Home » Audio » Movies & Music » An evening with Michael Bublé (at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, September 10, 2022)
An evening with Michael Bublé [message #95993] Wed, 14 September 2022 18:12 Go to next message
Wayne Parham is currently offline  Wayne Parham
Messages: 18364
Registered: January 2001
Illuminati (33rd Degree)

Kelly and I went to see Michael Bublé in Kansas City this past weekend.

I gotta tell you, the guy's still got it. I don't know why I say, "still got it" - he's only in his mid-40s - but he started doing this back when he was a teenager. No kidding. He started when he was 16 years old. He met David Foster - which is undoubtedly when things took off for him - and he made his first really popular album when he was in his 20s.

Please indulge me in a quick digression before I tell you about Bublé's performance.

Many of you - the folks that come to the Lone Star Audiofest every year - know that I always play Blu-Rays in my demo room, and that Michael Bublé is in heavy rotation. So it is probably no surprise to you that I would go to a Michael Bublé concert.

But it's kind of a surprise to me. I was always an "art rock" kind of guy in my youth. I listened to stuff like Yes, Genesis, Gentle Giant and the Moody Blues. Still love that music.

I was really introduced to "big band sound" in stages. I first became enamored by Glenn Miller, mostly because of my love of old tube radios. It was just the music that was originally broadcast to a WWII-era tube radio, so I found myself attracted to it. But that was mostly nostalgia.

Then there was the music everyone played at the audio trade shows I attended. The most popular music at the trade shows was Diana Krall, Frank Sinatra and that sort of thing. Seems like "Peel me a Grape" was played in every other room. And while some of that kind of wore me out, I did start really liking Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett, among others.

To bring the situation full circle, around 2010, I began to notice that there were some really good musical performances starting to become available on Blu-Ray. Everyone has trouble at audio shows making music selections - CD media is convenient, but sometimes doesn't sound all that good. Vinyl is awesome, but it's difficult to manage in a busy room. Blu-Ray presented itself as a great solution to me - the lossless audio formats combined with good mastering offered sound that was significantly better than compact disk, and might be as good or -sacrilege- maybe even better than vinyl.

So I started looking for Blu-Rays. What I found were a bunch of great live performances, many that were more interesting than the audio-only offerings. And that's when I found Michael Bublé. His Blu-Rays were some of my favorites. Friends of Bublé too - Guys like Chris Botti and David Foster, of course, have put together some really great Blu-Rays. My room is always filled with live performances like that. That makes my room very different than most other rooms, which are usually still sourced with compact disks or vinyl. My room is non-stop concerts.

Having said all that, you should know that while I have most of Michael Bublé's material on vinyl, I think I still enjoy his Blu-Ray recordings of live performances the best. That's how to experience Bublé - You gotta see him in person. You can't just hear him, you gotta see him. Because a big part of the show is playful banter and orneriness.

Kelly and I were fortunate enough to get front row center seats. That was amazing, in and of itself. I was working one day in August, and Kelly called me on the telephone to tell me she heard Michael Bublé was on tour, and would be in Tulsa in September. I asked her if she wanted to go, and she agreed, so I started looking for tickets. I love Tulsa's Brady Theater, but it's a small venue. I don't really care much for Tulsa's BOK center, so I looked for other nearby shows and found St. Louis and Kansas City dates. All three shows are within an easy driving distance. The thing that clinched the deal was Kansas City had two tickets available that were best of house. So I pulled the trigger on those.

When we arrived at the T-Mobile Center, we went down to our seats. We were about an hour early, and so eventually we found ourselves in a conversation with the couple sitting next to us. The young man's name was Brooks and his lady's name was Barbara. Turned out that Brooks is Barbara's son, and that Brooks' wife couldn't come to the concert for some reason. I asked if either of them had seen any of Bublé's Blu-Rays and they said they hadn't. So I strongly suggested that Barbara should buy them, but that Brooks should not. My fear for Brooks was that if his wife saw the Blu-Rays, she'd be super pissed that she hadn't come to the concert.

We discussed what we thought would be the first song. I thought it would be one of the songs from the new "Higher" album. But the first song was, "Feeling Good." First song from the "It's Time" album, which is, in my opinion, the album that really pushed Bublé into the stratosphere. That song was the perfect first song of the night, 'cause it's "so Bublé."


This was my first Bublé concert, but like I said before, I've seen the "Caught in the Act" and "Madison Square Garden" Blu-Rays at least a dozen times each, 'cause I play 'em at every LSAF show. So I was mentally comparing the Kansas City performance with the Blu-Rays. That made the evening seem even more familiar to me when he opened with "Feeling Good," 'cause that's the opening number on "Caught in the Act."

I wondered how the 2022 show would compare with the BluRays. The "Caught in the Act" performance was done 18 years ago, so I thought to myself that he might have the same problem that rock-n-rollers do, which is essentially ageism. Members of rock bands gotta be young to be popular. But two things make this different: Firstly - think Rat Pack - "crooners" are cool in their middle age years and secondly, well, it's Michael Bublé. The guy's still got it.


