In concert: Michael Buble at Verizon Center
Before taking his leave of the throngs of smiling ladies and, yes, gentlemen who came to see him at Verizon Center Tuesday night with his signature farewell ballad, "A Song for You," ring-a-ding-dinging crooner Michael Buble issued a simple mission statement: "I want to keep doing this 'til I'm an old man!"
While it's reassuring to know he'll be making records for as long as you need to keep coming up with gift ideas for your mom, the 35-year-old, perpetually-five-o-clock-shadowed hockey team owner -- okay, part owner, of a minor league team -- had by then won over even those not predisposed to fall for his slinky baritone and halogen smile.
His secret weapon, dialed down on his albums but splashed all over his stage, is a steady stream of very funny, slightly nasty banter that sometimes tiptoes right up to the edge of condescension but never quite tips over. The effect is to give even a hockey rink concert at least an echo of what it might've been like see Frank and Sammy and Dino play the smoke-filled Sands Casino back in nineteen-sixty-whenever.
The gig opened with a version of "Cry Me a River" that felt like the title sequence of a James Bond flick, what with the brassy, portentous arrangement and the dramatic profile of the star captured in silhouette before the curtain parted to reveal Buble fronting a 13-piece band. There were fireworks at the end, though the tune already had plenty of moxie -- Buble has the most authoritative crooked-elbow fist pump since fellow Canadian (and fellow hambone) William Shatner sat in the Captain's Chair of the Starship Enterprise.
The show lagged only when Buble performed his gauzy originals such as "Home" and the forgettable new single "Hollywood." Of his own compositions, only "Haven't Met You Yet" could match the swagger he brought to the standards. But he sounded like a contender singing those, whether they hailed from the Big Band era ("I've Got the World on a String," "Mack the Knife") or the Big Hair era ("Heartache Tonight," "How Sweet It Is"). And anyway, if you don't like it, there's the exit, Buster!
| December 1, 2010; 12:50 PM ET
Categories: In concert | Tags: Michael Buble
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