He's Josh a Kid, but What a Voice!
New York Post
February 14, 2005
Squeaky-clean, clear-voiced Josh Groban is one of the most extreme punks in music.

Punk? Josh Groban?

Yeah. He doesn't have a Mohawk, and his face isn't pierced, but at Madison Square Garden this 22-year-old kid from California spat in the face of most modern music from hip-pop to industrial metal with a singular thrilling neo-classical program.

You don't get more radical than that.

At his sold-out concert Friday, Groban dished up most of the tunes from his two solo albums in a one-night-engagement that melted his diverse New York audience. There were blue-haired matrons, teenagers and even a desperate housewife who waved a sign "Josh You Make Me Hot & Stupid."

Powered on placards, cheers and performing at the Garden, the long-faced, doe-eye singer was pumped to the max. In a dapper black suit, he worked the crowd with rock-star histrionics.

While his choices of tunes, sung in a mix of English and romance languages, were miles from standard pop confections, each highlighted his formidable baritone.

Despite the seriousness of the music, Groban is still a kid and when he was onstage he playfully interacted with the front-row fans, joked with the band and even claimed a acre of drumland with an unexpected blurred stick solo.

So inspired by his beat and versatility, a guy in the upper decks screamed out, "I love you, Josh." Groban, more used to admiration from the ladies, stuttered back with unease in his voice, "Thank you, sir."

Groban's show wasn't without mistakes.

He depended on a local orchestra to bolster the band. Too bad, since this strings 'n' things outfit just bloated the songs. Groban should be striving to strip down the arrangements to tighten the focus on his chops.

His core band was all he really needed: guitar, bass, piano, drums and the incredible barefooted violin soloist Lucia Micarelli. Miss Micarelli deserves special mention not only for the quality of her fiddling, but for the angular body English she put into her playing that belies dance training. She was as good to watch as she sounded.

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