Just Couldn't Have Enough of Groban
Philippine Daily Inquirer
October 22, 2007
By Pocholo Concepcion
It was apparent that everyone-from Imelda Marcos and Cory Aquino to Rufa Mae Quinto and Erik Santos to non-celeb fans-had a good time.
Josh Groban's gala concert on Wednesday in the packed PICC Plenary Hall had elements of musical theater. There was drama as soon as a mesh-like curtain lifted, plus lots of animated movement.
Groban himself was all over the stage, darting from one end to the other. On the eighth song, he went straight for the crowd, pressing flesh and acting goofy as women screamed and posed with him for snapshots.
It could've been thoroughly pop, except that the star performer had solid training in classical music and was perceived to be veering in that direction when his debut album was released in 2001.
After numerous collaborations with artists from different genres, Groban refused to be stereotyped or even be called an opera singer.
But on Wednesday, he did exhibit dramatic flair, especially in his signature songs ("You Raise Me Up," "To Where You Are," "The Prayer"), although he had difficulty sustaining some high notes after a while.
Then again, he may be doing it like any pop singer would-wincing when the lyrics turned sad or cutting off a climactic phrase to illustrate desperation.
On the other hand, the eclectic nature of the repertoire-sung in French, Italian, Spanish and English-presented new possibilities through which contemporary music could be appreciated in a deeper, illuminating manner.
At 26, Groban is a big karaoke fan, demonstrating it by singing a few bars of Bon Jovi ("Wanted Dead or Alive"), Elton John ("Tiny Dancer") and Rihanna ("Umbrella"), accompanying himself on the piano.
Thus, his Manila audience couldn't have enough of him. He made several encores-and vowed to be back.