Josh Groban hasn’t toured the US in four years. Apparently talented musicians like Groban do not get rusty. His 90 minute performance showcased his vocal skills along with his odd sense of humor and genuine appreciation for his fans. The crooner is now accustomed to performing at hockey arenas and even though massive stadiums don’t seem to be the right place for Gorban’s musical style, it worked. It seems everything this man does finds a way to work.
Most know that Groban sings Christmas carols, “You Raise Me Up,” and is adored by grandmothers across the world. But there’s much more to him than that. His voice is incredible, yes, but his down to earth personality makes the lyrics sung in Italian a tad more bearable for the husbands in the audience.
The show took place in front of a massive wall that was there to give the dramatic feel of Italy a few centuries ago. Groban immediately commented on that. “We would have had a full choir here tonight but we blew our budget on this wall.”
That set the tone for Groban’s many intervals throughout his set. Much of his humor was self deprecating but he turned on the audience as he ran through aisle after aisle trying to talk to one of the thousands. He could only get screams when he asked for names and quickly gave up.
It is tough to create an intimate concert setting when there are ten thousand fans in one room. He did his best though and performed a few songs on a stage in the center of the audience. Once again sprinting down an aisle, he ended up holding the hand of an eighteen year old girl who wanted to sing with him. He obliged and she got the shock of her lifetime as she belted out the lyrics to happy birthday. Once again Groban’s sense of humor took over and influenced the song choice. Nonetheless the girl got to sing with Groban accompanying her on the piano and helping out with much needed back up vocals.
There’s no question that Groban is extremely talented, many of his performances are considered classics, and he’s sold 20 million albums worldwide. Much of his music is considered to be that which is popular among a pretentious set. He quickly brought any of those questions to a halt with his appealing personality that shined through and gave the show a another dimension.
At one point a fan yelled out “sing a tweet.” This request was not met but the younger crowd is beginning to know him as a cool guy that happens to sing big songs in different languages. The tweet comment referred to a must see Youtube video of Groban on Jimmy Kimmel plugging his new “album.” The album featured 752 tracks as he belted out the best of Kanye West’s tweets. This man is clearly more than a singer.
The show ended as expected. The uplifting ballad was sung, the audience was on their feet and Groban made his exit. This show was both unpredictable, fun and entertaining. Definitely an unexpected surprise from an artist that does much more than sing.