content. I wore 4inch stilettos at the Rihanna concert and my toes died by the time that show ended. Hahaha! (Let’s reserve that fashion review for another day.)
Bruno didn’t need visual tricks, costume changes or an elaborate stage for his act. HE was the act! He sang, danced (doing foot moves reminiscent of James Brown) and gave the concertgoers a solid show. He also sang songs from his previous album such as “Grenade”, “Billionaire” and the popular lover’s anthem “Just The Way You Are.” No surprise that everyone had no problem belting the song as the singer extended the microphone to the all-too-willing crowd. I’m all praises for the band too! Who needs back-up dancers when you have cool guys playing instruments as they gyrate in unison with the lead vocalist.
Bruno obviously did a Taylor Swift when he wrote his ballad “When I was your Man”. His spiel to introduce the song hinted as much. “This is probably the hardest song for me to sing…. ” he said. Ahhh, lost love makes for a good sob song :p Although, he didn’t play the piano as he sang this, he did play the drums later on. SUPERB! What made the drum number more spectacular was the fact that he played it on an elevated stage with the Philippine flag as his backdrop.
After Bruno bid the audience goodbye, he came back (of course!) and sang “Gorillas.” As silverback apes flashed on the giant screens, pyrotechnics exploded on stage and golden confetti fell on the crowd. My boys and I had a blast! It was a fitting end to a perfect Jungle Party!