Over the last few years, it's become increasingly difficult to shop for my mother. Well, she's actually easy to shop for in that I know what she likes, but hard to shop for in that I can only buy her a new pair of PJs so often. I've started buying concerts tickets instead. Her Mother's Day present this year was tickets to Josh Groban.
Take a minute, picture in your mind what a Josh Groban concert would look like. Got it? That's it. That's exactly what a Josh Groban concert looks like. Almost everyone is over fifty. I had visions of Michael Bolton dancing in my head. OK OK. While I'm technically old enough to know Bolton's music, I've never actually been to any of his concerts, so that's a poor example. But this was a lounge performance in an arena. I think you have the concept.
A trumpeter named Chris Botti opened for Groban and I realized after the first song they played that I was in for a headache. Half the time he and his band sounded like they were playing four different songs at the same time. I guess that's jazz? I realized entirely too late that I had left my earplugs in the car so I was getting the full force of this noise. After they finished their set, I went to use the restroom…and while I'm not sure they do this at all arenas, at this one they allowed me (with a little paper pass) to leave the arena to go to my car and get the earplugs. Whew.
Josh Groban is every bit as talented as he appears to be. He's got a smooth and natural voice that resonates with you through your seats. Not a metaphor, literally. Did I mention it was loud (am I getting old)? He sang several stage songs, songs from his older albums and new, and songs that he didn't write but gave a great performance of. He did the thing that more and more performers are doing and had a secondary stage towards the back of the arena so that the rest of us could get a closer look while he was performing.
He took the lounge approach to his performance as well. Even though we were in a large arena, he took the time to talk about his life and the songs he wrote. He talked about school and Ally McBeal and meeting his idols. It was a calm but enjoyable show. Definitely one I'd see again.