Josh Groban

By Christine Peterson

Artist:  Josh Groban

Date / Venue:  Saturday April 13th, Vector Arena, Auckland

Scintillating, charming and talented. Those three words resonated around my head as Josh Grobanperformed a near perfect concert last Saturday night at the Vector Arena in Auckland.

Groban is a singer whose brand of "popera" has certainly been tagged as being a little cheesy. But what Groban has is a style that works and a style that both he and his fans believe in.  This was Groban's first ever concert in New Zealand, and beforehand he gave fans the opportunity to ask him questions ahead of time which he would answer during the show, adding a nice little twist.

The performance began with the song Brave, which features on Groban's just released album ‘All That Echoes', and was followed up by the also recent ‘False Alarms'.  Both unquestionably wetted the appetite for the audience at large.

It was between songs that Groban really proved his charm, delighting the crowd with his personable banter and apologised to all for taking so long to perform on our shores... he was certainly forgiven! At one point Groban even left the stage area and went out into the audience to have a chat with some of the crowd. He answered questions from audience members which had been provided before the show, proving that this was undoubtedly one of the best concerts to get up and intimate with the star.

This was the first show for Groban's tour, and if he had any nerves he certainly wasn't showing it. He went through all the favourites such as 'Vincent (Starry Starry Night)', 'To Where You Are', 'You Are Loved (Don't Give Up)' and treated us to a cover ofStevie Wonder's hit 'I Believe (When I Fall in Love It Will Be Forever)', which also appears on his latest album ‘All That Echoes'.

But that couldn't be the end of the show could it? Of course not! Groban came back for his well deserved encore and performed an amazing version of ‘Awake', apparently the most requested song.  And then the night was finished in style with his now legendary hit ‘You Raise Me Up', going out in style and giving the crowd just what they wanted.

He performed with a magical band which included local New Zealand choir, the Stellar Singers, and was backed by his own ensemble of world class musicians. It was a truly magical night, and a great way for Josh to start off his tour. As a performer and a person he really is a top class act!