by Anita Davis (special to Bruno’s Lady Club)
The arena darkens; a curtain featuring majestic palms is illuminated with pulsating lights, and a disembodied voice states, “Welcome to the Moonshine…. Jungle!” As blue lights glow, a rhythmic mélange comes to the aural foreground, and then… Bang! The curtain FALLS to an oceanic wave of emotion and cheers. Tens of thousands are about to be possessed deep in the heart of la jungla (the jungle). Bruno Mars and his Hooligans Band are poised to slay relentlessly, without mercy.
This is the Moonshine Jungle World Tour (MJWT)/Moonshine Jungle Tour (MJT). From June 22, 2013 to October 14, 2014, a musical juggernaut plows through Asia, Europe, North America, and Oceania, leaving audiences ecstatically exhilarated and transformed.
Beng Beng Beng.
I am now old enough to have enjoyed various decades of what I consider soul music. I had not heard Femi Kuti‘s “Beng Beng Beng” in quite a few years, and when I first heard it, I had not the experience to grasp its full essence (late bloomer, LOL) even as the lyrics and tumbling percussion painted vividly across my mind’s canvas. It’s tame compared to a lot of what’s out there today, but in 1999 it was banned in Nigeria.
It’s today, and I have heard and re-heard Bruno Mars’ “Gorilla” at an age where I finally know what it’s all about. Stunningly primal and more explicit to my ears, but delivered in the same ingenious way: the vibe is conveyed via rhythm and voice (and Mars is a veritable acrobat). As with Femi’s tune, I realize that it’s “not for everyone,” but it sure speaks to ME.