I particularly liked his cover of Nat King Cole's "L-O-V-E" because it's such a quintessential crooner song. Nat is one of my favorite performers of this genre, and Bublé's playfulness works well when rendering it. And his song "Sway" just makes you want to grab your girl and leave the concert right away, if you know what I mean. Bublé knows it too. I think he likes seducing the crowd more than he even likes singing.


While Bublé is singing, his three dancers are gyrating as seductively as legally possible. It feels like a 1960s dinner club with wafts of cigarette smoke and bourbon glasses tinkling, and of course attractive hosts and hostesses that catch your attention from time to time. And right after the song is over, Bublé remarks, "that's just too sexy." He knows it.

He goes on to ask how many people are there for their first Bublé show. He tells them, "You don't know what this is all about. I'll tell you what this is all about. You think you're here to see some guy that's done some Christmas albums. Your wife drug you out here to hear that Christmas album guy. But that's not it. I'm gonna do you a favor. I'm going to put some air back in the tires. And when you get back home, you'll be doing some Bublébe-making!"


That's part of what makes Bublé's performances so much fun to watch. It might not even be "just part" - it may be mostly what's going on at the shows - not just the songs but Bublé's orneriness. The guy connects with the audience very naturally, making you feel like he's a guy you're hangin' out at a bar with. He just happens to be really good at karaoke, but between songs, you're talking and cracking jokes. Maybe that's more what it's like than a 60s dinner club, because you feel more connected than that.


The concert went on for over two hours. He performed the most popular songs from each album, as well as some other covers. He even did some Elvis Presley songs, and it occurred to me that was one of his influences. He's combined the singing style of the crooners with the stage persona of Elvis Presley. That's who Michael Bublé is: A little bit of Nat King Cole, a little bit Sinatra, a little Elvis Presley and a little bit of Andrew Dice Clay.

Videos of the show

Disclaimer: These (and the photos above) are just low-res phone camera shots, solely to capture a few moments. Kelly didn't want to put the phone in his face when he's two feet away, looking straight at her, which frankly, happened a lot. So instead, she "snuck" shots when he wasn't looking.

Re: An evening with Michael Bublé [message #95999 is a reply to message #95993] Fri, 16 September 2022 21:59 Go to previous messageGo to next message
smartt is currently offline  smartt
Messages: 82
Registered: March 2020
Wayne Parham,

Michael Buble is good. If you like it live check out on youtube Andrea Bocelli-under the desert sky 2006 (Full concert HD). Not available on Blu-ray I do have the DVD. Fantastic!
Re: An evening with Michael Bublé [message #96000 is a reply to message #95999] Sat, 17 September 2022 05:42 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Rusty is currently offline  Rusty
Messages: 805
Registered: May 2018
Location: Kansas City Missouri
Illuminati (2nd Degree)
Wayne when you do up a review it's a production! In print not unlike the show you saw. Another smash-a-roo. I never had really known about Michael Buble'. Sounds like he's in the tradition of modern contemporary crooner's like Harry Connick. The big band sound is a unique thing to be heard live. I saw the Count Basie band years ago and more recently the Wynton Marsails Jazz orchestra. The power and drive along with the instrumental solos is wonderful. A fine singer tops it off.
One thing though. When you go out to a music venue. Do you spend some time evaluating the sound system? I would think. Of course!
Re: An evening with Michael Bublé [message #96003 is a reply to message #96000] Sat, 17 September 2022 08:45 Go to previous message
Wayne Parham is currently offline  Wayne Parham
Messages: 18364
Registered: January 2001
Illuminati (33rd Degree)

I do evaluate the sound systems and the venues, yes. Kinda can't help it. But I do try to just forget about sound quality nuances and just enjoy the show, which is usually pretty easy to do 'cause to tell the truth, most systems and venues are pretty average or maybe I should say most are about equal. Not great, but not horrible either.

There are a few that stand out, that aren't "average" but well above or well below. I only know of one that was consistently well above and that was the band "Yes." They have always had an excellent sound system. Not sure why theirs were better than average but they were. And there are a handful of concerts I've been to that were well below average. Nasty clipped sound seems to be the usual mistake. Concerts like that will make your ears bleed, tinnitus for days. Lots of that in the 1970s and 1980s from popular rock bands.

Venue is a big deal too. All are large enough to enjoy deep full bass, provided they have the power. Basshorns grouped together are key there. But midrange and treble varies considerably. The best venues are the ones from yesteryear, arranged to provide adequate sound even with relatively limited power. They tend to also distribute people - which are the main sound absorbers - such that the sound remains uniform from seat to seat. And better venues tend to avoid large reflectors, like walls of concrete, right behind a group of people. Large reflectors like that make a slap echo that can be horrible.

Both the positions of the sounds sources and the people matter. Ideally, the sound source is grouped rather than being a "wall of sound." And the people are spread around the source. Oddly shaped groups of people and multiple sources are a worst-case scenario. Like the speaker towers at a race track. I don't see that often, but I have occasionally.
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