July 2, 2010

“Best of Me” Performance from Omaha

I mentioned in my post from yesterday about song I love best from the Michael Bublé concert – the one that he hasn’t recorded so far, but sings live.  It wouldn’t surprise me if he never recorded it.  In any case, I am so happy to have gotten the video of the performance because watching him sing this awesome song is just so good.  Every time I hear/see it, I get the chills.  The first few times, it was even hard to make it through the whole song.  He sings this with such raw emotion that you can literally feel what he is feeling.


So many years gone, still I remember
How did I ever let my heart believe
in one who never gave enough to me
And so many years gone,love that was so wrong
I can’t forget the way it used to be
and how you changed the taste of love for me

You were my one more chance
I never thought I’d find
you were the one romance
I’ve always known in my mind
No one will ever touch me more
and I only hope that in return
I might have saved the best of me for you

And we’ll have no ending if we can hold on
and I think I’ve come this far because of you
could be no other love but ours will do

You were my one more chance
I never thought I’d find
you were the one romance
I’ve always known in my mind
No one will ever touch me more
and I only hope that in return
I might have saved the best of me for you

No one will ever touch me more
and I only hope that in return
No matter how much we have to learn
I saved the best of me for you

Here are some still shots from the video as well:

July 1, 2010

Michael Buble: Road Trip to Omaha

Cross-posted also at bublebabble.com

First let me say — we had an absolutely amazing time from beginning to end. I think maybe the fact that we were away from home made us feel like we had more freedom to get a little crazy (as much as normally in-control “40 somethings” can get anyway). Sharing the experience with good friends just made it all the better.  Good times…Good memories…

Trip/Concert Summary from Sunday, June 27, 2010

I left with Berni and Joanie at about 8:00am Sunday morning.

Here are a few pics we took right before taking off…

Bublé Bound

This was supposed to be an “All Bublé —  all the time” trip, but I allowed for general topics the first few hours so they wouldn’t think I was the conversation nazi or something. (right girls 😉 )  I didn’t waver on the music selections though – that was not negotiable!!

Eventually I steered conversation the conversation back to the reason for the trip by having them ask me anything they wanted to know about MB.  I dazzled them with my encyclopedic knowledge of “All Things Bublé”  for the rest of the ride there.

Arriving in Omaha

The first item on the agenda when we arrived in Omaha (about 2:30pm) was to do a thorough investigation of the area around the arena, just to get our bearings (and of course to speculate about where the buses might be.  Never saw the buses, but these trucks showed evidence that MB was definitely there getting ready…

A few of the 10 Trucks that move the Buble stuff from place to place

…and I don’t think we should have been able to drive into this area, but the gates were open and no one was around except those unloading trucks.  With out-of-state license plates, we were prepared to plead ignorance if questioned.

There was a set of doors outside of the gates that looked like the “Club” entrance, which we determined was the place we would want to exit after the show if we wanted to try to see MB.

Once that was settled, we went to look for our hotel, which turned out to be a block away – which was very convenient for walking to the show.  Nice hotel – Marriott Courtyard – better than expected.  After we got ready, we decided to walk over and get some dinner and have a drink over at the Hilton, which was directly across from Quest Center (and where MB and company stayed the previous night).

At the Arena — Finally

The doors opened at 7:00 and we were in line right away.  Made it through security without them seeing my camera. It’s not professional, but is an SLR with a removable lens – and those are apparently a no-no. [I had planned for the possibility, and knew I had time to bring it back to the hotel if necessary – though I probably would have made Berni or Joanie do it for me LOL :)]

We entered into the floor area of the arena even though our seats were in the first level.  I needed to get a feel for where my seats would be for the Vancouver show in August.  4th row is VERY close to the stage.  Our seats were at the back of the arena on the left corner 2nd to top row.  They weren’t close by any means, but a straight on view of the stage.  The Qwest Center is smaller than the Xcel Center in St. Paul, so it wasn’t as far away as it could have been.

After we found our seats I went out into the concourse to do some shopping – had to pick up several Tour books and of course get a shirt. Long wait but worth it.

