Michael Bublé entertained a full Gwinnett Arena on Sunday night in Atlanta with his take on some American classics, some of his own music, and an on-stage presence that provided way more entertainment than most singers are either willing or able to provide.
He is the latest incarnation of those people who would perform in the manner that Tony Bennett and before him, Frank Sinatra performed. Providing an experience evocative of the late night smoke filled room in a jazz club in the back of a casino, Michael Bublé is this generations’ version of those great artists whose ability to entertain went far beyond their ability to hold a note.
Resplendent in a tuxedo and looking every part the jazz club singer, Bublé, like those other singers, has the ability to reduce the size of the arena to create an atmosphere much more intimate and personal until you feel like he is talking to you and only you!
It’s a rare talent but Bublé is very good at it!
Bublé has an endearing, engaging and playful stage presence that comes through time and again both in his covers of the classic songs he is singing but also in his demeanor between songs.
Very early in the set he interacted with the audience to an extent that would have made many artists very uncomfortable. He brought the arena lights up, read and commented upon several signs that fans had made, and got down off the stage to lead the entire Gwinnett Arena audience in a chorus of “Happy Birthday” to a six year old fan who sat next to him on the stage steps. He also talked about his son, Noah, and playfully took credit for the “fifteen seconds of work” in his baby’s conception for which he was responsible.
In terms of the music, in a set that consisted mostly of Bublé’s staple diet, cover versions of other people’s music, he provided the audience with very well produced and comfortable familiarity but put his own accent on the music.
Backed by a thirteen-piece band including an eight person brass section, Buble is comfortable enough to play his biggest commercial hit “Just haven’t met you yet” as the second song of the set. Playing that song that early guarantees the audience’s attention. But with his big personality and his choice of big songs throughout the set he was able to keep the audiences attention for the entire evening.
One song he should possibly drop from his set is the cover of Otis Redding’s “Try a little tenderness” It’s a song that thrives on the juxtaposition of the tender sentiment in the lyric and Redding’s gritty, driving vocal style. Bublé’s version is just a little too smooth for the song to really work.
Regardless, Michael Buble is a great stage performer that provides great entertainment of which the music is just part! If it hasn’t happened already I would expect an extended stay at one of Las Vegas’s casinos.