“Oh crap! This is going to be a monster!” said Josh Groban after hearing the playback of his first recording of “You Raise Me Up” in 2003. Mentor David Foster agreed, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Attending Groban’s concert at the Rose Garden last Friday night was like hanging out with an adorable, ultra-friendly, totally approachable boy next door.
“You guys paid a lot of money to be here,” he said early in the show, “so I’m going to spend the next two hours singing my ass off.”
As he sang, he turned to face all directions on the hydraulic portable stage positioned on the floor, right beside Row 25. Quite by accident, I happened to be sitting in Row 25.
“I wanted to make my concerts more intimate,” he said. “Even in such a large venue.” He sang the first three songs within 15 feet of my seat, then went to the main stage in the front for three-quarters of an hour, then back to the stage on the floor for a few more tunes before doing his finale, “You Raise Me Up, on the main stage.
Groban was everywhere during the performance, taking questions from the audience, describing himself as a sandwich with 30-year-old meat and tight buns, singing “Happy Birthday” with one of the audience members he pulled onstage, cracking jokes and truly entertaining us with his wit and humor, not to mention his most amazing voice.
Josh Groban epitomizes what a performer should be. We did pay a lot for those tickets, but without a doubt, we did get our money’s worth.
“My security team is always worried about ‘GAPs’,” he told us. “Places where my fans may breach security. They call them Grobanite Access Points.” He laughed maniacally and moved freely about the crowd between numbers, briefly engaging fans in conversation, shaking hands, giving high-fives, and looking for all the world as if he were having the time of his life.
I know I was!