Bruno Mars performed for the first time at Tel Aviv’s Yarkon Park Wednesday night in front of a sold-out crowd of 63,000 people who traveled from all across the country to see him.
He will take the stage again on Saturday night, with tickets for both performances having sold out mere hours after ticket sales opened—a buying frenzy Israel hasn't witnessed in years.
The singer kicked off the show at 9:05pm with the song 24K Magic, accompanied by fireworks in the background. "Tel Aviv, I've heard stories about this place! They told me [there would be] '70,000 people' - but it doesn’t sound like 70,000. Let’s try this again!" he called and encouraged the audience to make some noise, "The Hooligans (his band) have come to Israel, thank you for coming! We’ve waited a long time to get here, we want to see you dancing and singing!" Following that, he performed Finesse, originally a duet with rapper Cardi B, followed by Treasure.
During the song Calling All My Lovelies, Mars held a phone in his hand, then surprised the audience and said in Hebrew "Honey, I'm in Tel Aviv," continuing to sing "I love you" (Ani ohev otach) in Hebrew for a whole minute. Watch:
The gates of Yarkon Park swung open at 6pm, and approximately ninety minutes later, singer Agam Buhbut, accompanied by Mergui, took to the stage to kick off the opening act. When it came time for the main performance, Yasmin Moalem joined in for a duet of their duet, Tsunami. 2018 Eurovision winner Netta Barzilai and singer Eliad Nachum will take to the stage to warm up the crowd for the American singer on Saturday’s show.
Five hours prior to the show and three hours before the gates were to open, a line began forming to enter the Yarkon Park complex. "We arrived at the park at eight in the morning, anxious to secure a spot in the front row," fan Yafa shared.
Mars landed in Israel on Tuesday after a show in Tbilisi, Georgia. After his second concert on Saturday, he is expected to perform in Qatar at the beginning of next week.