Michael Bublé at The O2
Intimacy and concerts at The O2 don’t really go well together. I mean, I’ve seen Ben Lee at indigo2 and that was reasonably small, but once you enter the actual arena you do not expect to feel like it’s just you and the performer there.
Having opened with Cry Me A River and All Of Me, Michael Bublé immediately initiated some crowd banter that would help him to win over the hearts of anyone still unconvinced of his loveliness. He asked girls at the front how old they were, before replying “Oh Shit” and comparing himself to Justin Bieber, mimicking the Bieber hair flick, when they screamed “Sixteeeeen”. And then there was the time when an audience member, who later told us that her name was Jane, was allowed to walk up to the front of the arena, just to say ‘Hi’ to Bublé. He knew how to take this arena of about 20,000 and make it feel almost as intimate as the Joshua Radin gig that I went to the other week where the audience could have been more than 150!
He stated that this was not to be a concert. If we’d wanted to see a concert we should’ve gone to the opera. He wanted this to be a party. We were to stand up and dance if we felt like it and if the people behind us politely asked “Excuse me, could you please sit down”, Michael directed us to swear at them.
If anyone wasn’t already in love with him, the fact that he introduced the ten men on stage with him individually with the city that they were from demonstrated his lovely personality and charm. He didn’t see it as a one man show, he seems ever so grateful to everyone who has helped him out along the way.
Highlights of the setlist early on included Crazy Love where the whole audience sang along, each imagining that they were being serenaded alone by the man who recently got engaged to his Argentinean girlfriend. Upon announcing this to the crowd he laughed at the boos that were directed at him (the crowd’s only negative reaction of the night) and then joked about the men who’d been dragged in the audience who he assumed were thinking ‘He’s so gay’.
He combined his singles with covers, choosing songs that were personal to him in order to make it more intimate. Everything had the whole audience in awe, although there wasn’t a song he performed that didn’t have us all on the verge of tears. In fact, my male friend who came with me admitted “I had a tear in my eye but it didn’t come out.”
At one point Bublé left the stage to walk through the seated audience on the ground to the centre of the arena where the sound men were. Accompanied by amazing support act Naturally 7, he got up on the boxes of equipment and performed a few songs including Home. With my cheap seat being right at the back of the arena on Level 4, I was able to take a zoomed in photo on my old digital camera and just about made out where he was. Yes, the view wasn’t amazing, but you could still see him, just, and the sound was incredible everywhere.
The final song before the encore was Haven’t Met You Yet. Nearly the whole arena stood, singing and clapping along, making the most of his beautiful voice and equally beautiful looks. We continued clapping long after the song ended, knowing that he wouldn’t be leaving us just yet. Returning to the stage he played a three song encore which made for an incredible ending on the final song.
The O2 is huge. Yet Michael Bublé somehow managed to fill the entirety of the venue without a microphone. As he stood proudly behind a pale curtain singing Song For You to an audience who’d been stunned into silence, I knew that this concert could not have been any more amazing. And then he walked off stage, shaking the hands of many, many audience members before departing us for one final time.
May 15th 2010