Josh Groban at Amway Center
29 October 2011
By: D. B. Ketting
Josh Groban’s fourth concert tour is called the “Straight to You.” In preparation for this tour, Groban embarked on a mini tour called “Before We begin.” He wanted an opportunity to perform in an intimate setting and connect with his audience. He carried on this intimate theme and audience interaction throughout his “Straight to You” tour.
The enjoyable opening set was performed by ELEW, aka pianist Eric Lewis, who blended instrumental jazz with thunderous crescendos and arpeggiated chords out of unlikely yet recognizable pop and rock hits. He even reached inside the piano lid to pull at the strings directly. The audience had fun listening to his rendition to “Sweet Home Alabama,” as well as his cover of Breaking Benjamin’s “The Diary of Jane.”
Groban emerged on a platform in the middle of the arena floor to deliver “Changing Colors,” ”February Song” and “You Are Loved (Don’t Give Up).”
In between songs he took the time to joke with fans “You’re swarming like sharks. You’re surrounding me.” He also took text-message questions from the audience.
Even when Groban finally moved to the main stage he took a moment to interact with the audience by pointing out a girl in the front row dressed as Pinocchio. He was so impressed by another costumed fan up on stage that he invited the fan up onto the stage. “This is very disconcerting for me, because there’s this row of people wearing Josh Groban masks. Don’t slip because I’d have to sue myself.”
Overall, the show was quite enjoyable, using only a few visual gimmicks. The main star of the show as definitely the force and range of Groban’s vocal cords. He was impressive as he reached high falsettos, dropping down into dulcet baritones. At the end of the concert, you felt like you had spent an enjoyable evening with a dear friend.
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