The stars have arrived in Houston, and they turned out Friday night to see headliner Bruno Mars perform at LIFEWTR/Pepsico’s “Art After Dark Super Bowl 2017 Experience” at traveling nightclub, Club Nomadic.
The red carpet was red hot with celebs galore strutting down the VIP entryway, including Houston-native and Good Morning America co-host Michael Strahan, singer/rapper CeeLo Green, Fox NFL sportscaster Erin Andrews, Dallas Mavericks owner and Shark Tank's Mark Cuban, and John Legend and his supermodel wife Chrissy Teigen.
The normally press-friendly Teigen seemed unusually photo shy, staying off to one end of the red carpet, telling photographers, "no photos," which was seconded by a burly bodyguard. Actor Vince Vaughn was on the same wavelength, skipping the red carpet altogether. CultureMap's intrepid photographer F. Carter Smith captured both anyway.
Legend said he was excited to see Mars, and added that his wife wasn't doing press that evening because she was "just shy."
Green, who was born in Atlanta, said, of course, he is rooting for the Falcons.
There was no shortage of former and current pro athletes with Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller, New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., Hall of Famers Barry Sanders and Terry Bradshaw, and Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton, who hails from Katy, in the audience.
The party got started around 10:30 pm when Mars took to the stage in front of a massive sold-out crowd of 9,000. An additional 1,500 tickets were released and purchased after organizers figured the final configuration of the venue a week before the concert would allow in more fans.
In a nod to H-Town, Mars donned a George Springer Houston Astros jersey, while his backup singers/dancers wore a mix of Astros, Rockets and Texans jerseys. "Houston... we're trying to have some fun tonight," he yelled near the beginning of the 90-minute show. "I wanna see everyone moving. I wanna see everyone dancing."
The dynamic performer, who has stage presence to spare, indeed had the audience dancing and singing along as he opened with the title song from his latest album, 24K Magic, and played a set of hit songs including, “Treasure,” “Locked Out of Heaven,”When I Was Your Man, ”Grenade,” "Just the Way You Are,” “Marry You,” and his closing song,“Uptown Funk."
Mars also wove bits of songs like Ginuwine’s "Pony" and Michael Jackson’s "Rock With You" into his set throughout the lively evening.
After Mars left the stage, DJ Khaled kept the house rockin’ as he spun tunes until 2:30 am, as many in the crowd stayed around, turning the general admission area into one big dance floor.
Ending on a high note, Saturday is the final night of performances at Club Nomadic. Taylor Swift is set to headline DirectTV's Super Saturday Night, marking her first time performing as part of the Super Bowl festivities.