Stuffy, boring, and home by 10 was what I thought I’d get last night. Personable, exciting and home just after 11:30 was what I got. I honestly don’t know what compelled me to sign up to cover Monday night’s Michael Bublé show but I’m thankful for whatever gave me the idea. Go ahead and laugh and take my metalhead card away but I was completely lost and absolutely captivated by Michael Bublé and his beautiful orchestra and band. I woke up this morning still stunned so bear with me while I fumble through words and try not to come off as a complete fangirl over a guy that I had written off years ago.
Hailing from Canada, Michael Bublé is literally a songbird of his generation. His distinct voice is something that other people would downright kill for and the creativity it comes with is something that takes it over the top. At 43 years old and having been doing this for over half of his life, Michael has accomplished a lot but also proved during his show last night that there’s no stopping him and so much more to come. He had taken about six years off of touring to deal with personal things which I’m sure was a hard decision to come to for an artist as popular as him, but the fact that he came back even stronger is nothing short of inspiring. Clearly still on top of his game, Monday night’s show was an intimate stadium show (I promise I’ll explain later) where Michael seemed to need the audience just as much as the audience needed him.
Clearly I was out of my element. The two ladies sitting next to me caught on and instantly started questioning why I was there, if I had ever seen Michael before, my favorite song, etc. After explaining I was kind of going in blind other than that one album my mom used to play every once in awhile and that I was really just there for the experience, the women told me about their connections. Not only did they love him and his music but the conductor of the large orchestra happened to be a kid they went to high school with out in Anoka. I was instantly intrigued and ready for whatever the night was going to bring. Honestly, the way these women talked about Michael and the previous times they had seen them plus the personal aspect of knowing the conductor- I was sold and joined in on their excitement. I felt those familiar butterflies as the lights went down and the orchestra started to play and I couldn’t have been happier.
Michael Bublé wasted no time jumping into a nearly twenty song set to be followed by a three song encore. His voice was silky and smooth unlike his geeky footwork and dancing. The juxtaposition of that crooning voice and his Justin Timberlake like movements was beyond perfect and within just a song I realized that this show was going to be anything but stuffy like I had expected. Playing “Haven’t Met You Yet” (his hit 2009 song which happened to also be the only one I recognized) second made me feel comfortable in a place where I was so out of place and out of my element. I sat back in my seat and continued to be captivated as he played through originals and covers by everyone from Dean Martin to Julie London. Not knowing the whole crooner scene, I honestly couldn’t tell you what songs were original or covers but I can tell you that each song brought a different vibe to the stage. Whether it was somber and calm or upbeat and dancey, there was an undeniable sense of love that radiated from Michael as he stalked the stage.
Just a couple of songs in Michael’s personality was put under the spotlight and made me instantly fall even more in love with him. He started talking about how Minnesota is truly one of his favorite places in the country (and he can’t lie because we “would catch him due to Youtube”). He went on to list his favorite things about Minnesota like the fact that we had the first super computer and heart transplant. His love for hockey shined as he talked about how great the hockey players from Minnesota are. From the biggest ball of twine, “Suck it Wisconsin!” (yeah, he caught on quick and literally said that), to Jesse Ventura, it was clear that Minnesota has a special place in his heart. Clearly that added more personality than you get from many stadium shows but Buble went on throughout the show to prove that, although this is a stadium show, he was going to try his best to make it feel intimate. From photobombing selfies that were going on along the gates near the stage to talking about how the show was kind of like a first date (“You know, start slow, get to know each other and if it works out well, in the end we will grind– clothes on”) Michael had my sides and cheeks aching from all of the laughing. For being a world renowned vocalist, Michael definitely came off as just a normal guy which may be the reason I fell so head over heels for him so quickly last night.
For as extravagant as the show was, there were no frills. The two hour show (no opener which was probably a blessing because nobody would be able to compare to Michael Bublé) was all about the music and the feeling that live music gives you. Although surrounded by nearly 14,000 strangers, I felt so comfortable and at home in the space and that was all thanks to the personable attitude Michael had and the way he had fun throughout the set.
I wasn’t the most optimistic person walking into The Xcel Energy Center last night. It’s not that I didn’t think Michael Bublé would sound amazing because I knew he would, more that I feared the atmosphere would be too stuffy for a rocker like me. How wrong I was and how thankful I am to get opportunities like last night. With a week full of shows ahead, I’m already prepared to say that last night was the best show of the week.