|Mr. Will-W. & Bruno Mars|
Ladies and Gentleman, I'd like to introduce you to your 2011 Grammy Winner for Best New Artist. Or the most deserving Artist at least. In such a short period of time, we've seen Bruno Mars' star rise like no other Arti$t, and with two number one hits - Just the Way You Are (solo) and Nothin' on You (collaboration with B.o.B.) - and a Top Five collaboration in Travie McCoy's Billionaire already under his belt, equally big things are expected of his next solo single Grenade.
Making his first ever appearance in Canada at Toronto's Kool Haus tonight, Bruno Mars was showcased as the headliner of KISS 92.5's Haus Party. The evening featured a variety of new Canadian talent like Aleesia, Blake McGrath and Danny Fernandes, but the act everybody was there to see finally arrived on-stage at 10:00 PM sharp. Fronting a five man-Band and playing both the Guitar and Ukulele, Bruno Mars showed that he is equally adept a Performer as he is a bona fide Musician not unlike a young Prince. And that voice is a reminder of the deep imprint Michael Jackson has left on even the newest generation of talent.
Zipping through a rather short Set, the Hawaii native delivered energetic, ramped-up renditions highlighting his debut album Doo-Wops & Hooligans. Grenade translated well live as did the sultry Reggae-infused Our First Time featuring his touring MC, which featured the 23 year-old well in his element. Count on Me had the ladies in the audience singing along in unison, while his Mash-up of Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit/Michael Jackson's Billie Jean/The White Stripes' Seven Nation Army was a pleasant surprise, livening up the audience which had already been standing for four hours. The performance we all were waiting for was his set-closing Billboard Hot 100 Chart-topping Just the Way You Are. Fans who filled the venue to capacity were ecstatic and did much of the singing.
The night had only just begun at that point for Bruno Mars and his Band as they were to trek up north to Vaughan's Luxy Night Club for yet another appearance right after the Concert for Z103.5.
I got to meet the incredibly down-to-earth Artist after the show and despite being in a hurry, he still took Photos with Fans and signed a couple albums; his Security Guard advisied him against it. My only complaint to him was that his Set was far too short despite being wonderful, to which he replied "What? Really?? You wanted it even longer?!". Of course, I did. And I suppose that is expected of an Artist with only one ten-track Disc in his Discography. Always leave them wanting more, right?
Bruno Mars is expected to stay in Toronto for the remainder of the weekend to do a bit of Press for his Warner Music debut effort.
Check out some photos I got from tonight's show below:
Watch Bruno Mars perform Just the Way You Are and Grenade below (audio content owned by Warner Music):
(Photo/Video credit: Mr. Will-W.)