• From the music of Mars – and back

    Alice Bustos-Orosa

    Alice Bustos-Orosa

    Months back, my sisters and I thought that maybe watching Bruno Mars in concert might be a good idea for a weekend evening. And so as planned, all four sisters and teenaged nieces drove off to the Arena the other Saturday to catch Bruno Mars’ concert, Moonshine Jungle Tour.

    Frankly, the one song we all simply wanted to hear was Mars’ national anthem “Trea–sure,” which is perhaps played a hundred times on radio and iPods every day. “Do you think he’s going to sing it last or first?” was the curious topic of our pre-concert dinner conversation.

    Over dinner too, we talked about how Bruno Mars has worn his Fil-Am identity very proudly. Raised in a family of musicians who played in a live “combo” (a term so popularly used to refer to musical bands in the ‘70s), Mars’ musical career is deemed quite remarkable. As most musical protégés are wont to have, his natural talent thrived in this familial circumstance.

    Arriving a bit early to the concert venue that evening, we all sat back and watched as people filled every seat in the concert hall to the brim. As expected in local concerts, things got going quite late, and not after the crowd hollered for the show to start. But as the lights dimmed and the band began to play, excitement took over the audience.

    Like giddy schoolgirls, we all screamed and danced along as Bruno Mars performed his much-loved songs. Even though we didn’t quite know all the lyrics by heart, we resorted to lip-syncing at times.

    And then, to our surprise, he sang our most-awaited song third in the playlist. As the opening notes began to play, the audience literally jumped on its feet and swayed to the mellow yet upbeat harmony of the song.

    By halftime, we were all exhausted from the swaying and singing. I could only just imagine the stamina the performers on stage had!

    Perhaps one need not be a musicologist to know when a performer is outstanding, as it was with this show. The production was even more impressive, with not a bit of expense spared from the fireworks to the spectacular light show. The stage production was in itself worth seeing. Even more interesting, Mars needed no long spiels to introduce each song, nor even spoke about his own sob story on stage (something our local concert artists should learn from).

    It must have felt gratifying for Bruno Mars to perform before a home crowd. They say that the Filipino audience is a very discriminating and hard-to-please group; maybe, because Filipinos appreciate good music and well-planned productions. That evening though, there was nary a disappointed face in the audience.

    Mars has admittedly been influenced by the music of Elvis Presley and the ‘60s musical era, and by the dance moves of James Taylor and Michael Jackson. And yet, he has translated these music and dances in a contemporary way. I guess once in a while, there are performers and their songs that seem to cut across ages and generations. At least for one evening, we came to Moonshine and back home with the best of Mars’ music to heart.


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    1. Jay Dela Cruz on

      I think you meant – dance moves by James Brown (NOT Taylor) & Michael Jackson…….

    2. Ed Peñalosa on

      BM is American, Hawaiian born, not Filipino. He may have pinoy heritage but he’s not. Just getting real, aren’t we tired of insisting and forcing things here.