Michael Buble took to the Saddledome stage last night for the first of a 2-night gig. The show was performed to a mostly-packed stadium comprised of endearing fans of all ages. The warm-up band, Naturally 7, with a deep soulful sound and a capacity to synchronize and harmonize worked up the audience to a wild welcome for Buble.
For those who’ve seen Buble perform at the onset of his career (remember Jack Singer about ten years ago?), it is obvious the 34 year old has matured at all levels of musical talent, personally and with his audience rapport. However, Buble appeared to lack confidence last night and was even pitchy at times. He shied away from what could have and should have been huge resonating final notes of several songs; instead he chose to cut them short or waver them, and openingly admitted his own disappointment in doing so.
The encore contained his most brilliant moments of the night. But even in the final song of his encore, he snipped short the final note with a quick “I love you, Calgary. Goodnight.” and bowed himself off the stage.
MB’s humor and spunkiness came through repeatedly, even as he introduced his impressive band ensemble, comprised of stellar musicians hand picked throughout North America (including a native Calgarian playing the baritone sax), who revved up the audience to a frenzy of excitement only to be told he’s actually a Texan.
At the urging of the audience upon Michael’s sharing of his childhood inspiration and mentor, MB did a Michael Jackson spoof and joked repetitively about the Calgary “Flamers.” A proud-to-be-Canadian (and Canucks fan) himself, Buble hails from Vancouver and had fun pointing and gesticulating to the Calgary Flames Owner’s box as he heckled the NHL team and even made outright jest of Sutter.
There were tender moments throughout the show when Buble introduced his grandfather who sat mid-way back on the floor. His grandfather played a large part in MB’s initial musical exposure by encouraging him to take on singing spotlights when he was younger. Michael brought his audience into his personal realm when he shared some cultural facts about being engaged to a south American beauty, and explaining why he must wear a ring on his wedding finger at all time, even though he is not yet married and also introduced the songs that helped him heal during difficult personal times.
Overall, the show was worthwhile with a gratifying mix of newer tunes and old ones. Hopefully the second performance will find Buble more relaxed and more on top of his game. He is undeniably a musician who is loved globally and continues to move and shake the hearts of people wherever he goes and leaves the stage resonating with love and positivity at the close of the final curtain.