Remember When He Sang
Soul Shine Magazine
September 4, 2004
By Jaclyn Arndt
Josh Groban: Pengrowth Saddledome
Although a slew of throwback musicians have recently cropped up, Josh Groban was one of the first. Styles of music that were once dominated solely by 40+ artists are being taken over by a new generation of old-school singers which is simultaneously bringing class back to the music industry.
Groban exemplifies this perfectly – no flashy costumes, no wardrobe malfunctions, no scantily clad back-up dancers. Given all this it's nearly impossible to tell that he's just twenty-three years old. Throw in the incredible power of his voice and people are flabbergasted when they hear Groban is of the same generation as Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake.
Groban launched into his biggest hit 'To Where You Are' early on in the evening, and it turned out to be a good thing he did. There was a noticeable lack of enthusiasm in his performance of the song, though one can hardly blame the guy. He's been riding on the track for three years, and has sung it hundreds of times. However, Groban completely made up for the lacklustre take later on in the set.
With two tracks off of his latest album 'Closer', Groban made it clear just why his awe-inspiring vocals need to be heard firsthand. With emotion most performers are incapable of, Groban made everyone in the room a believer with 'Caruso' and 'Remember When It Rained'. With the songs coming one right after the other, it was like two solid punches aimed directly at your chest – a quick one-two courtesy of Mr. Groban.
The passion and heart-wrenching intensity he put into the songs could never be captured on a studio recording; it's really something that needs to be experienced in the flesh in order for full understanding to take place. Groban's performance of 'Remember When It Rained' was so affecting that it was almost possible to hear pieces of shattered hearts hitting the floor in the hushed stadium. Luckily, I was able to tape mine back together and it's now recovering nicely.
With all that's going on in the world today – terrorist attacks, senseless war, political turmoil – Groban is one that could solve it all. Just let him belt out a few notes and everything would just stop. Everything. That's what experiencing the unbelievable power of his voice firsthand is like – you forget about everything except the curly haired, five-foot-eleven guy on stage.
Inviting a local high-school choir to back him on current single 'You Raise Me Up', Groban pulled off a flawless execution of the crowd-pleasing song. It put a nice cap on the evening, the dismal performance of 'To Where You Are' completely forgotten by that time, the aching beauty of 'Remember When It Rained' erasing the one marred moment.