Our Trip to (Bruno) Mars

There are times in marriages where you have to do things that might not be something you’d actually choose to do. Often those times end up not being much fun, but that was not the case Friday night.

BrunoMarsSure, there were moments where I was wondering what I had gotten myself into, but for the most part I had a good time at the Bruno Mars: Moonshine Jungle Tour as it stopped in Memphis.

Aloe Blacc was the opening act and he was OK. It’s hard to be critical of someone when you really don’t know their material, but the first few songs of his set seemed a little blah, even to Tammy.

Tammy: I’m bored.

Not long after she said that to me Blacc started to get the crowd more involved. They really came alive when he sang the only song I knew of his, “The Man.” And as you can tell by my video, I was getting into it and singing along. At one point Tammy had to tell me to stop singing so loud.

He had the crowd swaying and singing along to his last 3-4 songs, but my favorite was definitely “I’m the man, I’m the man, I’m the maaaaannnn.”

Familiar Face

Not long after Aloe Blacc took the stage, Tammy leaned over to me and said she thought someone we “knew” was sitting a couple of rows in front of us.

The next 10-15 minutes were a blur as I tried to figure out if it indeed was the person she thought it was, Fox 13’s local meteorologist, Joey Sulipeck (aka The Bow Tie).

We started watching Good Morning Memphis not long after we moved here in 2013 and the crew of Ernie Freeman, Valerie Calhoun, Brooke Thomas, Scott Madaus, and Joey became part of our morning routine.

Sometimes I hit them up on the Tweeter as I’m eating breakfast during the show and they respond more often than not. Basically they make everyone feel like we are all part of one big family during the show and I’ve mentioned to Tammy on more than one occasion about how it’d be cool to meet them.

Since the lights were already out, I could only see the person in question from the left side of his face, I was trying to find anything that might distinguish him as The Bow Tie (he wears bow ties on the air every morning). I was grasping at straws.

Me: He’s got a big watch like Joey does.

Tammy wasn’t really paying attention to me anymore at this point so I took to the Tweeter.

Bruno_Mars_JoeySA few minutes later my phone vibrated and showed I had a Direct Message from Joey asking me what section. I responded and told him I was over his left shoulder, wearing a Chicago Bears shirt, that I was a fellow Sigma Chi and I was honored to meet him.

Before Aloe Blacc’s set was over, Joey stood up, turned around, smiled and shook my hand. We introduced our wives and sat back down to enjoy the show.


Hanging with The Bow Tie after Bruno Mars.

Hanging with The Bow Tie after Bruno Mars.

I seriously could have left the show at this point and would have been happy. Meeting Joey has been something I’ve wanted to do for quite some time and I figured the night would only be downhill from here.

I told Tammy that I’d like to get a picture with Joey but I didn’t want to seem weird. I decided to do it while the Bruno Mars set was being put up, but that plan got scrapped when two people sat in front of me.

I improvised and asked him for a shot after the show. He met me in the lobby and we chatted a few minutes before Tammy took our picture.

He even remembered me inviting him to lunch one time when we were eating at a place near the Fox 13 studio.

Welcome to the Moonshine Jungle

The lights cut out again and shrieks arose from the crowd. I had never experienced anything like that before in person, having only heard them from old clips of Elvis or the Beatles. That’s when I realized this wasn’t going to be like most of the concerts I’ve seen.

Even Bruno’s intro was interesting, as you can tell by my reaction in the video below.

The second the curtain dropped Bruno Mars had every woman in the audience eating out of his hand and dancing with him. When the lights would go out after a song then come back on TWO SECOND LATER, high-pitched shrills would go up from the crowd.

BrunoMars_screamsEven though I only really knew a handful of his songs, Bruno Mars put on an incredible show full of lights and lasers. It felt like we were at a big nightclub where he was the DJ getting everyone to sway and bounce to the beat.

BrunoMars_Lights_2 BrunoMars_LightsAt one point Bruno turned the nightclub into his own version of Magic Mike as he and his band members pumped, ground and gyrated themselves on the stage (literally), much to the delight of the females in the audience, including Tammy.

