NOTE: This post may have some "spoilers" - so if you have tickets to his show and want to be surprised, check back later to read my review!
Basically, I entered a contest to win good seats online sponsored by Nordstrom, and to up my chances I entered for both Norfolk and Richmond. Well, holy smokes, I won the Richmond tickets! My friend Charlene and I had already bought "cheap seats" (Row Z, of course) tickets to the Norfolk one, which pretty much sold out two days after they went on sale. Here are both of my tickets, and note the $0.00 above that FLR2 on the top one:
I will forever KICK MYSELF for not bringing my camera to the Richmond night. We were in the 11th row! Amazingly close. I'm pretty sure that the last time I was that close at a concert, I was getting pushed around in a mosh pit by my fellow high school sophomores. When we got to our floor seats, there was a middle-aged couple sitting next to us, and the man asked my friend Monica and I if we were gonna hoot and holler and scream when MB came on stage. "No," I replied, "but I just might throw my panties." His wife got quite a kick out of one of my best-timed one-liners ever. (Note: I did NOT actually throw my panties, but I probably could have.)
The concert started out with this FABULOUS opening act called Naturally 7. I've seen a lot of a capella music performances in my day, but this blew them all out of the water. They mimicked instruments flawlessly (even an electric guitar), and they pretended like they were playing them, even going so far as giving the vocal percussionist his own drum stool. My favorite was their "bassist" - his name is Hops, and he is super skinny with a ridiculously deep voice. He's on the far right in this shot:
As for Mr. Bublé's set . . . whew. Well first, let me go back in time and tell you about when I started listening to this boy sing. I was in my last semester of college, the year was 2006, and I was taking a class called Voice for the Non-Major. It was a great class for "recreational" singers like myself. And in that class, the professor would often play a song or two by a famous or sorta-famous singer, and then he'd have us discuss what makes that singer good and what sets them apart. One day, he played some MB, I believe it was his cover of "Moondance" (which ended up being me and B's first dance at our wedding, btw), and what I really recall from the discussion is the fact that you can hear his PASSION through his voice. I know that all my past choir teachers had emphasized emotion, but I never realized just how well it could be done until that day.
And that passion that I heard through the speakers of the class stereo came through ten-fold at a concert with him there live. I guess if you were to classify him, he's a jazz singer, and he had all those fun jazz moves and a great band. He slid down his sloped stage, he twirled his microphone, and he gave witty commentary in an accent that I can only describe as "Old Hollywood."
And his stage looked pretty cool, too.
One thing I really like about MB and his concerts (or "parties" as he tells the audience to think of them) is the multi-generational appeal. Gals my age were there with their mothers, ladies could take their husbands, and at the Richmond show, a 20-something guy two rows in front of us even proposed to his girlfriend during an adorable love song called "Everything." You just don't get that at a Hannah Montana concert, folks.
I wonder if my husband would look that good in a suit with a skinny tie?
As any of his fans can tell you, MB just seems like that boy-next-door kind of likable guy. I loved the excitement he has for his band. He goes through and introduces each member to us, saying insanely funny things about each guy that are hopefully untrue for the most part. And for being such good sports, MB gives us a chance to just hear what they can do. Here he is enjoying a solo from his trumpeter:
A real crowd-pleasing part of the evening is when he comes out into the audience, accompanied by our new friends Naturally 7 (they back him on one of the tracks on his Crazy Love album). He involves the entire audience in the singing of his biggest hit "Home" - a song with which I have had quite the interesting relationship. That song got a lot of radio play during that spring of 2006 time that I first heard of MB. During that class discussion, I remember one of my classmates explaining that he also sings the song "Home" (which I had already heard but hadn't cared for much). I still didn't like it--it wasn't in his jazz style, it was too sappy for me, I couldn't dance to it, and I really didn't relate.
Fast forward two years to Summer of 2008, and there I am in my car, crying to this song, thinking about my Navy boyfriend who had been deployed for three months with many more to go. I ended up including it on my "Deployment 2008" mix CD, and have appreciated the song so much since. I'm sure the Norfolk concert was chock-full of current and former Navy spouses, and I hope Michael and his band know just how much that song has probably meant to every single one of us. It was definitely a more emotional experience in Norfolk than Richmond.
Me and Charlene, both wives of deployed submariners!
Each night, Michael Bublé sang his pipes off for two glorious hours, and we're all left wondering how he can even squeak a word out the next day. And how could listening to his silky-smooth, clear, and passionate voice be anything less than awe-inspiring? I think my personal highlight is how he ended the night - his un-miked voice, nothing else, filling the entire arena. It'll give ya chills, folks. So nice I loved it twice!
And even though he dropped an F-bomb (or two), he's still a class act to me.