That time Bruno Mars played in front of 700 people at Bottom Lounge

There will likely be over one hundred million viewers watching Sunday when pop star Bruno Mars follows in the footsteps of Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney, U2 and Madonna and headlines the Super Bowl halftime show. The Super Bowl is expected to be the highest-rated broadcast of the year in the U.S.

And to think, it was only three and a half years ago the “Locked Out of Heaven” singer performed at Bottom Lounge in the West Town neighborhood, which has a capacity of 700.

The soldout show took place in Nov. 2010 -- a month after his debut full-length album, “Doo-Wops & Hooligans” was released. There is no gap between the stage and the audience at Bottom Lounge, so Mars was able to interact with the crowd on a more personal level. As you can see in the video above, he playfully grabbed audience members’ cameras and filmed himself during the intimate show.

Obviously, a lot has changed since then.

Mars, 28, has won two Grammys and been nominated for 18 of them. In 2012, he was the host and musical guest on “Saturday Night Live” (I don’t think I’ve seen a better music performance on “SNL” than when he sang  “Locked Out of Heaven” with his band dancing behind him). Mars has outgrown Chicago’s smaller venues. His Moonshine Jungle tour hit the United Center, which has a capacity of 23,500 for concerts, last July and he’ll perform June 20 at the First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre in Tinley Park (capacity: 28,000).

As for Bottom Lounge, the next artist scheduled to take the stage at the venue is Paradise Fears. You can watch the South Dakota pop-rock band perform there Wedneday. Or you can just catch Paradise Fears when it headlines the Super Bowl in a few years. | Twitter @TribLuis

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Copyright © 2015, RedEye
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