Josh Groban Fans Left Entranced by a Magical Voice
October 15, 2007
By Caroline McIlwaine
If you were anywhere other than the Entertainment Centre on Friday night,
you missed arguably the music experience of the year - Josh Groban in concert.
Just speak to the legion of fans of the U.S. singing sensation with the rich baritone voice who worked his magic on the adoring audience from the moment the stage sheet-curtain dropped from the rafters to reveal Groban belting out You Are Loved, the signature tune of his current Australian tour.
Following four sold-out performances at the Sydney Opera House, Groban delivered two hours of music with his uniquely charismatic, powerful and interactive style of stagemanship, which allowed fans to appreciate both his towering vocal talent and the growing feeling that each member of the audience was important to him.
The evocative rendition of songs such as Un Dia Llegara was followed by cheerful banter with concert-goers, many of whom tossed restraint aside to shriek with delight at the 26-year-old, dark-eyed, dark-haired singer-songwriter who enjoys huge fame in the U.S. and growing renown in Australia, Britain and elsewhere.
Backed as always by the tremendously-talented violinist Lucia Micarelli and his six-piece pop-rock band, Groban also was joined on stage by a string and brass component of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, which delivered beautifully on the night. The overall sound was pitch-perfect, energising and uplifting - nothing jarred or grated.
While the light show and backdrop graphics enhanced the event, all eyes were on Groban himself, who made each and every song a soulful experience.
For many, the highlight was the star's foray into the audience which was no cursory venture but a 10-minute roam throughout the auditorium, up and down stairs, giving and receiving high-fives, dodging hugs and embraces while - incredibly - singing flawlessly.
For some fans, who have followed Josh Groban since even before the launch of his first self-titled album more than six years ago, the classical numbers are the real deal. If they lament his delving into all kinds of genres - including pop - they can take heart from the knowledge that the classical influence permeates everything.
His is quite simply a sublime voice.
Flirting with boy-like charm with the females of the audience, Groban, sitting at his piano, spoke about the impact of romantic ballads and wryly acknowledged that some "significant others" might have been dragged along to his concert - to which he quipped "Good on you for that, and we all hope you enjoy the night anyway".
His great regard for the audience - some of whom left their seats to stand at the stage edge - was no more evident than at the close of the evening when he responded to two rousing standing ovations with three encores - which included the moving You Raise Me Up (for which Groban was joined by members of a terrific local choir).
With promises of a return to Adelaide in the future, Groban exited to the thunderous applause of a sated audience, many of whom will no doubt be first in line for his soon-to-be-available Christmas CD, Noel.