Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Buble Entertains Hong Kong

Michael Buble performed tonight in front of screaming fans in Hong Kong
Back in the mid 1990s, I used to listen to a radio host called David Berner in Vancouver. He would rave about a 16-year-old singer called Michael Buble who would perform weekly at the Georgia Street Bar & Grill at the then Georgia Hotel downtown.

One time I rounded up some friends and we went to see him sing in the cosy space. I just remember he was very cute, but also he liked to sing Frank Sinatra numbers with similar phrasing, though his voice was thin and didn't have the fullness of the legendary singer.

The big band was introduced like a basketball team
But I resolved to remember Buble and in the end he did become a big star. He performed at former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney's daughter Caroline's wedding in 2000, where he was introduced to superstar producer David Foster, who then produced Buble's self-titled album in 2003.

And since then the boy from Burnaby hasn't looked back.

Tonight was the first time I'd seen him perform almost 20 years ago and when he came out with a literally fiery start with Fever, he seemed to slur the words which made us wonder if he was drunk! But he seemed to over-sing the Peggy Lee song to put his own stamp on it.

Buble looks classy singing in his tuxedo
After a few songs he stopped to chat with the audience and he was hilarious. He said he went to Ladies' Market and got the best deal from a guy who was willing to sell him a "real" Prada bag for $100. "Who got the better deal?" he asked.

He asked if the audience liked the pyrotechnics in the first song and when they said "yes!" he said, "Well we used up most of the budget for that, so it's all s*** from here."

Buble also explained that he likened his concerts to first dates, where he and the audience get to know each other and then if they really like each other then they'll be some bumping and grinding.

He gave the audience at the back some closer face time
The screens immediately cut to a family with a girl about two years old with them. He also introduced the big band with him as if they were a basketball team, and say things like, so-and-so should work for Subway because he's made my six inches a foot long!

He also encouraged people to raise their hands (some did), and then put them on the lap of someone else...

Singing-wise he was good, but again the voice lacked volume in some songs, though was perfect in ballads.

Fans at the back enjoying Buble's performance
Towards the end of the concert he made his way through the excited audience to where the sound technicians were (and we were sitting two rows in front of them). There was a mini stage and the opening act, a cappella group Naturally 7 were already there to perform with him.

But everyone was thrilled to see Buble, particularly those in the nose-bleed seats who got a much closer look of him in the flesh. We hoped Buble would come to us, but in the end he was several feet away. At one point he took someone's smart phone and sang directly into the screen. Someone's never deleting that video footage!

After that Buble returned to the stage where he sang The Beatles' All You Need is Love, and a loud pop revealed millions of heart-shaped tissue paper falling from the ceiling.

Heart-shaped tissue paper falls to All You Need is Love
We left soon afterwards as it was getting late, but Buble sure satisfied his fans tonight. And we're pleased Vancouver's hometown boy is one heck of an entertainer. No wonder he has so many fans and probably converted a few hundred more tonight in Hong Kong.


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