Michael Buble Toyota Center July 16, 2010
"I think Michael Buble speaks three languages: English, Sinatra and vagina," said the girl sitting next to us, who we will call Tammy, at the Canadian singer's sold-out gig Friday at Toyota Center. Walking into the venue that night, we would have said that he only spoke married-couple, but within the first five minutes of the show we were totally down with Tammy in the fullest.
She also made it known to us that it only took 30 seconds of seeing Buble onstage for her to become "fully hydrated." That being said, this is a fine time for Aftermath to remind you all that he is a gentleman, so you can fill in the blanks. She wasn't talking about thirst.
Buble, in a crisp yet scruffy suit in front of his crackerjack band, had the crowd gushing in their seats immediately. Pun not intended. There was spilled wine and smeared lipstick from the get-go, with Buble opening with the standards "Cry Me a River" and "All of Me." Both are old enough to have soundtracked the romances of some of the older couples in the crowd.
Aftermath was surprised to see elderly folks nestled in behind us, actually. Buble seems to draw almost every single female demographic there is. Parts of the crowd would have been at home at a John Mayer show, while others would have been perfectly ensconced at a Neil Diamond gig.
One couple standing in front of us took to making out for two songs straight; to each Tammy declared that they were going to do it in the bathroom or maybe even in the car. "Look! She's even wearing a skirt," said Tammy, not so obviously pointing at the couple. We agreed completely.
Buble kept the night light and airy, joking with the crowd every few songs about his new engagement and making sport of the fact that most of the men in the crowd probably assumed he was gay anyway. Buble knows that guys aren't supposed to like him, but that when it comes down to it, he's one of the best tools they have to woo a girl who is so inclined.
The singer does this gliding thing down an onstage ramp that was like catnip to some of the women assembled. The as-yet-unreleased "Best of Me" found him sitting alone next to the piano and was an early highlight. His short take on Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" was dorky yet endearing. The sight of him grabbing his crotch went over relatively well, to say the least.
The whole set was covers, par for the course for Buble, but it's his voice and his take on each that sells them all over again. But then again, for most of the younger people there, these songs are new in their minds. Still, it's giving the songs a modern spin where Buble is at his best. He even managed to make James Taylor's "How Sweet It Is" swing, and can make the stodgiest standard turn into a freaky white-girl slow jam.
Buble is just now 35 years old, which means we have the next 50 years to look forward to with him. Daresay that Gen Y will be making him the toast of Vegas when we are all old and graying with him. He's making class and romance a sight more palatable than we can say for what's going on in the rest of the music world these days. Feel free to lump him in with the Harry Connick Jrs. and Chris Isaaks of the world, because he has more than earned his spot.
Personal Bias: None to speak of, other than the fact that we like a good crooner.
The Crowd: Your mother, your grandmother, your aunt, your divorced aunt with her friends, couples on dates, girls on girlie-dates, guys slumped in their seats trying not to be seen.
Overheard in the Crowd: "Sit on my face!"
Random Notebook Dump: Buble covered two bars each of "Free Bird" and "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" during his in-crowd segment.
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Cry Me a River All of Me At This Moment Mack the Knife Everything I've Got the World on a String Best of Me Crazy Love Georgia On My Mind For Once In My Life Billie Jean (Partial) Twist and Shout All I Do Is Dream of You (w/ openers Naturally 7) Home Save The Last Dance For Me How Sweet It Is Heartache Tonight I Haven't Met You Yet
Feeling Good Me and Mrs. Jones A Song For You