Before their boldly becoiffed idol took the stage, before the crack backup band executed their first choreographed hipsway, before the first of their own overheated number could yell "Play ‘Just the Way You Are!’" the fans for last night’s Bruno Mars concert at the Blaisdell Arena knew they were party to something special.
Indeed, their very presence in the serpentine, block-long lines leading in to the arena for the first of Mars’ three sold-out performances meant that they had achieved what thousands of less fortunate Bruno buffs could not: Somehow, someway, they got tickets.
The tale of how three nights of shows sold out in less than two hours has already become the stuff of local legend. And while those who were left on the wrong side of the turnstile are irritated legion, those who were able to secure tickets are well aware of what it took to enter the Moonshine Jungle.
Christian Chan, 19, of Maui wasn’t able to get tickets during the initial sale so he instead entered a contest sponsored by Native 92.5 FM during ticket sales for the upcoming Mayjah Rayjah show in Maui.
"I was praying so hard," Chan said, a longtime fan. "When I won I was, like, ‘Thank God!’"
Chan attended Friday night’s concert with his grandmother, Loretta O’Hara, herself a big Bruno fan.
"It’s like seeing Michael Jackson," said O’Hara, 64. "I wasn’t going to miss this one."