Five things I wrote on my iPhone at Bruno Mars

At MGM Grand Garden Arena, August 3

Bruno Mars and his band killed it at the MGM Grand Arena on August 3.
Photo: Mat Hayward/Getty Images

1. The crowd wasn’t feeling openers Fitz and the Tantrums, though they brought energy and killer tunes to the stage Saturday night. Recent hit “Out of My League” was the only song that resonated with the drowsy crowd.

2. No surprise here: Mars sounded fantastic, belting out “Grenade,” crooning through “If I Knew” and supplying superior falsetto on “Just the Way You Are.”

3. Some of the night’s most impressive performances were covers: Barrett Strong’s “Money (That’s What I Want)” is perfectly suited for Mars’ voice, and his vocals on B.o.B.’s “Nothin’ On You” and Travie McCoy’s “Billionaire” sounded just like the recordings. The audience favorite: a rendition of Ginuwine’s “Pony.”

4. I often found myself watching Mars’ band members, who flanked him, dancing in unison and killing it on their horns. (Mad props to the trombonist!) I’d see these guys sans Bruno.

5. The first encore started with a surprise: a drum solo from Mars himself. He tore it right up, then hopped off the stool to take the crowd into one big sing-along of smash summer hit “Locked Out of Heaven.” I could have left happy right then, but I stayed for closer “Gorilla.” You would have, too.

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