The venue was packed to the rafters with a mainly female audience, and to say that the air was abuzz with anticipation for Groban’s performance is an understatement. Declarations of elation and expectation of specific songs could be heard all around. Once Groban made his appearance on stage the superfan-like screaming commenced and “I love you Josh!” rung throughout the Palais in all ranges and colours of voices.
Surprisingly, Groban began to sing the very instant he grasped the microphone in his hand, and did not address his audience until the second song was sung. Though this and his rather casual attire choice threw me a bit, I noticed that no one else seemed to be fazed by it. He could have pranced onto the stage in a pink tutu it still would not have mattered to anyone, such was the appreciation for Groban.
Josh interacted with his audience in a very personal and relaxed manner, which generated even more expression of affection in his direction. He told of his experience visiting the Melbourne Aquarium, showing off the squeaky fish toys he purchased for his band members, talked about his love for Australia and the experience of holding a cuddly koala.
With a very humorous story telling and approachable demeanour, Groban made it easy to forget that he has sold over 24 million records around the globe and that he was named the #1 Best Selling Artist of All Time on Barnes & Noble back in 2007, but once he switched back into song – performing in English, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese – his gorgeous voice hit like a tsunami, and embraced like expensive silk.
Groban sang an array of songs spanning his repertoire from his self titled first album, Josh Groban, through to his latest, All That Echoes, each more beautiful and soulful than the other.
In the brief intermezzo the band had a chance to shine as well, by playing a rendition of Paul McCartney’s Wings classic, Live and Let Die. An animated percussion performance by Groban closed the set, after which he recognised the musical talent backing him on the tour, among them a local orchestra, first violin, percussionist, drummer, pianist, bassist, the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Choir and music director/guitarist Tariq Akoni.
Groban then slipped back into song again and continued to woo the audience until the end of the show. After a couple of roaring and energetic standing ovations, he performed two last pieces to an elated crowd. Groban was simply amazing!
Palais Theatre and Live Nation presents
Venue: Palais Theatre, Melbourne
Dates: 20 – 21 Apr 2013
Tickets: $99.90 – $150.00
Bookings: Ticketmaster 136 100 www.ticketmaster.com.au
Perth April 16
Adelaide April 18
Melbourne 20 – 21 Apr 2013
Sydney April 23 – 24
Brisbane April 26 – 27