You would be hard-pressed to find a popular solo artist with the versatility of Bruno Mars.
If you think Justin Timberlake is the odds-on favorite artist, Bruno is the dark horse. Mars' rise to stardom has at times been both inconsistent and slow, but after his famed ‘The Moonshine Jungle Tour,’ it’s safe to say he has earned his fame.
Bruno Mars live in concert.
|Start date||June 22, 2013|
|End date||October 18, 2014|
|No. of shows||13 in Asia
37 in Europe
94 in North America
10 in Oceania
|Box office||US $156.4 million|
The Moonshine Jungle World Tour started on June 22, 2013, to October 14, 2014.
During this period, the musical juggernaut plowed through North America, Asia, Oceania, and Europe, leaving millions of fans ecstatically exhilarated and transformed.
It was nominated for three major awards; The ‘Major Tour of the Year’ in both 2013 and in 2014, and the ‘Most Creative Stage Production.’
The arena darkens, curtains featuring majestic palms are illuminated with pulsating lights, and thousands of voices shout, “Welcome to the Moonshine…jungle!”
Promotional poster for the Moonshine Jungle Tour
As the colorful lights glow, a rhythmic mélange comes forward, and then… Bang! The curtains fall to a fantastic oceanic wave of cheers as Bruno Mars, and his famed Hooligans Band are ready to slay relentlessly.
This was The Moonshine World Jungle Tour.
Well, if music were riches, Mars, (Peter Gene Bayot Hernandez – his real name) would be Robin Wood, wresting gold and silver from heavens and showering his fans with shimmering confetti.
Throughout the tour, celebrities dotted the audience, and a few, such as Gwen Steffani, Ed Sheeran, and Lenny Kravitz had a chance to grace the stage. Beyond the stage lights were luminaries such as Rita Wilson, Leonard Nimoy, Tom Hanks, Mario Lopez, Jay-Z, and more.
Those who couldn’t attend the live concerts took everything about the tour to social media.
One of the most trending tweets during the tour was Mindy Kaling’s.
This famous actress tweeted, “Is it weird to be sincere, I wish Bruno was my son?”
With Bruno’s Moonshine Jungle Tour, the sharing of videos and images among the Hooligans and the audience was a wildfire out of control.
Occasionally, Mars implored the crowd to put down their handheld devices to enjoy the show.
Bruno Mars at Madison Square Garden - the Moonshine Jungle Tour.
In the end, the social media exposure did him good; the social media postings and shares fanned the flames, and the Moonshine Jungle Tour enjoyed a nearly sold-out run, especially after the Super Bowl XLVIII Halftime show.
The entire show was like an enchantment.
The Siren’s song of the ‘Moonshine’ was like a gentle pull into the rabbit hole.
Bruno’s album Unorthodox Jukebox (released in 2012) and the Doo-Wops and Hooligans (released in 2010) offered the kind of musical diversity that would play anywhere to everyone; from ‘Just The Way You Are’, a surgical love anthem, and ‘Show Me’ with its rhythmic nod to disarmingly raw ‘Gorilla’ and ‘Pass the Dutchie.’
The entire band would manipulate the music, teasing it into smiles, moods, laughter, and sometimes tears.
It’s an undeniable bond among the audience, and it creates a supportive, yet, a playful atmosphere.
It was as if the audience had stumbled upon an unannounced jam session.
For more than 12 months, the Moonshine Jungle Tour transformed millions of fans, and it will always stand as one of the most ambitious and grandiose of all of Mars' productions that elicits the type of intimacy found in a cabaret.
It’s a special kind of magic – the kind only found in the jungle (la jungla).^ top
The Moonshine Jungle Tour received many positive reviews.
Mikael Wood, a Los Angeles Times’ pop music news writer, affirmed that Bruno Mars’ energy never runs out and his ‘seemingly effortless precision’ made the performance about itself. Mikael finalized, “The harder Mars played, the easier it seemed to be.”
"Mars has become a stone-cold hit machine who has rattled off a staggering amount of ubiquitous singles over the course of two albums and a few extracurricular appearances. He is an efficient, impeccable star that has thrown a bunch of timeless influences into a blender and jammed his finger down on the 'high' button. " (from Billboard's Jason Lipshutz)
Holly Perry from AXS also appreciated Bruno Mars’ tour. She argued that Bruno was a ‘true artist’ and ‘an icon in the making.’ Mike Wass (from Idolator) says that he witnessed Bruno’s ‘powerful’ vocals and his brand’s ‘incredible musicianship.’
Mary Colurso of The Birmingham News complemented Bruno’s capacity to demonstrate ‘outstanding Charisma’ his band, vocals, and the dynamic atmosphere created by his performance.
The first promotional poster of the tour
which included dates prior to 2014.
According to Colurso, Mars might not have the deepest and most breathtaking music, but he gets the party started and maintains the vibrancy.
The Washington Post’s Chris Richard said that the concert was one of the ‘rare, most thrilling, pop concerts.’
According to Richard, Bruno Mars didn’t attempt to recreate the gleam of his successful tracks; he reshaped the entire songbook at his will, and that’s amazing.
Besides, Mars approached broad ranges of music genres such as new wave, Motown, mid-‘90s R&B influenced by pop, and the late-‘70s funk. Richard believes this is what earned Bruno different generations of fans and admirer.
The Moonshine Jungle Tour also received positive reviews from the New York Daily News, Booth Newspapers, Digital Spy, and more.
As always, there were some critics as well. The Washington Post’s writer Chris Richard criticized Bruno Mars for not claiming his unique personality through the entire ‘genre-jumping time travel.’
Bridget Jones of The New Zealand Herald disapproved of the ‘seemingly comedic set pieces’ brought in Bruno’s concerts.
To maintain such creativity and vibrancy over the course of over 15 months, it takes a special kind of cooperation and cohesiveness – holding a shared mission.
Mars and his Hooligans managed to remain a strong family longer than some marriages, a true statement to the power of a true bond.
From the stage lights to traveling to different regions in the world, Bruno Mars and the Hooligan band maintained a strong bond, were always open to each other on social media and appeared to have been feeling like a family themselves.
The incredible moments both onstage and off created a bond between the fans and Bruno’s music.
Every time the superstar would show up on stage, the hooligans (audience) cheering in the life-changing experience of the jungle, and in the end, no one ever wanted to let Bruno Mars and his band go.^ top
This set list, from Wikipedia, is representative of one show. It may not represent all dates throughout the tour.
"Money (That's What I Want)" / "Billionaire"
"Show Me" "Candy Rain"
"Our First Time" / "Pony"
"If I Knew"
"When I Was Your Man"
"Just the Way You Are"
"Locked Out of Heaven"