“If I sing another ballad, I’m going to cut myself,” said Michael Buble as he reached the mid-way point of last night’s 2-hour concert at Quicken Loans Arena. While he was just joking, he had a point. The first half of the concert was so heavy with ballads and torch songs, it suffered as a result.
Sharply dressed in a tuxedo and patent leather shoes, Buble came off as a real showman. He made his entrance after a eyebrow-singeing burst of flames and then offered up a sultry rendition of the Little Willie John classic “Fever.” He exuberantly beckoned the audience to stand as he segued into his big hit “Haven’t Met You Yet.” After taking a few minutes to mingle with audience members and bring a few fans on stage in a segment he joked was like The Price Is Right, Buble got back to business and ran through a series of covers that included tracks by everyone from Van Morrison to Frank Sinatra and the Bee Gees. His covers of famous tunes were certainly capable — and the big band he had in tow was certainly sharp — but few of them really soared. The exception was his rendition of “Feeling Good,” the musical number made famous by Nina Simone, which he delivered with such passion, he literally worked up a sweat.
The concert’s second half commenced with an exuberant cover of Daft Punk’s infectious “Get Lucky,” during which Buble ran the length of the floor to an auxiliary stage where he proceeded to capably revisit a few Motown classics with the assistance of opening act Naturally 7. That portion of the show concluded with a rousing rendition of the Beatles’s “All You Need is Love,” for which he sprayed the audience with confetti. This portion of the show was great fun and Buble even channeled Elvis’ swagger during a rendition of “Burning Love” that picked up where the opening “Fever” left off.
An old-fashioned showman, Buble often settles for the tried-and-true but his good rapport with the audience more than made up for his often-conservative approach.
Naturally 7 opened with a crowd-pleasing set during which they used their voices to mimic instruments ranging from guitar to drums and horns. It was a bit of a novelty but the good-natured guys had audience members on their feet by the end of their 30-minute set.