Been There, Loved That
February 18, 2005
By Jennifer Gunshannon
Singing sensation Josh Groban graced the Wachovia Arena on Feb. 7. His very suitable opening act was trumpeter Chris Botti, who regaled the audience with love songs.
He began his performance with Gershwin's "Someone to Watch Over Me," and his astounding talent was rewarded with deafening applause. He also delivered selections from Miles Davis and the Nat King Cole favorite "When I Fall in Love."
Botti was an amazing performer, lively and interactive, and he relaxed the audience as it endured the wait for Groban, who finally came out, dressed elegantly yet simply in black. He delighted the audience with his well-known talent and his commentary on his songs and the area in general. His selections embraced three diverse cultures as he sang in English, Spanish and Italian.
Groban, who saved his radio staple "You Raise Me Up" until the end, also sang a song made famous by Don McLean, not "American Pie" but "Vincent." He shared the story of famous artist Vincent Van Gogh, creator of the painting "Starry Night." At the end of the song, the painting was projected on a giant on-stage screen.
As a final treat, Groban delivered his second encore in a Penguins jersey, much to the delight of the audience.
The weekend before Valentine's Day also brought twin concerts from the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, which this time focused on the songs of the great Broadway composer Andrew Lloyd Webber. The Feb. 11 show took place at the Scranton Cultural Center and was, in a word, delightful.