Josh Groban and his team of very talented artists played to a capacity crowd at Power Balance Pavilion on Thursday night.
I was a little surprised when I arrived at around 7:30 and the opening act Eric Lewis, better known as ELEW, had already started. I double checked my ticket to find the opening act had started a tad early. The concert was scheduled to start at 8:00.
I was really looking forward to hearing his entire set. You see ELEW is a pianist and plays a melding of ragtime, rock and pop that he calls Rockjazz. (I just love saying pianist, it sounds so damn nasty). Well this dude was dressed more like a gladiator in his shiny silver arm band and black duds. He also played the friggin’ piano like a gladiator. Damn he was intense.
Then came the man of the hour and all the Grobanites, as his fans are referred to, rejoiced. The stage setup was high tech, yet intimate with Groban appearing on a small stage toward the middle of the crowd. By the end of the third song he made his way to the main stage.
The main stage was fabulously designed. Giving you an intimate feeling yet creating a larger than life set. The background was very high tech and appeared to be an ornate building. The color would change and during some songs it would change completely only to flash back into a solid wall.
Groban has a great stage presence and was pretty laid back in his delivery. With his velvety voice, sensitive demeanor and his boy next door good looks, it was obvious that the women in the audience were paying particularly close attention to everything he had to say. Giggling at things that weren’t even funny! Jeeez.
Groban went on to tell the audience how, at this very location, he was discovered in 1999 during Governor Gray Davis’ inauguration. At the time he was just 16 years old, and world-renowned multi-Grammy-winning producer/writer/arranger David Foster was in the audience when he performed. The rest as they say is history.
Throughout the concert Groban took questions that were texted to him from audience members. He gave their name, row, and seat number so the spot light could be shined on them while he answered their questions. He was asked – How do you like your eggs in the morning? Groban – Over easy with salsa. Another question was – What’s your next movie or TV role? Groban ““ The Office as Andy’s younger brother.
One audience member in particular, Beth Guido, had texted Groban letting him know how he’s been such an inspiration to her since she started singing. Groban immediately asked her on stage and even went out into the audience to bring her up. Trying to figure out what she would sing, Groban asked if it was anyone’s birthday. So Guido sang happy birthday, along with Groban, to audience member Lisa. Guido was awesome and the audience love it.
It was quite a moment when he ended the evening with his signature song “You Raise Me Up”. The audience was in awe and during the chorus everyone was singing along. It was one of those goose bump kinda moments.
Groban’s music isn’t for everyone and is more, what I would refer to as; gospel/crooner, but some would say pop music. Putting that aside, he is quite the entertainer mixing just the right amount of music with audience participation and good humor, and let’s face it ““ it was great just seeing the fabulously put together stage.
|The Set-list for the evening was:Straight to You
You are Loved
Bells of NYC
Alla Luce Del Sole
War at Home
Live and Let Die
You Raise Me Up