iTunes Festival – Bruno Mars @ Roundhouse 8th July 2011

The iTunes Festival was celebrating its 5th year by hosting 31 gigs within the month of July. They managed to get some big names such as Kasabian, Foo Fighters, Bruno Mars, My Chemical Romance, Manic Street Preachers, Coldpay and many more to play at the intimate Roundhouse which is located in Chalk Farm. Money could not buy tickets to this festival you could only win them by entering through the iTunes Festival website. I applied for many of the dates I would of liked to have attended but I only won two. Winning two dates through iTunes was quite something as in the past 2 years I have won twice through them. There was Marina and the Diamonds in 2009 and Kate Nash in 2010. Yes if you have seen my past reviews I did attend a further 3 iTunes dates last year but they were through different sources. I arrived at the venue at 11.30am I was hoping to be the first there but 8 people were already sitting in the ticket queue. Also down the road were 6 people who were going to queue for My Chemical Romance the day after. The afternoon queuing involved torrential rain but the nice security guards allowed us to wait inside and come out when the weather was dry. They had tightened up the security this year. People who had no ID or they weren’t the person whom won the ticket were told they would not get in. Everyone whom purchased a ticket from Ebay were basically screwed especially if they purchased a ticket for a big band (i.e Manics, Arctic Monkeys) where the price would cost alot of money. As much as I like this festival I really think they should change how they send out the tickets. Maybe they could give the option for people to get them on a first come first served basis on the actual day. If this happened you would get actual fans who want to be there and wouldn’t want to sell them on. The doors opened around 6.40pm and when everyone had their tickets scanned they could go straight inside. So once inside the venue it was then a long wait till the only support act of the night and this being Ed Sheeran. Now I am not a massive Sheeran fan but I did really enjoy the 50 minute set. The songs sung were acoustic and were a taster of what to expect from the debut album. There was crowd participation plus Sheeran mentioned that he named his two guitars Nigel and Lloyd. Actually I was really impressed, the songs were extremely upbeat especially The City. Also on the night Ed sung the remixed version of The A Team and this being Little Lady. Ending the night was the next single You Need Me, I Don’t Need You a song that Sheeran was told not to play again 4 years ago. When hearing Sheeran play live for the first time I was reminded of Nizlopi whom he was guitar tech for when he was only 15. The question is would I want to see Sheeran play live again I reckon I would.

SET LIST

Grade 8
The City
U.N.I
Homeless
Small Bump
Wayfaring Stranger
The A Team
Little Lady
You Need Me, I Don’t Need You

At 9.30pm the countdown had started. As soon as there was 10 seconds left on the clock everyone started to count down. There was plenty of screaming when the introduction was playing. Kicking off the night was album track The Other Side which oozed energy. As expected B.O.B and Cee Lo Green who appeared on the album version of the track did not make an appearence. “London, How you all doing? You all feel good coz we’re good” Mars then said to the crowd. “We came to have a good good time” Bruno said before playing the first song he wrote and this being Top Of The World.  Now even though this song does not feature on the album it is incredibly powerful. Mars even showed off his hip thrusting skills during the song. “I want to thank you for making this song Number 1” Mars said before launching into a ska version of The Lazy Song. Now there was plenty of singing along to this energetic song. Actually I really liked the remix of this laid back song. It was then onto Money (That’s What I Want). Mars had said this song inspired the song Billionaire. Both songs were infused together and Billionaire had everyone singing along to this song. Our First Time then followed on straight away. The song had a mellowing/ chilled out vibe to it. Bruno launched into the fast tempo Runaway Baby. I loved this song was infectious plus they blitzed through it. It was delivered powerfully and the crowd literally burst into screams once it was over. It was then onto the uplifting Marry You and this was a real crowd pleaser. In fact I see it being a future single. “This song is called Count On Me” Mars said before launching into this mellowing song. He took to the ukelele to play Count On Me which is a song about love and friendship.  Also this song is very catchy “You can count on me like 1,2,3″. Everyone was singing along to every word of this song.

After it was then onto a tiny little skit where Bruno sang in his best cockney accent. “It’s tradition” Mars said before the skit. “This next song I wrote when I was drunk” Bruno then went onto say before launching himself into the powerful Liquor Store Blues. The wonderful Nothin’ On You was next and the beginning was slowed down alot. Yes this song again turned out to be a massive singalong. Then halfway through the tempo was cranked up and the song became more energetic. “As you probably know I write alot of love songs but that does not mean I haven’t had my heartbroken once or twice before” Mars said before launching into Grenade which was a story about heartbreak. Now I really like this song as it is really catchy and uptempo. I guess there are many girls whom would die for Bruno. “Hope you guys had as much fun as we did” Mars said before launching into the beautiful ballad Just The Way You Are. Basically this was the perfect song to end an epic night on. Towards the end there was crowd participation when the entire crowd sang along which was very special. “London town make some noise” Bruno said when the song was over and the rest of the band was introduced.

SET LIST

The Other Side
Top Of The World
The Lazy Song
Money/ Billionaire
Our First Time
Runaway Baby
Marry You
Count On You
Liquor Store Blues
Nothin’ On You
Grenade
Just The Way You Are

OVERALL: After when Bruno had finished Just The Way You Are fans were still hoping for an encore. Nearly at every single gig the artist comes out one last time for a song or two. Unfortunately Bruno did not come back to the stage. Fair enough maybe no encore was planned but after seeing the set list the encore was Talking To The Moon. Still the fact he didn’t come back onto the stage didn’t put a dampener on my evening. This was truly one magical night and even my sister enjoyed every moment of Bruno’s set.

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