Bruno Mars told the sold-out crowd at the TD Garden Wednesday night that he was determined to make them sweat.
Exactly 90 minutes later, it’s fair to say that plenty of the 14,785 fans in attendance left with more than a few beads of perspiration on their brow thanks to the indefatigable singer-songwriter’s ecstatic approach to performing.
On tour for his crackerjack 2012 release “Unorthodox Jukebox,” Mars was in motion from the first downbeat of opener “Moonshine,” executing a series of slick synchronized steps alongside his fluidly grooving 8-piece band, all in matching red suits.
The energy never flagged as Mars displayed his flair for dramatics and classic showmanship, twisting, thrusting, and shimmying through retro soul jams — including the Prince-ly “Treasure” — gospel pleaders, breezy reggae ditties, and fizzy pop songs.
Mars has chosen his band wisely as they not only bring his music to life but match his enthusiasm and hit every step alongside the boss.
Even as he did his best James Brown shuffle, Mars never dropped a note, singing with power and nuance and imbuing each song with just the right flavor: a playful lightness on “Billionaire,” a touch of grit in the impassioned “If I Knew,” an emotional quiver for the piano ballad “When I Was Your Man” — the night’s loudest singalong — and keening desperation for “Grenade.”
Mars also managed to peel off a few short but sizzling guitar solos and even took a quick turn behind the drums, before ending the night with the one-two zap of “Locked out of Heaven” and “Gorilla.”
Given his early declaration of exhausting the audience, one of the most impressive aspects of the confetti and pyro-strewn performance was how effortless it all seemed for Mars. Clearly, much work, planning, and rehearsal went in to the show, but Mars made it look easy.
Los Angeles soul popsters Fitz and the Tantrums proved to be a high-energy complement as openers.