A 24K Magical experience

Eight months ago, I wrote about wanting something so bad.

The moment Bruno Mars decided to take his 24K Magic World Tour in Manila, I knew I had to go. Doesn’t matter where I would be sitting, I just knew I had to be there. I blocked my whole May 4th after securing a Day 2 ticket several months ago. I’m not much into concerts but hey, my fangirl heart cannot let this opportunity to pass!

I guess I came in way too early and I had to wait for hours before they open the arena. (But my introvert self is happy because I got to date myself. Lol) At exactly 8, the Jabbawockeez opened the show. I haven’t seen them live until that night, but I would say they’re cool. The performance lasted for about 40 minutes and they did a pretty good job hyping everyone up.

And after a painful 20-minute wait, pop pop it’s showtime!

As I have expected, Bruno opened his show with Finesse. I just stood there staring at him and the monitors (tho he’s quite far from where I was). I just couldn’t believe he’s there! And did I mention I actually liked the original version better than that one with the female rapper? I’m glad he did the original, and the Grammy Awards dance solo that he didn’t do in his other shows abroad. It was too cool!

I think everything just sunk in to me when I heard 24K Magic‘s intro. By this time everybody was dancing, including the 7-year-old kid seated by my right and the oldies seated at the back. Man, I have never seen a more diverse crowd like this one! I personally loved the fireworks everytime he sings the line “pinky rings up to the moon!” If that won’t get you to your feet then I don’t know what will.

One thing about Bruno is that he’s very intimate with his audience. He asked everybody to try putting their phones down, to just dance and live in the moment. That made sense. Couldn’t really dance that much while I’m holding my phone. So as much as I would like to capture everything so I can relive the memories at home, I tried putting my phone down. That’s why I think I don’t have any decent capture of Treasure and Perm except for a short snippet. Do I regret it? Not at all. Dancing shamelessly was way more fun. Lol.

When Bruno came out with his guitar, everybody squealed. (As if they’re not already screaming everything he does something. Like anything.) It was for Calling All My Lovelies. I wasn’t surprised when he incorporated some “Miss na kita mahal” during the bridge because it trended the previous night on Twitter, but of course the kilig is there. This guy can sing the entire phone book and I think it will still sweep off everybody’s feet. Laglag lahat ng pwede malaglag, bes!

Though I wish he sang the full version of Chunky because it’s one of my fave songs from the 24K Magic album, the energy and entertainment he brought still didn’t disappoint. That’s What I Like came on next, and everyone knew every damn word of the song. (I guess that’s what we like, and he didn’t even need to sing!) He did this Brit Awards version which has a romantic ending where he would serenade all the girls in the room. Also, the “Mahal kita! Mahal kita! Mahal kita!” part got us all squealing like crazy.

Tired as he might seem because of the long duration of his world tour, his phenomenal range was still evident especially when he started belting out Versace on the Floor. He made it impossible for us to sing along with him — he took it higher, just like his Billboard Music Awards performance of the song, but of course, we did sing along. (We tried. We really did. Lol.)

I am all for artists who sing their old songs from their previous albums on tour. When he played Marry You, I’m pretty much sure the couples were ecstatic. I heard a several pairs in the VIP areas even got engaged during the song! He sang Runaway Baby next, and it was just as awesome. He’s indeed an expert of taking his old songs for a new spin and I’m sure everybody in the room loved it!

One of my most favorite parts of the show was when he sang When I Was Your Man. This time, it was just him and the piano on the background, and all I can say is, “No freaking way. NO. FREAKING. WAY.” Those notes, baby. No words for those notes.

The only break he took was when his pianist took the stage for a one-and-a-half-minute solo (which was phenomenal, by the way). He changed his baseball jersey top and started singing Locked Out of Heaven. I knew the show was about to end — the gold confetti in the end was the giveaway for it. While we were about to cry and suck it all up because everything happened so fast, he sang his last song for the night, Just The Way You Are.

It was an emotional performance — it actually made me tear up. You see, I never really liked JTWYA before because the airwaves killed it and became so overrated. However, singing the song that catapulted him into the fame that he has now, along with everyone else in the room, made it more special and raw. I think I would never listen to the song the same way again.

“If perfect’s what you’re searching for, then just stay the same.” (c) Jasmin Tan

Before he ended the song, he introduced his band and said his goodbyes as the curtains fell. I wasn’t convinced that it all just ended there. The lights were still out, so it’s safe to say the crowd wanted closure for the abrupt ending. We all shouted, “We want more!” Lo and behold, the curtains rose once again and they sang Uptown Funk for the encore! He ended his show setting his stage on faux fire, with a fireman putting it out as the curtains started falling again while they finished the song. This time, it was really over. That was fast!

It took me a couple of minutes to let all of that sink in. People started scrambling out of the arena and I realized that it was all over. Eight months of waiting and then there you go. He’s gone!

I wished he sang Straight Up and Down and Grenade, but a Bruno Mars show is STILL a Bruno Mars show. It was just how I expected it to be — energetic, colorful, full of dancing and lots of unpredictable key changes because he’s just THAT phenomenal performing live. People would say that the stage was too stripped and their wardrobes were just plain. But even with just baseball cap and jerseys on, all Bruno needed was his talent, a microphone and nothing else.

And that’s what I just came for. The thousands of bucks were well-spent. I had nothing but few short snippets with me to relive all those moments, but that’s fine, ‘cause I was able to live in the moment.

That was my 24K Magic experience this year, folks. Since I don’t go out on concerts a lot, I might as well write something about it. I think I should go to concerts more often. This was my second foreign act show (first was Paramore) so I’m looking forward to my next one!

And I’m looking forward to seeing you back here again, Peter Gene. 🙂


Credits to: ate Jasmin Lorraine Tan for the beautiful photo from afar. ❤

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