Bruno Mars Being Used By Politicians
Bruno Mars didn’t get paid to perform during halftime of Super Bowl XLVIII. Even so, his performance is paying huge dividends for both himself and those looking to get some quick votes.
His performance was sensational—finally, a pop star who can sing, dance, and play the drums. I thought he was much better than Beyoncé who shook her groove thing during last year’s Super Bowl intermission. Beyoncé is a bit overrated and for some reason untouchable. The media, as a whole, is slow to criticize her and therefore her Super Bowl performance was unnecessarily inflated.
Super Bowl Bump
Thanks to his Super Bowl showing, Bruno Mars’ latest album, Unorthodox Jukebox, received a major sales boost. For the week ending on Super Sunday (Feb. 2), Unorthodox Jukebox sold 40,000 copies. That’s a 164 percent leap from the week prior when his sophomore effort moved just 15,000 copies.
Almost assuredly, the Super Bowl performance will be a huge boon for the upcoming Bruno Mars tour. His jaunt begins April 18 in Honolulu (first of three shows) and concludes Sept. 6 in Monterrey, Mexico. Highlights of his outing include Memphis on June 6, Boston on July 2, and Englewood, Colorado on Aug. 17 (his last U.S. date).
The selection of Mars as halftime entertainment was harangued by Jody Rosen, pop critic for New York magazine. Rosen thought Mars lacked the necessary star power to perform at the world’s biggest sporting event. The critic said if you’re a pop star in today’s climate…
“…you have to sprinkle your stardust across all these different platforms. Not just the concert stage and the record, but the red carpet and the paparazzi shot, your clothing line and your fragrance.”
Then the day after the Super Bowl, the New York Times critiqued Mars’ performance by writing “he isn't yet a star, and that the Super Bowl halftime was too big for him."
To Ellen And Back
Bruno Mars appeared on Ellen on Feb. 10. Ellen is a huge Mars fan. In fact, Mars made his television debut on the daytime talk show back in 2010. When asked to respond to the aforementioned criticism, Mars said it “disgusting.” When I read that, I slapped my hand to my forehead and yelled, “No.” That was especially embarrassing since I wrote this article in a busy, downtown Starbucks.
Rock ‘n Roll Fantasy
Rock stars are living a fantasy. The fantasy is they can be as decedent and as licentious as they want. In return, we get to live vicariously through them and feel better about ourselves when they go through rehab. That’s the appeal of rock and roll (well, that and the music).
As a normal person, I have to deal with criticism on a daily basis. Being criticized is pretty much the definition of “normal person.” All rock and rollers have to do when they’re criticized is give the finger, shrug their shoulders, or flash the peace sign. Think about it? You’re a frickin’ rock star! You don’t care what anyone says.
Then I did something very few bloggers ever do. I actually watched the interview I was writing about (novel idea, huh?). Mars wasn’t disgusted because someone had the nerve to criticize him. He was disgusted because someone had the nerve to suggest you couldn’t be a successful singer without a clothing line and a signature scent.
He then gave a rousing speech where he inspired would-be singers to practice hard and believe in themselves. He said you don’t need a fragrance to have your moment to shine. It was inspirational. It was moving. I can’t carry a note in a wheelbarrow but after hearing Bruno’s oration I was ready to cut a four-song EP.
Mars concluded his energetic homily by running through the audience and hugging middle-aged, menopausal women as the theme to “Rocky” blared through the studio speakers. After he returned to stage, he put his arm around the manly looking host of Ellen and proclaimed: “With that being said, I have a fragrance coming out this fall.”
What a guy! He even has a sense of humor.
Politics Of Dancing
That’s the positive fallout from Mars’ halftime performance. The negative involves the dreaded “p word,” and no, I’m not talking about the English rock band Placebo. I’m talking politics—to be more specific, a “politician.”
Tickets to Mars’ three Honolulu shows sold out in two hours. Of the 17,000 tickets sold, 42 percent were bought by fans on the mainland of North America. Only six percent of the tickets were purchased at the box office meaning the vast majority of people who bought ducats didn’t wait in line.
When I Was Your State Senate President
In response to a day of ticket sales that can only be described as completely normal and anticipated, State Senate President Donna Mercado Kim introduced a resolution. Her resolution urges that for the first 48 hours that tickets to a concert or entertainment event go on sale, they can only be purchased in person and at the box office.
Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with DMK, this is a tawdry attempt to capitalize on Mars’ fame, the popularity of his music, and his Super Bowl appearance (which was why the tickets were sold on the Monday after the big game). State Senate President’s proposal is pure pandering. Remember, Mars is Hawaii’s favorite son. He’s from Honolulu. Remember, Kim is running for U.S. Congress. She’s a politician.
Locked Out Of Box Office
It’s also a little silly. Hawaii’s main industry is tourism. Many of the tickets sold on the mainland will be used by tourist visiting the islands and spending money on hotels, restaurants, and travel. Fifty-eight percent of the tickets were purchased by buyers with a Hawaiian zip code. As mentioned, just six percent of the tickets were purchased at the box office (one percent at ticket outlets). What this means is Hawaiians overwhelmingly prefer to use the internet (or phone) to buy concert tickets. DMK’s resolution is completely unwarranted.
Furthermore, the Blaisdell Center (the venue hosting Mars’ three-night stand) told customers that the WORST option for buying tickets was waiting in line at the box office. According to news reports, “several hundred people” comprised the box office’s queue. “Several hundred people” is nothing. You can get “several hundred people” to show up for anything. How else do you explain a Kid Rock concert?
Doo-Wops & Concert Tickets
It’s doubtful this idea will catch on. I don’t think the Hollywood Bowl, who welcomes Bruno Mars to Los Angeles on May 31 and June 1, or Madison Square Garden, who welcomes Bruno Mars to New York City on July 14 and 15, will appreciate two days of prospective concert-goers showing up to their box office windows. You can sell several thousands of dollars’ worth of rock tickets on the internet in the time it takes someone to ask the sales representative behind the box office window, “How are you doing today?”
Besides, isn’t one of the best things about smartphones, laptops, tablets, and ubiquitous WIFI is never having to wait in line (well, besides Candy Crush and eternal cat photos)? I understand if we had flying cars or we were vacationing on the moon, like we were promised in all those science fiction movies of the ‘50s and ‘60s, but we don’t have either of those things. So at least let us keep the technological advancement of being able to buy concert tickets in our underwear, on our couch, over the internet.
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