Mars invited the crowd to get deeper into his groove.

By Hayden Wright

The 2017 BET Awards kicked off with a characteristically high-energy performance from Bruno Mars. Clad in a “HOOLIGANS” baseball t-shirt, the singer sang “Perm” from his smash album 24k Magic. Mars was accompanied by a six-piece band that included an electric guitar, trombone, trumpet, and sax. The musicians worked some choreography into their instrumentals, shifting from side to side in perfect unison with Mars.

Bruno, underwhelmed by the crowd’s reaction, paused the performance to encourage more audience participation.

Related: Bruno Mars Shares Prince Tribute Rehearsal Footage

“This the BET Awards!” he said.  “This supposed to be the loudest party of the year.”

He then gave the crowd another shot to join the party and resumed his set. During his second try, he noticed someone in the crowd recording the performance with an iPhone. Once again, Mars stopped the music.

“You can’t film and dance at the same time!” “You know they filming—you can watch it at home. It’s for your Instagram, right?”

Bruno finished the set and turned the stage over to host Leslie Jones. Beyonce leads this year’s BET Awards with 7 nominations—Chance the Rapper is set to collect the Humanitarian Award, while New Edition is honored for their lifetime achievement.

Listen Live