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…
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…
…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.
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…
- 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 Home. Save 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…)
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…