Then we hit the Nordstrom Red Carpet, though by the time we got there, the “official” photographer was gone (for the pics that would be shown during intermission).  No biggie though, we did our pics and then headed back to wait for Naturally 7 to start at 8:00.

Naturally 7 was just as good as when I saw them in MN. I think I appreciated them more since I already knew what to expect.  I’ll try to include a little sample video of one of the songs. I doubt they will be Michael’s opening act on the next tour…they’ve had enough exposure now to have their own dedicated following. They played for about 40-45 minutes followed by an intermission until 9:00.

OK – now for the Main Attraction.

All the anticipation watching the MB logo swirl around the closed curtains before the grand opening number…then up come the stage lights with Michael’s silhouette directing the band for the opening bars of Cry Me a River…Then the curtain slowly rises and he belts out with his usual passion “NOW you say you’re lonely…”  It has finally begun…

From his first few lines – I immediately could tell that he was not operating at 100% (not that it would change anything for me…).  I thought most likely his allergies with all the hot, humid weather he had experiences in the first week of this leg.  He ended up finishing the song strong though, so it probably wasn’t all that noticeable to most people.

He didn’t fare quite so well as he transitioned into All of Me however.  I’m not sure whether is was an MB or a band mistake, but it seemed that he missed his cue at the start so the band had to readjust and come around again.  I noticed that in this song the band wasn’t sounding very strong, and it seemed that Craig was having a challenge with the volume levels.  I hoped that it wasn’t a sign of more challenges to come…Luckily it wasn’t…

Next came a little bit of Michael chatter – praise for Naturally 7, showing a little love for Omaha.  Mentioned he went for sushi at a place called Kona and it turned out the owner of the restaurant was there – in about row 15 on the floor (I think MB was genuinely surprised).  He commented that he wasn’t sure what to expect “You know…Omaha…is famous for it’s sushi…(ha, ha, ha)…you know all the salmon…jumping around in the river…(more laughter)” .

Then he noticed a girl was holding up a sign that said “Please Sign This” and it was a photo of him (of course) and so he called her up and signed it and gave her a hug. He usually does some type of kid interaction – this girl happened to be 17, which is older than normal, so I think she was extra excited…Then he told her to hang it in her room next to Edward Cullen (Twilight??) and did some kind of vampire impersonation.  Ended the chatter with the “not so new” news of his engagement and why the ring, yada, yada… [You could definitely tell his voice was not 100% when he was talking]

Back to singing with his amazing “tribute” to Billy Vera and the Beaters with a medley of their greatest HIT – At This Moment.  Limited voice or not – he hit this one out of the park.  He has a way with this song and you could feel his pain.

Continued on with Mack the Knife, Everything, and got the Boy Band involved in I’ve Got the World On a String.

Next he moved on to the introduction of the Band – which always chokes him up as he talks about them as his brothers.

  • Brian Lipps  was noticeably absent on trumpet – hopefully it’s just a short-term hiatus for this tour leg.
  • He mentioned Jumaane Smith just welcomed a new baby boy in the break between tour legs,
  • MB suggested that Justin Raye was too sheltered and needed a date. MB called Justin a sweetie pie — I think they have a little “bromance” going on. LOL
  • Next he called Nick Vayenas a slut and said that if he even looks at you funny, wait 2 weeks and you’ll think “I’m late” – I think that went over the heads of many in the audience that don’t get MB’s obnoxious sense of humor with regard to “the boys”.
  • Josh Brown got off easy by just being a fellow Canadian.
  • Moving on to Jacob Rodriguez who he announced was from Omaha and was so happy to be performing in his hometown (naturally exciting the crowd), followed by something like “Psych – just kidding – but look how excited you were…” but said he’s actually from San Antonio.  I think this schtick started on the Europe leg because I don’t remember it from March.
  • He offered some professional adoration for my man on the alto sax, Rob Wilkerson.
  • Then he finished with the new guy, Jake, who replaced Mark Small, stating he gave up a professional baseball career to play in the band…

Then we had a great performance by just the band to highlight each of them.  Followed by the rest of the introductions

  • Alan Chang (piano and music director)
  • Robert Castillo (Percussion and guitar)
  • Rob Perkins (drums)
  • And the bass player, Craig Polasko.

