After 11 years of bringing you local reporting, the team behind the Vancouver Observer has moved on to Canada's National Observer. You can follow Vancouver culture reporting over there from now on. Thank you for all your support over the years!

Bruno Mars and Janelle Monae take audiences on jazzy '50s-inspired journey

The Hooligans in Wondaland  by chart-topper Bruno Mars was an impeccable show at the jam-packed Rogers Arena Friday night. Mayer Hawthorne opened the show and co-headliner Janelle Monae showcased her talent with her crystalline vocals. Monae and Mars were the perfect combination, filled with vivacity and soul. The concert was an ultimate throwback to the jazzy Doo-Wop era. Janelle Monae was wearing her signature get-up of a crisp white blouse, black cape, tie and pants.

Her clean cut outfit contrasted with the trippy multi-colored backdrop similar to some scenes in Alice in Wonderland. Considering her relative newness on the scene, Monae -- who studied theatre before her foray into music -- commanded attention with her dramatic stage presence. She crescendo-ed her performance by ending with her two hit songs, "Tight Rope" and "Come Alive" before making her exit, parading through the crowd with a suave demeanor. 

Monae paints a female figure & the word "LOVE" on canvas as she performs "Mushrooms and Roses"

Sporting his classic fedora hat, Bruno Mars brought out loud screams from all the female fans as he appeared onstage. The singer-songwriter stood in front of a lone mic stand with his guitar, in a simple tee and cut off denim vest bearing his sexy tattooed arms under the spotlight.

The fanbase ranged from elementary school kids to mothers and many boyfriends who were dragged along (who obviously knew all the lyrics to the songs).  Bruno Mars’ smooth charm came across when he was sweet-talking the audience in between songs. To make the swooning worse, Bruno chose a lucky girl from the audience to serenade during “Nothing on You,” his earlier collaboration with B.O.B. Things even got a little spicy and playful when Mars engaged in some inoffensive pelvic thrusting on stage with his fellow band members. Fans laughed and screamed with joy.

Mars showed off his impressive skills on the electric guitar when performing chart-topping “Grenade”. He almost had the audience fooled after he performed his biggest hit, "Just the Way You Are" and exited the stage.Thinking the concert was over, a quarter of the crowd were leaving their seats until Mars came back on stage and started singing a couple verses of "Somewhere in Vancouver" (a twist of his hit Somewhere in ‘Brooklyn’). His final song, "Talking to the Moon," left a rather blue feeling as the concert finally came to an end and it was time to say goodbye.   

Unlike most big productions, Mars had no outfit or set changes. The absence of glitzy stage production simply brought out the artists' talent. Mars kept the audience electrified with his smooth MJ-like dance moves, and incredible singing. Before Bruno left the stage for the final time, he bowed and shouted, “I will be back Vancouver!” We hope to see him again fairly soon, pelvic thrusts and all.

More in Music

Ultimate Valentine's Day playlists: The smooth, the seductive, and the sappy

Spotify has given us the ultimate Valentine's Day playlists. The following musical collections contain soulful heavyweights, a few retro gems, and one or two sappy-sweet classics.

Vancouver thrash-punks Joyce Collingwood gear towards a jump

My interview with Vancouver thrash-punks Joyce Collingwood didn’t start out the way you would expect. We didn’t start talking about the new material they’re recording — or about the departure of...

Vancouver Folk Music Festival 2012: photos

The 35th annual Folk Music Festival is not to be missed: here are some gorgeous scenes from the event, which ends on Sunday.
Speak up about this article on Facebook or Twitter. Do this by liking Vancouver Observer on Facebook or following us @Vanobserver on Twitter. We'd love to hear from you.