Day five of Barclaycard presents British Summer Time Hyde Park saw one of the world’s biggest pop superstars Bruno Mars stun a sold-out Hyde Park with one of the festival’s most spectacular performances.
As soon as the curtain dropped from the ceiling, Bruno and his backing band The Hooligans stood proudly on stage, receiving a deafening roar of approval before breaking into the first bars of his recent high-energy hits, “Finesse” and “24K Magic”.
It was a true pop performance that had it all - a dazzling frontman, a silky-smooth backing band, grandiose visuals / fireworks and, of course, an impressive array of hits from album 24K Magic. The LP dominated the 2018 Grammys, picking up the prestigious Album of the Year, Record of the Year and Song of the Year (“That’s What I Like”) awards, and he swaggered his way through most of the record’s tracks, including “Perm”, “Chunky” and “Versace On The Floor”.
Bruno took a brief pause from the impressive choreographed performance to address the euphoric Hyde Park crowd. “We saved London for last. I want you to know that. Cos we know London’s gon’ sweat with us, dance with us, have fun with us.”
This was the European finale in an epic 19-month tour and even before Bruno launched into his last song, the crowd broke into the chorus of “Uptown Funk”, Mars’ global hit alongside Mark Ronson.
Before Bruno was Khalid, one of the hottest names in R&B - who created a buzz on stage with his charismatic performance. His debut album American Teen seamlessly blends elements of modern soul and dance, and Khalid (accompanied by several lively cheerleaders), dazzled the Great Oak Stage audience with his live renditions of “Winter”, “American Teen”, “Angel”, “Silence” and closing number, “OTW”.
DNCE brought their funk-influenced pop to a packed crowd at the Great Oak Stage. Their eccentric sonic style was matched by their equally extravagant outfits, with lead singer (and former Jonas Brother, Joe) donning a sharp, patterned suit. Jonas also gave a shoutout to his famous brothers in attendance, before breaking out into a mashup of Britney Spears’ “Oops!... I Did It Again” and Spice Girl’s “Wannabe” - watched on by Emma Bunton. “I got my brothers today in support. That’s Kevin on the right and Nick on the left. I feel like it’s only appropriate to play this song because we love the UK”.
Charlie Wilson got the crowd moving and singing along with an energetic set soaked in the hot British sun. Wilson and his band, dressed in an assortment of bright colours, worked their way through a number of hits, including “There Goes My Baby” – letting each member of the band shine on the track with an epic solo.
The husky-voiced Alex Hepburn released her latest EP If You Stayjust yesterday and the singer worked her way through several numbers off the release, including the title-named track, “Solid Gold” and “High Roller”. Hepburn also delivered a soul-drenched rendition of Blackstreet’s 1996 hit “No Diggity”.
Opening the Great Oak Stage was DJ Rashida, a US turntablist who’s opened for the likes of Prince, Kanye West, John Legend and recently for headliner Bruno Mars. She wasted no time getting the crowd moving, working her way through a number of soul, hip hop and funk grooves, chopping up classics such as Roy Ayers’ “Everybody Loves The Sunshine” with more modern, bass-heavy numbers.
The Barclaycard Stage welcomed a wealth of talent in actress and singer Naomi Scott, rising star Liv Dawson, Scottish singer Tom Walker, electro-pop duo Sofi Tukker, brass maestro Trombone Shorty and Yungen – who closed the stage with an exhilarating show as the sun began to set over Hyde Park.
Fans flocked to the Summer Stage to catch top-notch sets from Norway’s metal act Ark, singer-songwriter Etham, R&B collective The Fedz and Belle Mt - whose cinematic brand of alt-pop left all in attendance in awe.
Beverley Knight, Samuel L Jackson, Chris Moyles, Alan Carr, Leigh Francis, Emma Bunton, Adam Lambert, Nick Jonas, Kevin Jonas, Sophie Turner and Andy Jordan were some of the famous names who came to enjoy the fifth day of Barclaycard presents British Summer Time Hyde Park.
Tomorrow will see Paul Simon’s farewell UK show closing the festival.