Now back to Michael…one of the highlights of the night for me…singing Best of Me, which I was so happy to get on video.  Perhaps one of the best songs he performs but will probably never record.  He sings it with such emotion that I actually find it hard to watch sometimes – but I just love it so much. I’m trying to figure out how to upload the HD video to my YouTube channel, and will post it when I make that work.

He continued with Crazy Love, Georgia On My Mind (with Jumaane doing a fantastic solo – he OWNS that!) and For Once in My Life.

Taking a trip down memory lane, he talked of his musical inspirations including Michael Jackson, followed by a spot-on impersonation of MJ’s Billie Jean including the famous moonwalk.  Moved from there into the story of his love of Ferris Bueller’s escapade on the float and entertained the crown with a little Twist and Shout.

He sang All I do is Dream of You (accompanied by Naturally 7) as he headed toward the small stage at the other end of the floor where he, along with Guitarist Dino Meneghin, performed an acoustic version of HomeSave The Last Dance For Me took him back to the main stage (while surrounded by 3 body guards – security has increased since the earlier part of the tour.)

Heading into the Home stretch he kept everyone engaged and on their feet with more upbeat numbers – How Sweet It Is, Heartache Tonight, and of course Haven’t Met You Yet.

Of course there was the Encore too, where he did fan favorites Feeling Good, and crowd favorite Me & Mrs Jones.  Ended with his Signature closing “Song For You” with a fabulous trumpet solo in the stands by Justin Raye, and Michael’s trademark  acapella finish sans microphone –

“I love you in a place where there’s no space or time. And I love you for my life ‘cuz your all friends of mine.  And when my life is over, I will remember when we were together.  We were alone and I was singing my song for you.  I Love You Omaha!!!”

(I cried at the show – and I teared up just now typing the words…)

…And curtain.

Michael Bublé did NOT disappoint in any way. Just fabulous.  Absolutely unbelievable.

Berni and Joanie have officially been Bublaid .  Berni leaned over after 4 or 5 songs and said “He had me at the first song.” I’m so glad they didn’t feel like I “oversold” him.  Berni told me yesterday that she understands why seeing him live changes the way you HEAR his songs.

We were not able to meet him since they had the buses parked inside the arena, but that didn’t change my experience one bit.  If I ever do meet him it will just be a sweet bonus.  By midnight, they were on their way to Indianapolis…

Here are a few of the Next Day pics before the Buble celebratory drive home…

June 20, 2010

This Made Me Happy Today – Part 2

Yesterday I posted about my fortunate Cardinal sighting.  Earlier this evening I noticed him hanging around the front yard so I grabbed my camera to see if I might capture a few more good shots.  I determined that this particular bird was not really too bothered with my presence — and he proceeded to flit about the front yard stopping to pose for me in various locations. Mrs. Cardinal appeared on the scene shortly after I started.  As usual, she is more difficult to capture since she blends in with the trees so well.  But surprisingly, both of them were staying close together and only venturing a short distance from my front porch.

Getting comfortable with the Camera.

Another rare sighting of the Mrs.

So as I was watching them move about the yard, she starting flying back and forth between my Lilac tree and the Maple about 5 feet away.  It seemed kind of strange.  Then as she made another visit to the Lilac Tree (which I eventually figured out contained their “Nest”) out pops this other bird who then perched atop the tree.  It was kind of non-descript – round and grey with a little tuft on top of its head.

Then the new bird started to fly away — well at least it made an attempt.  It lifted off a few inches – flapped it’s wings, but only made it to the next branch before landing again.  Meanwhile the Mrs. was continuing the back and forth routine. And Mr. was close by keeping watch.

Then it dawned on me — the way they were both acting – flying about the yard, repeatedly moving from tree to tree, then to the roof, then back to the trees again — finally made sense.  This is a baby Cardinal, and they are trying to teach it to fly!!   What a neat thing to discover…it never occurred to me how this process happened, but I guess it’s not all that different than teaching a baby to walk.

