Sunday, August 21, 2011

Not A Broken Vow.

I am not a hardcore "Grobanite," (as Josh Groban calls his fans) but about 4/5 into his show last evening at The MGM Garden Center Arena, I suddenly felt like one. After setting up four people on stage from the audience on a "romantic mood," even serving them wine, he says he will sing a song about cheating. He is being ironic, of course, but it is, in my opinion, one of the most romantic songs of all time, "Broken Vow," which is about letting go if you truly love someone. In a spare arrangement of just a piano and a trumpet, it was, in a word, just beautiful, one of those perfect marriages (pun!) of voice and lyric and music. I couldn't help but weep. He follows it up with another romantic ballad, "Per Te," this one is Italian, and suddenly I am transformed in a Florentine street, and instantly I am in love with someone, something, anything. That, I guess, is the reason why thousands, maybe millions, of people love him. His rich baritone voice was in magnificent form last night, and it is truly rich.  It's a pop baritone, easily accessible, easy to love. He wowed his audience with that and that alone, with no need for elaborate sets and pyrotechnics. This is his version of an "intimate show," and while it's not that by sheer space (it's still an Arena) he took great pains wit connecting with the audience, running around the floor a number of times, even taking questions from audience members by text. (Which artist catalog would you bring on a deserted island? He answers Bob Marley of course) I didn't realize he was so down to earth, and hilarious, with mostly self-deprecating humor. Not being too familiar with his catalog, the first part of his show was a bit of a blur - though expertly sung, I was sort of at a loss. However, by his encore, "You Raise Me Up, " I have been transformed into a believer. 

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