Fans sing along to NDP song Home at Bruno Mars concert, Latest Music News - The New Paper

Fans sing along to NDP song Home at Bruno Mars concert

The first of three National Stadium concerts by American pop star Bruno Mars on April 3 featured a local touch.

Closer to the end of the 110-minute gig, one of the singer’s band members, musician John Fossitt, played an instrumental rendition of the National Day Parade theme song Home during his keyboard solo.

That prompted the crowd to sing along to the local favourite. Alas, Mars himself was offstage when it happened.

And while it was a nice detail, it was not the first time an international act featured the Kit Chan classic. American alternative rock band Weezer performed and sang Home at their concert at The Star Theatre in October 2023.

Still, Mars - ever the seasoned and charming showboater - had the audience in the 55,000-capacity venue eating out of his hands.

The man has produced so many hits, whether through his solo songs or collaborations, that he did not seem to have time to perform full songs.

So a tune like Nothin’ On You, a hit collaboration with rapper B.o.B. that launched Mars’ career in 2010, was reduced to a mere chorus. It was part of a medley of songs that the 38-year-old sang and performed solo on the piano, a mash-up that also included Leave The Door Open (2021), his big hit with Grammy-winning side project Silk Sonic.

Thankfully, he did play full versions of other signature tunes such as soul-stirring ballad When I Was Your Man (2012), buoyant reggae rock anthem Locked Out Of Heaven (2012) and rousing show closer Uptown Funk (2014).

He has the canny ability to make classic genres sound fresh for a contemporary audience in his live show, channelling the greats like funk godfather James Brown and guitar innovator Jimi Hendrix.

Backed by his highly entertaining backing band The Hooligans, Mars executed synchronised dance moves, sang his heart out, played piano and slid in a couple of searing electric guitar solos on his Fender Stratocaster.

The stage they played on was lit by colourful lights, and the show was peppered with the occasional fireworks and confetti showers.

For 17-year-old polytechnic student CJ Chok, the night was one to remember as it was his first ever concert. He paid $114 for a seat in the “nosebleed section” at the highest level of the National Stadium.

He says: “I’ve been listening to him since 2018, when I was 11 years old, and I’ve only seen videos of his live shows online. Seeing him in person was amazing, it was even better than I expected.”

Earlier in the day, fans turned up early to secure good spots in the standing pen for Night 1. Long queues to enter had already formed by 4pm, with security checks for ticket holders starting at 5.30pm, while the doors for priority standing and silver VIP ticket holders opened at that time.

Doors for general standing ticket holders opened at 5.45pm, while seated ticket holders could enter from 6pm. Tickets were priced from $108 to $598. Mars previously played at other Asian stops like Tokyo, Macau and Bangkok.

Many fans were in high spirits, and some dressed up for the occasion.

Friends Donn Armijo, Joerick Adriano and Athina Laguesma were among those who bought priority standing tickets at $248 each.

The Filipinos were excited to catch Mars in action, and shared that they have been playing the pop star’s songs at home for the past few days to “rehearse”.

Mr Armijo, 28, an engineer, wore an outfit inspired by Mars’ stage costume during the Super Bowl 50 halftime show in 2016, while Ms Laguesma, 34, who works in a bank, donned a bright pink outfit straight out of Mars’ music video for his hit song Uptown Funk. Both are currently based in Singapore.

Their former housemate, Mr Adriano, 42, who used to be a business analyst here, wore a straw hat – an accessory often sported by Mars.

The trio also attended the National Stadium concerts of British rock band Coldplay and British singer Ed Sheeran in January and February respectively. They had wanted to go for American pop star Taylor Swift’s shows in March, but could not get tickets. 

Ms Laguesma said: “It is great that this place has come alive again. We have been here quite a few times this year.”

She was particularly looking forward to seeing Mars perform Leave The Door Open (2021), adding: “It is very sexy and makes me feel good and confident. When it comes on, I will surely dance.”

Malaysian tourists Nicole Yong and Edric Liaw were also togged out to party in the standing pen.

Ms Yong, 18, a first-year student at a private university, turned up in a baseball jersey similar to the one Mars wore in the music video for his track 24K Magic (2016).

Her boyfriend, Mr Liaw, chose a “blinged-up” get-up that took its cue from Mars’ Uptown Funk music video. The 21-year-old sales adviser was looking forward to hearing That’s What I Like (2016), as it is very “jumpy and fun”. 

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