Unfortunately, I don’t think the baby was too engaged in the plan today, since it quickly retreated back into the tree and wouldn’t come out again.  Maybe it was tired or just not ready.  I hope it wasn’t just camera shy.


I’ll be on the lookout for future training sessions as well as figuring out if the “it” will be a girl or a boy…

June 19, 2010

This Made Me Happy Today

Whenever I can combine my love of birds and birdwatching with my passion for photography — and my timing is good — I get very excited!!  From just minutes ago…my 2010 resident Cardinal…

My Cardinal

Finally - he sits still long enough for me to take a picture...

My Cardinal 2

...and he even gave me a few different poses.

[He was high up in the tree above my garage -- captured with my 75-300mm  telephoto lens.]

I have loved bird-watching for as long as I can remember. Cardinals in particular fascinate me for some reason.  They are obviously beautiful birds – yes, even the more subdued female – and I like to listen to them talk to each other in the trees.  I’m still trying to figure out the songs of many of the birds, but the Cardinal conversations always stick out to me over all the other chatter.  He always has so much to say — she responds with single syllable cheeps.  WHEN I get the rare chance to actually see it – they are so cute together.  Here was  one of those rare occasions — a few weeks ago — when I captured them working together.  I didn’t have my new camera yet, so I was fortunate that I could get a decent shot from my patio door without disturbing them…

Mr. & Mrs Cardinal 2010

A rare sighting of the pair...

It’s not as clear as I would like, but I had to crop it close to get rid of all of the weeds 🙂 .  She is harder to spot on her own in the trees, but in other settings her red beak makes her hard to miss.

One thing I’m happy about is that Shaggy and Willie don’t seem to care much about birds — so they appear to be able to co-exist in my backyard without much problem.  Since I put the feeders out last summer, I think the dogs have gotten used to them regularly being close to the house.  Now squirrels on the other hand – don’t fare so well with them…I’ll save that for another post as it has a whole different story line.

The other birds also deserve some space too, so Chickadees can also have their own post at some point.

June 16, 2010

It’s a New Dawn…the Inspiration

I’m excited to kick off this inaugural blog entry by posting my inspiration to taking a fresh approach to life.

I have been a fan of Michael Bublé for some time now, but I finally had the opportunity to see him live on my birthday this past March 28th (a nice birthday gift from my sister). My experience that evening changed something in me – though I’m sure exactly how or what exactly.  All of a sudden I was hearing the music differently – it spoke to my heart and I felt lighter and more alive.

I had developed over the past several years, an obsession of sorts with politics and current events, listening to hours and hours of talk radio each day and reading countless blogs and news sites.  It was bringing me down more than I ever imagined.  For so long the need to be informed took priority over what was really good for me.  When it comes to politics – a little can go a long way, and I had been on overload.

I didn’t see a direct connection at the time, but the day after seeing Michael Bublé – I decided to take a break from talk radio and to significantly cut back on the time I spent reading political blogs and commentary.  I replaced that with all Michael Bublé music – would have played it 24/7 if I could.  I loaded up my ipod with hours and hours worth of MB playlists and replaced talking heads with sexy Bublé.  Whether at work, at home, or in my car, this change felt like a continuous renewal of my soul.

I’ve done a lot of things over the past several months that I haven’t done in years, I reached out to others who loved MB as much as I did and formed some wonderful new friendships.

While this is not a blog about Michael Bublé specifically, I have the feeling there were be significant space devoted to him anyway.  I AM starting this blog to explore the renewed spirit of my creative side and to figure out and then celebrate who I am.  I have no idea at this point what form my posts will take – whether shorter and more frequent, or less often but deep and insightful.  I give myself permission right now to do whatever I feel like doing and not attempt in any way to “perfect” the blog.

So, thank you Michael Bublé for being my inspiration.  There’s a possibility that it’s a fluke, but everything happens for a reason and I feel there was a significance connection between seeing you on my birthday and the immediate changes I felt.

So . . . ONWARD . . .