Apologies to The Boss, but Bruno Mars really kicked off tonight’s show. Dressed in head-to-toe gold—that’s not an obvious message or anything—and opting for a deeper Doo-Wops and Hooligans track, Mars showed off his James Brown-inspired moves and impressive flexibility (that split!). Sure, the vocals were muddled by the aggressive horns and blaring percussion but we appreciate his switching things up, if only for the instant lift it gave to the room’s otherwise somber mood. “Tonight we celebrate music, tonight we celebrate the beautiful Whitney Houston,” he told the crowd. “Get off your rich asses and have some fun!” For a night that’s heavily rooted in live performances, Mars let us know it’s OK to enjoy the moment, regardless of the circumstances.