If you didn’t know whose name was on the marquee Saturday night at the Schottenstein Center, you wouldn’t have been able to figure it out from the concert-going clientele waltzing around the concourse.
Older women, young men and even toddlers, all dressed in any-and-every attire imaginable, filled the halls before making their way down to the dimly lit arena.
When the curtain opened and a clean cut, bow tie-clad crooner stood front and center, however, the eclectic audience immediately made sense.
From the time the curtain lifted until it came crashing down at show’s end, Michael Buble made a marked effort to cater his versatile vocals to each group of people in his audience.
Starting with classics like “Fever,” “You Make Me Feel So Young” and the Van Morrison hit “Moondance,” Bublé swung through the standards that jump-started his career in the clubs of British Columbia, Canada, all the while cracking raunchy jokes that would make your mother blush and hugging an audience member who made a “shiny” poster for the star.
Continuing through his musical roots, Bublé took time to introduce each member of his “band of brothers” — the 13-piece big band that has backed him from the very beginning — and cracked jokes at their expense, nevertheless describing their immense work ethic and talent to the audience.
While the band showcased their skills one-by-one, Bublé wasn’t done paying his dues.
Following the laughter-laden band intros, Bublé paid tribute to his grandfather, his family and men and women serving overseas with ballads like the ever-romantic “That’s All,” the original “Close Your Eyes,” and the tear-jerking “Home.”
Without a dry eye in the house, the main attraction decided he was done with the sappy and instead suited for a party.
As the bass-bumped Daft Punk’s 2013 summer anthem “Get Lucky,” Buble sang his way through the aisles, giving high-fives and fist-bumps left and right, as he made his way to the back portion of the arena where another stage had been set up so that even the furthest fans could get a closer glimpse of the suited singer.
Now upon the blue-lighted “B-stage,” Bublé announced that it was time to take the crowd to Motown with his opening act: an a cappella group called Naturally 7. The eight vocalists then grooved through The Jackson Five’s “Who’s Loving You” and the The Temptation’s “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg,” before closing the Motown set with The Bee Gee’s “To Love Somebody.”
As if he hadn’t bounced enough between genres as it was, with the Great American Songbook and Motown already crossed off the list, on his way back through the crowd to the stage at the front of the floor, Bublé bounced through The Beatles classic “All You Need is Love,” before invoking his inner Elvis Presley and incinerating the crowd with “Burning Love.”
Bublé stepped off the stage following his 2013 original, “It’s a Beautiful Day,” but the howling audience wouldn’t let him leave quite yet.
With the smoke of pyrotechnics polluting the air and heart-shaped confetti covering the ground, a sparkled jacket-clad, bowtie-less Bublé returned to the stage for a haunting break-up anthem called “Cry Me a River” and a Latin-like dance number, “Save the Last Dance for Me.”
To close things out, almost as to ensure his flawless vocals throughout the evening were not a dream, Bublé ditched the microphone for “A Song For You,” which he dedicated to the Columbus crowd.
Hushing the crowd with his hands, Bublé filled the quiet air with his naturally pumped-up pipes and sent goosebumps around the room before exiting stage-left for the evening.
As the buzzing crowd —the same, remarkably vast group that entered the building just an hour and 45 minutes prior — piled out of the arena, it was increasingly clear that the cool, candid and charming Michael Bublé had put on an incredible show suited for fans of any age, race or gender.