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Posted at 12:50 PM ET, 12/ 1/2010

In concert: Michael Buble at Verizon Center

By Chris Klimek

michael bubleMichael Buble crooned and charmed his way through a Tuesday concert at Verizon Center. (All photos by Tracy Woodward/TWP)

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.

michael buble

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!

michael buble

michael buble

michael buble

michael buble

By Chris Klimek  | December 1, 2010; 12:50 PM ET
Categories:  In concert  | Tags:  Michael Buble  
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Comments

You should be ashamed of yourself for your comment re:Michael Buble's song "Home", he dedicated that the our military ...Hollywood had everyone up on their feet singing , don't know what concert you went to but you weren't at the same one I was last night ... people clapping, stamping their feet, yelling "Michael" to bring him back on stage, and FYI: I'm under 35 and DO BUY HIS ALBUMS for myself NOT MY MOTHER - his secret weapon (as you put it) is NOT his banter but his charismatic engaging personality which exhibits itself in the empathy/caring he shows towards his fans...BTW you neglected to mention the Michael Jackson skit which was SUPER !!!! What I can say to everyone out there is if you get a chance to see Michael Buble DO IT, forget what's printed in this article !

Posted by: onlyapsssss | December 1, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Wow, this reviewer must be jealous. There was not a person there who did not adore Buble. Home and Hollywood were two of the crowds favorites. Teenagers adore this man, my 18 year old daughter included. He is a perfect entertainer, cool, sexy, a perfect singer. Sells out every concert, highest concert grosser per night in the US and this guy gives snide comments about him. Jealous because every women in the world wants him..

Posted by: cher3 | December 1, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

I wasn't wowed by his performance and I didn't appreciate his crassness. Why was it necessary to encourage people to stand up, dance in the aisles, etc. and tell them that if people complain then they should tell them f*** y**. That's adult and respectful.

Posted by: ImpartialOne | December 2, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

"Home" is a beautiful song and Buble is fantastic, you tool.

Posted by: LABC | December 2, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

OK, so when is Chris Klimek going to sell out the Verizon Center and sell millions of albums? Just another snarky critique by another snarky Washington Compost critic. Critics are paid to criticize and the only thing this one got a handle on was Buble's banter. Jeez. Get a life, Klimek. We love Buble. And Josh Groban. And Rod Stewart's new line of American Standards cds. You can understand the words and you aren't embarrassed by playing those songs out loud.

Posted by: Baltimore11 | December 2, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

HA!!! So funny and so spot on. I thought that Buble was just some loser from American Idol but this review really makes him sound like an interesting guy. And the picture of him kissing the guy in the yellow fleece is classic. I love Buble!!!

My mom is way too cool to want this for Christmas but I'd consider buying it if I wanted to listen to some classic crooner stuff. Bravo!

Posted by: arlocrawford | December 2, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

I was at the concert on Tuesday. I had never been to see Michael Buble before and now I will go whenever he comes to town. He is engaging, funny, personable and made everyone feel comfortable early on. I had a wonderful evening! Most of all I was impressed by his sincere words and a capella performance during his encore. I have been to a gazillion concerts and this was the first time I heard a performer thank the audience for being there..."especially considering the tough economic times that we are going through" -- his words!. All in all a classy and all-around accomplished performer! Go see him, you won't regret it!!

Posted by: charmingbenissa | December 2, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

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