NEW YORK — Rainy, misty weather did not stop
"He's an amazing singer, performer. [His Grammy win] makes me like him even more," fan Kathy Ramos, who had been waiting since 1 a.m., said.
Fans created hundreds of homemade signs hoping to catch Mars' eye. Megan Carroll and Kayla Dee, both 16, lined up late Thursday night and were excited to see Mars perform. "We love him. We saw him a month ago and we needed to go again. The rain's annoying, but it's definitely worth it," Carroll said.
Munzath Ashraf and Sundus Arain, both 18, arrived around 4 a.m. for the show. "We love Bruno Mars and we want to make sure we get in," Ashraf said.
More than 2,000 fans arrived early this morning, surprising local police and even host Ann Curry, who proclaimed this concert was the "biggest crowd of the year" for the "Today" show concert series.
The line to get inside the barricades wrapped around at least three blocks. But the limited space and the massive crowd left many fans unable to see the show. Even fans who had waited for hours weren't able to get inside the barricade. Both Ashraf and Arain ended up leaving even before they saw Mars.
"We are really disappointed. The stage was just too low to the ground and people were crying and trying to jump on our shoulders," Ashraf explained.
Mars hit the stage sleekly dressed in a black Dolce & Gabbana suit with a hot pink shirt and black tie along with dark shades, but without his signature short-brimmed fedora hat. The singer started his set with "The Lazy Song," which really got the crowd amped. After his first song, Matt Lauer and Mars talked for a few minutes and commented on how much larger the crowd was today as compared to his last appearance on the show eight months ago. Mars, who continues to gain notoriety and success as a solo artist, told Lauer, "They're making signs for me. I'm just happy I'm here. I really got lucky."
When asked if he plans to keep writing for other artists (Mars has previously written for Cee-Lo Green, B.o.B and Travie McCoy), Mars joked, "Absolutely not. I'm done," and then added "Of course."
For his next song, Mars sang "Runaway Baby" and playfully danced along with his band. To close the set, Mars sang a jazzy rendition of "Just the Way You Are," with the whole crowd singing along. And as if on cue, the rain really started to come as soon as Mars ended his set.