Pro tip: If any of you out there need a little help stepping up your game, you might want to pay attention to Bruno Mars.
Mars and his band, the Hooligans, played the second of two sold out shows at Red Rocks on Tuesday night. And what they brought with them seemingly turned the audience into a shrieking mass of boy-crazy teenagers. (At least that’s what my left ear is telling me after a grown woman shrieked “I LOVE YOUUU!” into it for the entire show.)
The nine men on stage – a band including an entire horn section – packed song after song with over-the-top sexiness and swagger. Their dancing was coordinated, their clothes – classy vintage, and the sexual undertones of many of Mars’ songs were played out right before the audience’s eyes with plenty of pelvic thrusting and bedroom eyes. These guys were hot, they knew it, and they worked it with all they had, much to the audience’s delight.
See photos from the crowd of Bruno Mars’ second show at Red Rocks Amphitheatre.
Just as at the sold-out Monday night show, the band covered Barrett Strong’s “Money (That’s What I Want),” straight into “Billionaire,” the hit song Mars recorded with Travie McCoy. Mixed in were also covers of R. Kelly’s “Ignition” and Ginuwine’s “Pony,” both which caused many of the middle-aged women in the crowd freak out. See aforementioned shrieking lady mentioned above.
Mars has garnered comparisons to Michael Jackson, Prince and James Brown, among others, and it’s easy to see why. His onstage antics include Brown-esque call and response, unbelievable dancing, and even moments of a backlit, fedora-wearing Mars evoking iconic images of the King of Pop himself.
Mars makes no secret of how much old-school doo-wop and Motown inspire his sound, and he sent a shout out to both before performing the beautiful slow jam “If I Knew” from his 2012 album “Unorthodox Jukebox.”
Other highlights include the painful lovelorn ballad “When I Was Your Man,” an amped-up version of “Grenade,” and the funk-filled “Treasure.” For an encore, Mars performed a drum solo leading straight into his mega-hit “Locked out of Heaven.” And the night was capped off with the super-sexual “Gorilla,” leaving the audience breathless and yearning for more.
In other words, exactly what they set out to do.
Videos from Bruno Mars at Red Rocks.
Our live coverage from Tuesday.
Laura Keeney is a community manager and journalist for YourHub Denver who writes about technology, business and nerdy things for The Denver Post. She’s quite obsessed with Joe Strummer. Follow her @yhlaura and @onnabugeisha.