Friday, March 11, 2011

Review Of Michael Buble's Concert
9 March 2011
Singapore Indoor Stadium

I waited 5 years and 5 months for Michael Buble to return to Singapore, and the reunion was absolutely spectacular!

This marked my 3rd time watching him on stage, but was made that much more memorable because I brought my cousin's 15-year-old daughter, E, along. She's been a huge fan of his for years, and was excited not just by the prospect of seeing her idol 'live', but of being at the Indoor Stadium for the first time ever.

The review in Life! today was very positive, but the featured photo didn't quite do the entire setup justice, and dwelled more on Michael's banter.

So I've posted a few pictures to show off the amazing stage design ( click to enlarge ), and will talk more about the music and audience reaction.

Opening number Cry Me A River got things started at 8:30pm. As the band played the dramatic intro, Michael's silhouette could be seen behind the enormous curtain covering the entire stage, and when the drapes parted, the 10,000-strong crowd roared its deafening welcome.

This song has been redone quite a few times, but I love the arrangement on Michael's version - very James Bond-esque! - and his powerful vocals are perfect for this classic.

Immediately after he finished the piece, he sat down and spoke to the audience for about 10 minutes. Very different from his previous shows when he talked less and introduced the band much later. This time round, he mentioned how he arrived a day early and went sightseeing. He visited the Marina Bay Sands and the Night Safari, even calling out and saying hello to 2 people in the stadium who brought him around.

His hilarious intros for the band members seemed ad-libbed. Sure, he's done this a million times before, but from what I could see, no-one knew what he was going to say because they had pretty shocked / embarrassed expressions on their faces, and at certain points, weren't even sure who he was talking about!

Pianist and musical director Alan Chang remains a close friend and long-time tour mate. Still looking boyish but slightly haggard ( the same can be said of Michael as well ), it finally hit me that I last saw these guys when I was 30. They've come so far these past 8 years. I can still remember their first Singapore show at Suntec City in 2003. How time flies. I feel old! :)

Michael then launched into At This Moment, also from his 2009 Crazy Love album.

And since this IS the Crazy Love tour, the repertoire featured many other titles from the release, including All Of Me, Georgia On My Mind, Crazy Love, Haven't Met You Yet, All I Do Is Dream Of You, and Heartache Tonight.

From the other albums:

Michael Buble: For Once In My Life

It's Time: Home, Feeling Good, How Sweet It Is, Song For You, Save The Last Dance For Me.

Call Me Irresponsible: Me And Mrs Jones, Call Me Irresponsible, Everything, I've Got The World On A String.

He also sang Mack The Knife, bits from Michael Jackson's Billie Jean, Aladdin's A Whole New World, and Twist And Shout( from the John Hughes comedy, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, one of my personal faves! ).

There was an awkward segment when Michael asked the audience about Ferris Bueller and didn't get much of a reaction. I was in the 12th row, so I couldn't tell him how much I love that movie. If you haven't seen it, go look for it online!

p.s. Enjoyed the giant bouncing balls which Michael kicked into the audience during Twist And Shout. Made the atmosphere so much more festive! :D

Regular readers will know that I always highlight a 'magical moment' from every show I attend. For Michael's 2005 gig, it was his soulful acoustic performance of You And I. This time, I was completely hypnotized by Georgia On My Mind, which he crooned seated next to the piano, with only Alan and the bass / guitar for company. Beautiful!

Here's a YouTube video - can't see Michael but the sound is excellent!

I was also pleasantly surprised by the number of songs from his earlier albums, especially It's Time, which I personally feel is his best work so far ( E agrees :)). Just wish he could've done You Don't Know Me and Try A Little Tenderness, because he interpretes them so wonderfully!

Here's a good view of the stage. Pictures in the Straits Times and Life! featured close-ups of Michael, but I think the stage design deserves special mention.

Definitely a lot more elaborate compared to 2005. Really love the multi-screen backdrop with the juxtapositioning effect. Kudos to the technical crew for doing such a marvelous job!
( The ticket price doubled this year - now I know why! )

This was taken when Michael, in typical form, hopped off-stage and visited his fans in the back. In 2005, he walked one round and returned to the stage after a few minutes. This time, he had a platform placed at the rear of the floor area, just in front of the tiered section. Accompanied by a guitarist, he belted out Home, a huge hit 6 years ago.

E and I sprinted to the base of the platform but were blocked by the last few rows of seats. I stayed put, but E climbed OVER the seats and ended up just inches from Michael's feet - now THAT'S what I call devotion!

Before I knew what was happening, the song ended and Michael made his way back to the front. Unfortunately, I was blocked by a crowd of people near the aisle, and only caught a glimpse of him as he zoomed past, surrounded by burly bodyguards.
My mum, however, was waiting for him at row 12 as he approached. She got an unobstructed view and even managed to stretch out her hand to touch his left shoulder! But alas, all the cameras were with E and I, so sadly, no photo. Darn!

But at least someone uploaded a YouTube video of the segment. I can see E and myself in the crowd, woohoo!

As the crowd got more revved up, the final song began and a tonne of confetti rained down from the ceiling. The cheers grew 10 times louder and the atmosphere was just unbelievable. Everyone was screaming, jumping around and laughing uncontrollably as we became covered with the stuff. Woohoo!

For the encore, Michael obliged with 3 songs, but I can only remember Feeling Good and the closing number, Song For You.
Yes, I easily forget details when I get over-excited. Even E couldn't recall the song order when I asked. But she loved every second of the show and we're both thrilled to hear Michael say he will be back in Singapore very soon, and may even perform for more than one night. YES! :D

If anyone else who was there happens to read this, please fill in the blanks if possible, and leave any comments you have about the evening.

3 videos from the gig will be uploaded today. Please scroll down the page.

Thank you, Lushington Entertainment, for making this concert possible!

Next gig on my list: Maroon 5, April 25. :)


spacefan said...

A fellow blogger cross-linked to my post about Michael Buble's concert:

Unfortunately, there's no comments function there, so hope she see this - thanks for reading! :)

Avril said...

Just saw this comment, =) cheers to you as well mate.