I don’t know what he was singing, but at one point it was as if Bruno Mars was actually making love to the 8,000+ women at the FedEx Forum AT THE SAME TIME. Girls were screaming, throwing their hands up and on the verge of losing control of themselves. It was crazy.

Several times during the night I thought I smelled pot, which really is not that out of the ordinary at a concert. Turns out it may have been coming from the girl standing next to Tammy, who actually was NOT smoking pot.

Tammy: The girl next to me STUUUNKK like B-O (body odor).
Me: Gross, really?
Tammy: Yeah, every time she raised her arms it was so bad. I don’t think it was pot you were smelling, but her underarms. It was like BO mixed with an attempt at deodorant.

Bruno Mars announced his last song, which didn’t make one of the girls sitting behind us very happy.

Random Girl: (with very heavy Southern Drawl)  Lah-yest saw-ng?!?!  (Translation: Last song?!?!)

Turns out he heard her and came back on stage to sing two encores, one of which was a song I actually knew, Locked Out of Heaven.

See if you can find my favorite part of the song from my video.

While the concert was definitely different from what I’m used to seeing – think Kid Rock, Aerosmith, Kiss, Van Halen, Mötely Crüe, etc. – and a much younger crowd, Bruno Mars put on an incredible, high-energy show and was well worth the time, money and effort on my part.

Tammy’s time to do something she would not actually choose to do happens in November when she’s going with my friend Daniel and me as Mötely Crüe invades Mississippi for their final tour.

I can’t wait.

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9 Responses to Our Trip to (Bruno) Mars

  1. good2begone says:

    Nice review! I’m not a fan if that type of music but I hear it quite often. My wife and teenage stepdaughter know all the words. I volunteer to be stashed into your suitcase for the Crüe show though!

    • JWo says:

      I’m not a big fan of it either besides hearing it all the time when I’m in the car with Tammy. It was a completely different vibe than what I’m used to at concerts, with all the lasers and screaming teens.

      Daniel and I saw Mötley Crüe together in 1986 when Guns N Roses opened for them (no one knew who they were) so it’s only fitting that we see them together on their final tour… with Tammy being our DD for the night. There are plenty of good seats available, so you are more than welcome to come down and hang with us!!

      • good2begone says:

        Thanks for the offer! I saw them on the Shout at the Devil tour for a whopping $8 a ticket. Next 2 times were no where near as cheap. All great shows, though.

  2. dana says:

    I am going to tomorrow’s (June 13th) show here in SC. 5 hour round trip but I’m SOOO excited. Can you tell me how long Aloe sings? Or better yet, how long does the entire show last? I know Bruno sings for about 90 mins. I have his set list memorized from the countless youtube videos of his concerts. Just trying to get an idea of when I will be home.

    • JWo says:

      Aloe Blacc played for about 45 minutes with a 15-20 minute break in between.

      It wasn’t what I was used to seeing, but it definitely was a lot of fun. If you are a big fan then you’ll have a great time.

      • dana says:

        Oh yeah, I’m a huge fan, can sing along to it all lol. Now my husband refused to go. My 19 year old son didn’t mind. Got a long way to go to get there but sure it will be worth it. Thanks for the reply.

  3. preachersdaughter69 says:

    I am so jealous! 😉

  4. dana says:

    Reply via email reminded me to update my experience. It was 2 weeks ago yesterday. I have to agree with Aloe’s performance but like you, i wasnt familiar with a lot of it. Looking back, i feel sorry for him and would like to see him again. He is still a great performer, just couldnt sing along. Bruno was AMAZING. We were in front of stage but up a level. Even though i had his concerts memorized (and i did give my son play by play warnings before it happened ex: explosions lol) from watching tons of youtube, he still over exceeded my expectations. I hope he comes back soon because that 6 hour round trip drive was worth it!

  5. Pingback: Why I’m Cheating This Movember | The Life of J-Wo

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