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*** SPECIAL FEATURES- CONCERT REVIEWS ***
Josh Groban Closer World Tour
Mandalay Bay Event Center (Las Vegas)
August 21, 2004
I've only been to two concerts in my life, both of which were Mariah Carey's, so I was glad Josh Groban was performing here in Vegas because he's probably my favorite male singer right now. His voice is just so nice and his songs are wonderful. As I waited outside the Mandalay Bay Events Center, I noticed his fans were of an older age group than Mariah's but seemed equally excited to see their favorite singer. The merchandise was standard fare- clothing apparel, photographs, glow sticks, etc.- and were reasonable priced so I ended up getting a tour program ($20) and a poster ($10).

The venue was slightly larger than the ones I've been to before and since I didn't think it was necessary to buy the highest priced tickets, my seat was practically in the center, a few rows behind a small stage where they were adjusting the volume and filming. I could see the people on stage but wouldn't be able to give you detailed descriptions of how they looked lest I was staring at the big screens. I did see David Foster (famed songwriter and composer) and William Joseph, a pianist who played several songs before the actual concert. He was really talented but after a few songs, the pieces were all starting to sound alike. He did share some funny stories.

About one hour after the show was supposed to begin- 9pm-, the band began to play "Oceano" and Josh Groban was on. Even from the distance, I knew it was him because of his hair. I normally skip this track on his album but I was amazed by how good it was live. Then, came "Per Te"- one of the non-English songs I actually liked from him. "To Where You Are" and "Mi Mancherai" (Lucia Micarelli played the violin solos) followed and I was surprised to hear "Mi Morena" because it was a bonus track on limited editions of "Closer". But it was entertaining, especially to see him feel the rhythm of the song. Then, he sang "Alejate" and "Canto Alla Vita". The best part of the show was him playing the drums at the end of "Canto Alla Vita".

An intermission followed where violinist Lucia Micarelli played a medley of songs, including "Bohemian Rhapsody" which I thought was cool.

Josh came back and sang "Alla Luce Del Sole"- a song I never enjoyed and still don't. Then, he sang "My December," which I never heard before and didn't particularly like but he was good. The second half of the show was mostly composed of songs I didn't like- with "Caruso" following and, later on, "Remember" from the movie "Troy". I did like "Remember When it Rained" (he played the piano throughout), "Vincent" and, of course, "You Raise Me Up." I probably liked that the best. It was also the false last song of the night because after a few minutes of applause he came back to do two encores- one of Simon & Garfunkle's "America" and "Never Let Go", both of which I didn't particularly enjoy.

He didn't sing my favorite song of his "You're Still You" and people were expecting him to do "Let Me Fall" but the stage wasn't big enough for him to perform that song with him actually falling. He interacted with the audience well and made me laugh a few times. The highlight of the show was definitely him playing drums. Overall, I was disappointed with the song choices but his voice was spectacular throughout so I still enjoyed the concert.