Just watch Bruno Mars this holiday weekend
Bruno Mars is a perfect fit for Las Vegas. The pop star may be young and in the prime of his career, but his sense of classical songcraft and showmanship makes him ideal for a Vegas residency. Of course, the fact that he’s still an international superstar means that Mars can’t spend as much time in Vegas as many other resident performers do, but he clearly has an affinity for the city. Mars kicked off the opening of the Chelsea at the Cosmopolitan with a series of mini-residencies there, and he’s now made the new Park Theater at the Monte Carlo his Vegas home.
Mars makes his Park debut riding high on the success of his latest album, 24K Magic, which debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard album charts when it was released last month. The title track and lead single has made the top 10 in more than a dozen countries, and the video features Mars partying at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. Rolling Stone called 24K Magic “a shining moment for Bruno Mars,” and Entertainment Weekly said that “nearly every track sounds like top 40 gold.”
Mars has been an expert miner of that sort of gold for his entire career, starting as a songwriter and producer with the trio known as the Smeezingtons, who worked on hit songs for artists like B.o.B, Cee-Lo Green and Travie McCoy. Mars parlayed that work behind the scenes into his own solo career, releasing his debut album, Doo-Wops & Hooligans, in 2010. That album spawned the huge hits “The Lazy Song,” “Grenade” and “Just the Way You Are,” which has already become a wedding and prom staple that will probably still be soundtracking first dances years from now.
Since then, Mars has continued to rack up hits, including “Locked Out of Heaven,” “When I Was Your Man,” “Treasure” and “Uptown Funk,” a collaboration with producer Mark Ronson that has become one of the best-selling singles of all time, with 14 weeks at the top of the Billboard singles chart, 2 billion views for the video on YouTube, multiple Grammy awards and appearances in everything from The Flash and Glee to an Alvin and the Chipmunks sequel and the video game Rock Band 4. The song even got Mars to the Super Bowl, where he performed it during halftime of the 2016 game.
Songs like “Uptown Funk” perfectly encapsulate Mars’ sense of fun and playfulness, along with his strong grasp of musical history. “Uptown Funk” recalls the funk and R&B of the ’80s, and much of 24K Magic is a tribute to the New Jack Swing sound of the ’90s. Mars even worked as an Elvis impersonator during his youth in Hawaii, starting his experience with putting on a show and working a crowd at an early age. “Bruno is among the most talented performers in the world and we are excited to start a long-term relationship with him,” MGM Resorts president Bill Hornbuckle said when announcing Mars’ latest residency. It looks like Mars and Vegas are set for a long and fruitful connection.
Park Theater at Monte Carlo, 9 p.m. Dec. 30-31, $160.55-$504.59 plus tax and fee. 702.730.6620