When I acquired a ticket to see Bruno Mars at the new arena in Glasgow earlier this month, it was hard to know what to expect. Acts of his size usually get lost in their own success, turning up when they feel like it because their vastly overplayed songs and huge number of Twitter followers can justify it.
However, thanks to Mars’ headlining performance and Radio One’s Big Weekend earlier this year, it’s now no secret that the Hawaiian born singer puts on an impressive live show. Did he live up to the hype? Yes he did.
From the second Bruno Mars walked on to The Hydro’s shiny new stage, the crowd of all ages were in the palm of his hand. An early highlight performance of Treasure had everyone dancing and belting out the words. “Put your camera phones down, let’s make some real memories!” he tells the crowd before playing a string of hits including Billionaire, Marry You, Runaway Baby and Nothin’ on You.
Mars dances in sync with his band throughout the night which they pull off with effortless cool. When they leave the stage after a stand-out performance of Just The Way You Are, we were left wondering how Bruno can possibly follow it up.
The artist has a number of tricks up his sleeve though, as we see when he runs onstage to play a five minute drum solo before going straight into Locked Out of Heaven. He closes this highly entertaining show with Gorilla, leaving the audience spoiled at the number of huge smash songs they have just witnessed live. Bruno Mars succeeded in making the Glasgow crowd laugh, dance, sing and cry to his mix of old time Motown and blues with modern pop, and closed the arena’s opening week in spectacular style.
But what about The Hydro? It’s been a long time coming for Scottish music fans who have grown tired of the mere rectangular and atmosphere lacking room that is the SECC.
What was missing from the old venue becomes apparent instantly when walking through The Hydro’s doors. The size of the circular venue is the first thing to make you stop before looking up to see the spider-web like ceiling towering above the audience.
The Hydro’s acoustics soar above and beyond expectations of what an arena can be, and with sound quality this good we could just as easily have been in a 3000 capacity theatre. The striking exterior of the venue cannot be ignored either – at night the luminous green and blue building could easily have come straight out of a sci-fi movie.
As far as arena’s go, it is an undeniably beautiful space that will be enjoyed by thousands for years to come. If you had the feeling you were setting yourself up for a fall when imagining “Scotland’s new home of live entertainment” then you can relax – it’s all been taken care of. Just wait until you see it for yourself.