Here is what I thought I knew about Michael Buble before Saturday night's show at the KFC YUM! Center:
1) Only women loved to listen to him.
2) He was the vocal equivalent of Kenny G.
3) I would rather take a sharp stick to my eye than see him in concert.
I am very pleased to report that I was wrong on all three counts.
Buble was witty, connected with the audience in ways I've never seen before, and would have made Sinatra proud with the way he handled the standards.
But before we discuss Buble, I have got to mention how amazing the warm up group, Naturally 7, was. They're a group out of New York City who play no instruments…rather, they become the instruments themselves. They delivered a Motown/hip hop/pop performance that blew the audience away.
Going into the show, I was about as far outside the "Buble Bubble" as a guy could get. I even pronounced his name wrong when I told my wife we had tickets. And the day of the show, all anyone could say when I asked what they knew about him, was "If you like Sinatra, you'll like Buble."
I've heard that enough times over the years to know that disappointment would probably set in about 3 minutes into the show.
But when his curtain went up, revealing a scene that looked like a club out of a 50's film, including a swing-type orchestra, I opened up my mind a little.
When Buble sang classics like Cry Me a River, Mac the Knife and Georgia on My Mind, I took the bait.
And when he had a conversation with the audience, and connected with us in a very unique way, I became a fan.
While I enjoyed the music, and the way he made many of the songs, sung years ago by legends, his own, some of my favorite moments were his jokes with the audience. It was reminiscent of two buddies sitting in a bar having a conversation.
Most memorable was the thunderous wave of female "boo's" he received after announcing his marriage. He joked "Great! Half of the arena is booing me, and the other half is husbands and boyfriends saying 'I don't care if he IS married…I still think Buble's gay!"
He also made a woman's night by jumping down to the front row and hugging her upon finding out it was her birthday. I thought it was cool, even after finding out that was a staple of all his shows.
I did find it interesting when he revealed his childhood musical hero wasn't Sinatra, as everyone thinks…it was Michael Jackson. (He performed a mini-MJ version of Billie Jean, complete with moonwalk.)
Towards the end of the show, Naturally 7 joined him, and they performed in the middle of the floor…and the fans loved it. He actually spent about twenty minutes crooning from the sound booth, because, as he said "Everyone, whether you're in the front row or the back, deserved to get your money's worth."
Bottom line: a show with great music and a lot of laughs. I would consider seeing him again, and I know a lot of other men that were there would, too, because every wife and girlfriend I saw in the arena on Saturday left in a great mood!