1. This was my second time seeing Bruno Mars this year, after the 2013 iHeartRadio Music Festival at MGM Grand Garden Arena. His show, an extended engagement at the new Chelsea in the Cosmopolitan, solidified his standing as one of the best live performers today, alongside Justin Timberlake and Beyoncé. Mars can sing (anything), dance and charm the pants off audience members.
2. His first show at the Chelsea on December 29 reportedly started on time and was 90 minutes long. Not so on NYE. He started late, and he and his talented band, The Hooligans, played for maybe 75 minutes, past the midnight hour and 30 minutes into 2014.
3. The show was more party than concert. His hits and fan favorites “Gorilla,” “Marry You” (redone well on Glee), “Just the Way You Are” and the closer “Locked Out of Heaven” were part of the setlist, but so were covers, a signature of his performances, among them The Outfield’s “Your Love,” Elvis Presley’s “Jailhouse Rock,” Bel Biv DeVoe’s “Poison” and Travie McCoy’s “Billionaire,” in which Mars is featured.
4. From the second-level, best-view-in-the-house Gallery, where large boxes of Godiva chocolates were in abundance because the chocolatier was one of the evening’s sponsors, the sound was a bit muted, and the bass (and accompanying vibration) was heavy, things that can be fixed as the Chelsea moves forward.
5. I can’t wait to return to the Chelsea for Eric Church, Childish Gambino and Mars’ non-NYE show. The Chelsea is going to quickly become a favorite midsize music venue on the Strip.