First, let me thank Michael's production team for getting the show started EXACTLY at 8:00 pm, which is when it was scheduled to begin. Michael's wonderful management team was kind enough to place my wife and I in some very excellent floor seats, allowing us the best possible vantage point for the show.
Michael entered the stage from the back through a small curtain opening, and the ladies went wild. I was in for a treat because my wife and fellow reviewer, didn't know who Michael was before tonight's show (our cousin from Canada, which is where Michael is from, was shocked to hear this from my wife.)
Michael came out to the song 'Fever' which I found fitting, since temperatures in the room quickly escalated as Michael's smoldering good looks and smooth voice penetrated the female souls that packed Amway Center. I believe my wife became a fan about 5 seconds from Michael's hitting the stage. Michael isn't a dancer, but he didn't need to be. This is one of the few guys out there who looks cool on the dance floor just by standing there motionless. His facial gestures and quick whit immediately let you know that this is a very charismatic guy who could probably get away with anything.
His 2nd song, 'Haven't Met You Yet' had the younger audience members singing along since this is the current radio hit that most of them are familiar with. Michael's big-band orchestra ensemble was an immediate reminder that he is a true musician, not singing to some pre-recorded music track. The cool thing about his band is that he engaged them throughout the performance, particularly when he introduced each of them for their respective solos, He made quick blurbs about each so that the audience in attendance was given some insight into the Buble mind. He even acknowledged one of his band member's birthdays by thoughtfully presenting a cake onstage whilst singing happy birthday.
In all, Buble sang over 20 songs. In addition to his silky smooth voice, the personalities of each of his band members could be felt in each note. Instead of my listening only to 1 voice on stage, I found myself looking at the other members to see what Michael might do with them next: who would he smile at, who would he motion toward, which member would make him laugh.
He's this generation's modern-day Frank Sinatra. If the musicality of tonight didn't floor you, the amazing visual backdrops would have taken you to the Rat Pack's stomping grounds in Vegas, and you would have found yourself staring at the bright lights. The vivid mind-expanding visual poetry served as another Buble stage accompaniment.
Michael's opening act was Naturally 7 (read more about them below). They quickly gained popularity with the crowd earlier in the show, so Buble brought them back out to sing a Jackson Five /Bee Gees / Beatles medley with him. 'All You Need is Love' was highlighted with the heart-shaped confetti drop (during which my wife was able to hold hands with Michael as he transitioned from the B-stage in the back of Amway, back to the main stage).
Michael Buble is a crooner and a swooner. His commentary in between songs was blunt humor to the style of Kathy Griffin, but my wife and I found ourselves laughing because it was uncensored, raw, and very real. But, as I stated earlier on, he's a charmer and was able to quickly talk himself out of a situation before it became too offensive with any of the audience.
I was definitely a fan of Michael Buble's before this evening's show. His charm, good looks, and beautiful voice quickly made my wife a fan of his, also.
Great music. Great sound. Great visuals. Great show.
Out of curiosity: have you ever tried to blend your voice with just 1 other person's for a duet? For many that's a steep challenge. To do this with 6 others is almost unthinkable. Perhaps ie helps if 1 of the other voices is a family member?
Naturally 7 traces its roots back to 1999 when 2 brothers, Roger and Warren Thomas collaborated with 5 other gifted vocalists from New York to blend their desires of being both an acapella and traditional band, accomplishing this fete through their God-given voices.
They have several albums out and are blowing up YouTube. I would be providing a huge disservice if I attempted to fully describe their performance in Orlando, but I will let you know that it was amazing to see an entire arena dancing to beat-boxing and orchestral-styled arrangements all stemming from the mouths of 7 men.
The group is made up of Roger Thomas (musical director, arranger, 1st Baritone, Rap), Warren Thomas (percussion, guitar, clarinet, 3rd tenor, Rod Eldridge (1st tenor, scratching, trumpet), Napoleon (Polo) Cummings (4th Tenor, guitar), Dwight Stewart (2nd baritone, vocals, trumpet), Garfield Buckley (2nd Tenor, Harmonica) and "Hops" Hutton (Bass).
Their website: http://www.naturallyseven.com/
Great job in Orlando, gentlemen!