I’ve been lucky this year, and have gone to some awesome concerts. More than I’m used to for sure. Let me tell you…the concert I went to last Wednesday at Nationwide Arena in Columbus took the cake. It was by far the best one I’ve seen in a long time (maybe ever. I’m not a concert connoisseur and don’t go to that many though….so that really doesn’t mean much.)
…because Buble means champagne. Don’t get the reference? Watch this SNL sketch stat. Stat means now.
The concert amazed me from beginning to end, starting with the opening act, Naturally 7, an acapella group unlike any I’ve ever seen before. I enjoy acapella groups, but have never heard one quite like this. In fact ,they don’t call what they do acapella, instead they call it vocal play, which is also the name of their upcoming release. They sound like a full band, however the only instruments are their voices, even though you hear a drum set, bass, guitars (including a wailing electric solo), harmonica, even a DJ. They’re quite amazing and a perfect warm-up act. My sister didn’t even want the group to finish…she would have been content with them staying on stage all night.
But then the headliner, the incomparable Mr. Michael Bublé came out opening with “Cry Me a River”, which is also the opening song on his latest release Crazy Love. This arrangement has no business being anything OTHER than a lead. I absolutely love it. You knew you were in for a show when it ended with a fireworks display.
And a show it was. This was no ordinary concert…in fact Bublé himself said that it wasn’t a concert, insisting that instead it was a party with friends. Bublé had a full-on monologue that rivaled the one Conan gave in May when I saw his Legally Prohibited tour. At one point or another, he made a Tiger Woods joke that was actually funny, called himself a slut for being so many people’s presents (and then realized that there was a little girl with one of those signs…), talking about how confusing Columbus was (He was in a hotel with a bunch of Christian teens on Eclipse night, in the same area as his concert there was also a baseball game and a rock concert at another venue in the same area), and making plenty of cracks about his band (who you could tell he appreciated immensely). I didn’t expect to laugh that much at his concert. I really should have expected it. The man got me to watch a full hour of Glenn Beck once.
Another thing I didn’t expect was the screaming. That rivaled the screaming I’ve heard on videos from Jonas Brother’s concerts. Except most were from middle-aged women…and a few guys. When he went to do a set on a smaller stage in the back of the area, he required 4 bodyguards to get him from point a to b and back. Conan ran freely around an area full of college students (a huge demographic for him). Just a little thing I found interesting.
The set list was perfect. All of my favorites were included: “World on a String”, “Everything”, “Georgia on My Mind”, “Fever”, “Crazy Love”, “Haven’t Met You Yet”, “Me and Mrs Jones”, and an acoustic version of “Home”. (Okay, so everything he sings is a favorite. I’m betting he could sing the Michigan fight song and I would enjoy it.) He talked about how growing up, he didn’t just love the standards (Sinatra, Martin, etc), but loved what was popular at the time, and then broke into a little moondance and “Billie Jean” (also a favorite). He also admitted to the moment that made him want to be an entertainer: the float scene in Ferris Buller’s Day Off, which led into a sing-a-long of “Twist and Shout”.
The reason we have Michael Bublé. Thank you Ferris for skipping school that day.
My absolute favorite moment of the entire evening was in the final song in his 3-song encore set. During “Song for You”, he put the microphone down, and stood in the middle of the stage in this giant area and just SANG. Just him and a barely there piano line. And the boy really can SING.
I swooned. And then died. This post is coming to you from the afterlife.
Everything about the concert reminded me why I fell in love with Mr. Bublé in the first place. It was an absolute amazing night. He managed to make an arena feel like a more intimate theater setting, connecting with (and being truly grateful for) all of the fans that spent the money to come see him. He’s more than just a singer; he’s a charismatic entertainer. Unlike some other musicians I enjoy, he is singular in what he is doing. I can’t recommend seeing a show of his enough. Michael Bublé has the complete package. I, like Bublé, hope that he is still doing this when he’s an “old fart”. As long as he’s around, I’ll be there too!