Josh Groban Wows Orlando Audience With Voice
The Sandspur
February 4, 2005
By Jami Furo
The lights went out in the T.D. Waterhouse Center on Monday night, and from the darkness emerged a young man-renowned throughout the world, yet still wide-eyed and humbled by his chance at fame. The spotlight shone on him, displaying both his confidence and his amazement at the crowd before him. But when he opened his mouth to reveal his angelic baritone voice, all else melted away, and the young man was transformed into an intelligent, mature, and captivating force.

I have seen plenty of concerts with which to compare this event, including superstars like Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Paul McCartney, and countless other groups of various styles. However, Josh Groban, with his powerful voice and endless charisma and wit, is a young man that was simply born to entertain. The sold out audience was consistently captivated and awed throughout the performance.

Groban, accompanied by a large string ensemble and traditional rock ensemble, opened the show with the Italian song, "Oceano" from Groban's second album, Closer. Groban continued the show to include hits such as "To Where You Are" from the television show Ally McBeal, "A la Luce Del Sole," and "Alejate," among many others.

The set even included brilliant and unique covers of Don McClean's "Vincent," which paints the image of Vincent Van Gogh through his famous work Starry Night, and Paul Simon's "America." Of course, the most popular performance of the night was "You Raise Me Up," Groban's hit that has been played on the radio and VH1 in addition to being performed by Groban at the Super Bowl and Oprah Winfrey's fiftieth birthday party, among other occasions.

Groban also performed his song "Broken Vow" with jazz soloist Chris Botti on the trumpet. Botti opened the show with soothing-yes, I said soothing-sounds on his trumpet. Botti's technical skill and heart-warming tone were the perfect opening for the evening and a majestic addition to the already beautiful "Broken Vow."

Groban, as if the indescribable beauty of his voice were not enough, also displayed prowess on the piano when accompanying himself on several selections and on the drum set as he "dueled" with the other percussionists. Groban's musical selections also spanned three languages, including English, Italian, and Spanish.

While a man with as much vocal talent as Josh Groban needs nothing more to be entertaining, he also displayed endless energy and humor between songs. Groban's wit was quick, never missing a beat, and even after two hours of performing, he showed no signs of fatigue.

Josh Groban is a breath of fresh air amongst the musical atmosphere of today, which is filled with lip-syncing, electronic instruments, altered voices, and a constant stream of the same few styles of pop music. Groban's classical, operatic style appeals to all ages, cultures, and personalities. It is truly refreshing to see a talented young man singing Italian arias, accompanied by an orchestra, selling out arenas. Maybe the world is ready to appreciate a real talent in the music industry.