The Michael Bublé “Party” at the Air Canada Centre

3pm on a Wednesday afternoon, I get a text message from a friend asking if I wanted to go see Michael Bublé that night as her husband – for whom she’d bought the ticket as a Valentine’s gift way back in January –  wasn’t at the last-minute able to go. I must have been much to enthusiastic about the idea as she came back to me offering both the tickets for myself and husband. As I said to her, my husband would rather dress head to toe in hot pink spandex than go see Michael Bublé and besides which I was keen to catch up with her too, so we went together.
 
Before I get into the “I love Michael Bublé” bit. I need to bang on about the superb opening act “Naturally 7” . Originally from New York, this group of 7 musicians use their voices in unison to recreate a different musical instrument – they call it Vocal Play. What an incredible layering of vocal sound. Not a drum or instrument in sight. It was refreshing, classy and incredible. There’s beatboxing and then there’s this – no comparison. Check them out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5MkNOXSdkA
 
Back to Michael, I had actually intended to go see him but had missed getting tickets. Michael Bublé  is for me the human embodiment of what Canada appears to be to the rest of the world . Nice looking clean-cut appearance (not too flashy or overt), solid family background, boy next door appeal, self-deprecating, overshadowed internationally (I may not have an objective handle on that now) and appears to be very middle-of-the-road, but with hidden depths.
 
It would appear that middle-of-the-road is good for the wallet though, as the demographics of the audience ranged from 7 to 70, females, males, gay, straight. Really his genre of music can offend no-one. I had thought the audience would be predominantly female, but there was a good smattering of men – young and old. After all the reason I was there at all, was because a 50-something bloke had originally been bought the ticket as a treat. It seems he was not alone. One male member of the audience when quizzed from the stage by Michael who’d made the assumption he’d been dragged along by his spouse, replied that it had been the other way round! So he must be doing something right.
 
I was very skeptical of this performer when I originally heard him years ago on UK radio, firstly I thought his name was a bit problematic for a British audience, I also wondered what his “angle was”. What –  if anything –  was special enough about him to propel him into super stardom, “what was his usp”.  As far as crooners go, nothing can beat Frank Sinatra; we still have Tony Bennett (who came along to the Toronto Jazz Festival in 2009 and was magnificent), and of course there is Harry Connick Junior peddling his own smooth style, and our very own Jamie Cullum with a very much more fresh and edgy approach to the classics and his own compositions.
 
Anyhow, firmly embedded in the Canadian psyche, Michael Bublé has won every music award under the sun here, this young man who earnt his chops playing in Toronto jazz clubs like “Healeys”, “The Reservoir Lounge” and the “Rex Hotel”, ran his gig like the seasoned pro he obviously is. It was like being in someone’s front room. You have to take your hat off to a guy who has a personal fortune of millions and yet still retains the ability to come over as sincere, humble, funny and self-deprecating, and genuinely in tune with his audience. Very endearing was that he appeared ever aware of his audience and the hard earned pennies they’d parted with to come and see him.
 
He stated up front that he wasn’t one of those performers who stood looking at his boots whilst introducing his next song in a monotone, and that it was his intent to host the event like a very large party. And host it he did. He took a great deal of time to eloquently introduce all the members of his large band, and (and I might be being very naïve here) it sounded from the ribbing he gave each in the intro, that he probably knew them very well indeed. Up beat twist songs and samba rhythms, bobbing balloons in the audience, a cascade of glitter; the continuous banter of stand-up comedy. – yep we were at a party. He sang some excellent arrangements of well-known classics like “Cry me a River”, Mac the Knife, and Me and Mrs Jones plus a few of his own – Haven’t Met you Yet and my favourite “Feeling Good” saved for the long encore.
 
Above all, the man appeared to be having a ball himself, walking back and forth through the crowd (a star announcing his intent to walk in and amongst adoring fans must be a security nightmare )so of course he was surrounded by his bodyguards, but the audience loved it – it made him seem so accessible, plus the fact that he came forward constantly to shake hands with and chat to the audience right in front of the stage.
 
All I can say at that point is Aaaaaahhhhhh – gotta love him
 
Over & Out
 
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One thought on “The Michael Bublé “Party” at the Air Canada Centre

  1. Pingback: 2010 in review « Britgirlintoronto's Blog

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