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A few thoughts from Bruno Mars/Janelle Monae at the Pearl

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Bruno Mars | Friday, 16 June 2011 | Pearl at the Palms
Photo: Denise Truscello | Wire Image

• Why doesn’t every one know who Janelle Monae is yet? The girl’s got everything a pop act needs—a voice that could murder if it wanted, natural good looks, style (Who doesn’t love a woman in a tux?), attitude and stage presence … She even has a funky horn section and back-up dancers in Venetian masks and robes, a la Eyes Wide Shut.

Janelle Monae | Friday, 16 June 2011 | The Pearl

Janelle Monae | Friday, 16 June 2011 | The Pearl

Bruno Mars | Friday, 16 June 2011 | The Pearl

Bruno Mars | Friday, 16 June 2011 | The Pearl

• Call me lowbrow, but I have no idea why Monae chose to perform song “Mushrooms & Roses” while painting the backside of a naked woman with the word “love” underneath it.

• Pearl security was not prepared for Monae’s epic stage dive and wandering among the crowd. Watching them scramble to find the petite singer among the sold-out audience proved entertaining. Everyone not working security, of course, loved it.

• It never ceases to amaze me how good the music sounds when you’re standing at the Pearl’s concession stand.

• Bruno Mars knows his audience. Within minutes of taking stage, he has thrust his groin suggestively at the audience, then stopped and thrust in slow motion—“Just in case you missed it the first time.” Believe me, this gaggle of fawning women didn’t miss it the first time, Bruno. You’ve got them wrapped around your pinkie finger.

• Seriously, it sounds like a Justin Bieber concert in here. “Panties are going to start flying,” my male friend remarks. We are genuinely surprised when none do.

• The quote of the night comes courtesy of Philip Lawrence, Mars’ production partner for hits like “Just The Way You Are” and the faux-female voice in “The Lazy Song”: “I’m going to move to the desert! I’m going to be on Twitter!”

• Just when I find myself thinking that Mars’ “Our First Time” feels like a ‘90s slow jam, he bursts into a rendition of Usher’s “Nice and Slow.” Nice. I wonder if he could tell Mr. Raymond to stop with the club anthems and get back to his baby-making musical roots.

• Mars encores with a Michael Jackson cover, “Dirty Diana,” and his own “Talking to the Moon.” Not surprisingly, the former MJ impersonator nailed MJ's song.

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