Michael Bublé back and better than ever: bringing a modern twist to vintage crooning Review: Michael Bublé at Staples Center 4/2/19
LOS ANGELES, CA- Michael Bublé is back and better than ever. I had the pleasure of seeing him perform in Los Angeles at the Staples Center earlier in April. Of course, this concert tour is extra special as back in 2016 Bublé decided to step away from the limelight to focus on his family and his son Noah’s cancer diagnosis. It was years of cancer treatments for his little boy at Children Hospital Los Angeles, but thankfully Noah is currently in remission. How do you come back on tour after going through that? Well, for Bublé it was with a powerhouse of a concert that not only brought joy and laughter but gave you moments of heartfelt, vulnerable moments that brought tears to many audience members eyes.
Bublé opened the concert with an intense number of “Feeling Good”. The staging of the orchestra playing on a four teared platform similar in shape to the Hollywood Bowl made it possible to see every orchestral player. The lighting added to the musical score. The burst of glowing red lights added to the power and intensity of the trumpets and piano playing. Oh, I was feeling good listening to Michael Bublé croon the sweet lyrics.
Bublé welcomed the LA audience and spoke candid of living in LA. The city has its ups and down. This is where he met his band members, where he had success, and where his son went through his cancer treatments. There is something about LA that holds a special place for Bublé, this is where he calls home, which is why the performance at Staples Center was extra meaningful.
Of course, this was just the beginning and there were many more fabulous tunes to be sung. The trumpets upbeat melody introduced “Haven’t Met You Yet”. It was a fun upbeat playful song and Bublé charisma could be felt up in the stands.
The one thing that stood out in this concert was the breaks Bublé would take from singing to cracking jokes. It was reminiscent of The Rat Pack Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr. Not only were the member of the Rat Pack talented musicians, but they were funny as hell comedians. I was blown away by Bublé’s comedic timing. I am not a fan of most comedians; something often feels forced or off. This was completely the opposite with Bublé joke after joke I was in hysterical laughter. The April Fool’s joke about half the people hating it and the other half being assholes. Absolutely true, I am an asshole. Totally admit it. It was jokes throughout the night that added an extra special touch to an amazing concert. In truth Bublé is talented and funny enough to do an evening of stand up alone.
Though Bublé also had some touching vulnerable moments beside the joking and cursing. He had moments where he talked about his loved ones. Specifically, the man who inspired the musical path he took, his grandfather. His grandfather introduced him to the classic singers of the 40s Ella Fitzgerald, Dean Martin, and Frank Sinatra. His grandfather would make deals with club owner to allow 16-year-old Michael to sing in the club in exchange his grandfather promised to fix the clubs plumbing. Check out those pipes! What an amazing man to help support his grandson’s passion. Even if it meant giving free plumbing service. Bublé dedicated “Up the Lazy River” for his grandfather that helped him find his calling. It was so heart warming to hear the people behind the artist that made it all possible.
Of course, Bublé loves paying it forward, helping others find their calling as well, including audience members. A member of the audience was holding a sign asking to sing with her. Bublé who loves to sing with audience members took her on her request. The audience member’s name was Roseanna, and she was ready to belt it out and her and Bublé sang the duet “Help Me Make it through the Night”. Roseanna had a serious set of pipes, hitting those notes effortlessly. I was blown away. Where is Roseanna performing next, because I want to hear her sing again!
Now Bublé didn’t just let the audience members have their moment in the spot light. He made sure his orchestra members did as well. Jumaane Smith had an amazing trumpet solo while strolling down the cat walk like stage. It was impressive the talent of Bublé orchestra members. It was mesmerizing. I love the Bublé lets member of his orchestra shine.
One of my favorite numbers was “Sway” and the stage production during the performance was reminiscent of a Las Vegas lounge of the 60s. Bublé voice was as smooth as ever for this number. I was literally dancing in my seat. The moment Bublé did the cover of Chucky Berry’s “You Never Can Tell” I was jumping out of my seat and doing my best twist a la Uma Thurman circa Pulp Fiction. It was beyond fantastic.
My friend and I were just dancing away as Michael Bublé sang. I loved the selection of American standards that Bublé covers. It’s the music that I grew up listening too. I guess I always considered myself an old soul, dressing up in vintage styles and listening to music that was created decades and decades before I was born. For a second, I totally forgot that I was at a giant music venue and felt transported to the by gone days of a vintage Las Vegas Lounge just dancing my cares away.
The thing that stood out of the night was how Bublé was great at creating a high level of intimacy in a vast venue. He would reach out to audience members and shake their hands, even grab their phones and take selfies on their phones and sign autographs all while performing. There was something so genuine and true about him not just as an artist, but as a person.
As the night ended He thanked the audience and his band and left the stage. Though to our relief there was an encore performance of several more songs. The last song was the most impactful. Bublé took a moment to thank his record company for never pressuring him during his son’s illness. He thanked Children Hospital Los Angeles for the treatment and care they provided. He thanked his family for visiting him and being there during a difficult time. He fought back the tears as he thanked the fans who stood by his side and were always there when he wasn’t performing. He was so vulnerable and honest; the tears were rolling down my cheek as he spoke from the heart. He ended the evening with a cover of the classic “You were always on my Mind”. The lounge lamps lowered giving off a warm glowing golden sparkle as he sang. It was a beautiful touching moment.
I left Staples Center with an even greater appreciation for Michael Bublé, not only is he a great singer, but a true entertainer and an even more amazing person. He really loves his fans and the fans love him back. Welcome back Michael Bublé! So ecstatic he is releasing a new album, is back touring, and spreading happiness to the masses.
He will be back at Staples Center on July 9, 2019, you won’t want to miss it.