Michael Bublé celebrates love, family, and a return to music

Bublé performs at KeyBank Center

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Michael Bublé joked about singing in the shower and pretending he’s on “American Idol” Wednesday night. 

He asked the KeyBank Center crowd if anyone had a “shower song”of their own that they would like to sing. A fan named Nicole stepped up, sang Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” and earned the crowd’s support.  

Bublé was even stunned, saying,“You’re good,” and in a jokingly sinister voice, “...too good.” 

Bublé fans have patiently waited for the singer’s return since his 2016 hiatus.  

Bublé’s Buffalo performance was the fifth stop of his new tour, “An Evening With Michael Bublé.” The performance featured a variety of songs, from jazz standards to Bublé’s original tracks, all celebrating themes of love, family, and human connection. 

Bublé took time off to care for his oldest son, Noah, who was diagnosed with cancer at three years old. After the announcement that his son was in remission, Bublé returned to making music and released his tenth album, “Love” on Nov. 16.

And many seemed grateful to see the jazz singer back in action Wednesday night in Buffalo. 

The stage featured a large circular screen, which displayed phases of the moon and an eclipse. Bublé created an intimate performance despite the grand venue of the KeyBank Center and the singer’s big band. He often talked conversationally to the audience and commended everyone for making it out through Wednesday’s snowstorm, complimenting Buffalo culture.

Audience members appeared captivated as many stared quietly at the stage during Bublé’s dramatic cover of Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley’s “Feeling Good,” a cut from Bublé’s 2005 jazz album “It’s Time.” “Haven’t Met You Yet,” the singer’s 2009 smash hit, saw more of an active reaction. The audience cheered, clapped, and sang along to the Grammy-nominated pop track. 

“You guys are like the best of Canada and the best of the United States all smashed together into one cookie,” Bublé said. “You have the best wings, then you’ve got Tim Horton’s, you love your hockey. That to me is like Disneyland for adults.” 

Returning fans noticed a more family-oriented focus in Bublé’s performance. Kelly Bullard, a Buffalo resident appreciated the sense of love that Bublé had for his family and fans.

“This time you could tell that he’s been influenced by all the things that he’s been through since the last time he had a show,” Bullard said.  “At the end, he kind of said ‘I love you guys’ and I think that he made everyone in Buffalo really feel that.”

Bublé went above and beyond to add his own personality to the show and prove to his fans how grateful he was that they showed.

And this was also true for his backing band. He acknowledged the talented strings players, some of which were residents of Buffalo. He switched places with Jumaane Smith, one of the trumpeters in his band, allowing the instrumentalist to sing and play an entire song in place of the show’s star. He owned the stage and the runway, while Bublé sang back-up. 

Bublé appeared very comfortable on stage, often cracking jokes.  He commented on the persistent snow throughout the show, and lightened the mood despite the dreary weather.

“We’re snowed in. It’s gonna be an eight-hour show!” Bublé said. As the concert went on, his comfort level only increased. He said he was trying to turn the KeyBank Center into a small jazz club, like the ones he performed in before getting signed. 

He created a personal environment at the concert, telling anecdotes about his own life and not shying away from the ups and downs he’s faced in the past few years. Bublé wasn’t afraid to get emotional, and discussed the recent passing of his grandfather. He followed with “(Up a) Lazy River,” a song he said his grandfather introduced him to.

Bublé’s performance of “Forever Now” left audience members in tears. He dedicated the number to his three children, touching on his feelings about his son’s diagnosis and his joy over the recent birth of his daughter.

Julianna Tracey and Emily Reagan can be reached at arts@ubspectrum.com.

JULIANNA TRACEY


 Julianna Tracey is a freshman music theater and history double major. She’s excited to explore all that the Buffalo arts scene has to offer.