Groban's Voice Seduces Q-C Crowd
Quad-Cities Online
February 19, 2005
By B.J. Elsner
Josh Groban fans Kathy Morris and Jolene Allan of Burlington, Iowa, all but forgot February's chill outside The Mark of the Quad Cities Friday night as they basked in the warmth of their favorite baritone backstage before the show.

The two women were selected for the personal greet-and-meet along with two other area fans through the Warner Bros., Josh's recording company.

"I couldn't believe when I got the call Thursday night, and all I could think to say was, `Oh my God,"' Ms. Allan said.

The two joined fellow Grobanites in the near-capacity crowd. Audiences got two heart throbs for the price of one as trumpeter Chris Botti seduced them with romantic standards from his chart-topping jazz instrumental CD "When I Fall in Love."

As Mr. Botti's horn oozed honey into the ears of their wives, many a dragged-from-his recliner spouse wrapped arms around their partners and held hands tighter. All eyes were on the 42-year-old virtuoso trumpeter, who's ranked among this year's People magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People.

Not to worry, fellows. Rumor has it Botti saves his best performances for "Today" show host Katie Couric.

After a brief intermission, house lights dimmed and glow sticks flickered at a frenzied rhythm to the opening cords of "Oceano."

Into the spotlight stepped Mr. Groban, a lanky 23-year-old with cascading brown curls. Forgive the aside, but were the female fans thinking lipstick tube for themselves or a hair brush for the boy, because the urge comes immediately to smooch him on the cheek and stroke your fingers through that mop of dark brown hair.

It's maternal -- and then again, it's not.

So what is it about this self-proclaimed geek that fills arenas with mature women swooning alongside their daughters -- swooning to lyrics like "E' Per L'amore Che Ti Do." Audiences from Moline to Milwaukee get that he's saying, "It's for the Love I Give You."

And they get it without Berlitz.

It ain't opera of the classical or soap variety. It's just clean, clear voice.

For those who can't remember Mr. Groban's performance at last year's Super Bowl because of a certain infamous wardrobe malfunction, the seductive dance between him and violinist Lucretia Micarelli bared nothing more than her feet during "Mi Mancherai."

And the only thing to make audiences blush came from Ms. Micarelli's taunting strings and Mr. Groban's seductive vocals.

Now that's classic.