Review: Michael Buble @ Brisbane Entertainment Centre

Michael Buble played Brisbane Entertainment Centre on 20 June, 2023.
Grace has been singing as long as she can remember. She is passionate about the positive impact live music can have on community and championing artists. She is an avid animal lover, and hopes to one day own a French bulldog.

Winter is setting in, but at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre where Michael Bublé is about to perform, the atmosphere is sizzling.

The show (20 June) commences with curtains drawn, as the initials MB are scrawled across them in fire. 'Feelin Good' plays as the curtains lift, uncovering the orchestra.

After two minutes of build, Bublé's unmistakable voice rings out and the crowd erupts. As if by magic, he appears onstage as fireworks bang.

'Haven't Met You Yet' follows quickly, and the energy is high, especially from the backing vocalists who throw their bodies around without regard.

Bublé then stops to survey the audience, many carrying signs. One such sign shows a group who have followed him to every show in Australia.

"You crazy bitches came to all my shows?" Bublé exclaims. "Get 'em some beer. The least I could do is give you some beer for all the money you have given me."

He then sees 'I need a hug' on another sign, and provides the patron their desire. His affection for his fans is evident, as is theirs for him.

He then begins to dance around for the crowd. "After all we've been through with Covid, you better believe I'm gunna shake this sh.t for you tonight," he promises.

"I know what you are thinking. When I first postponed, you thought 'oh no'," he says in an impeccable Australian drawl. "Then when I postponed again, you thought 'he's an asshole'." The crowd laughs. "But honestly thank you for coming." He blows out kisses.

In ‘L-O-V-E’, Bublé leaves room for the audience to sing, and the sound of so many voices is beautiful.

For 'Such A Night', he plays a thumb war with one front-row patron, then in 'Sway', the horn section showcase a ridiculous solo with trumpets soaring and screaming. Seamless showmanship.

Bublé throws a towel into the crowd, and it is caught expertly by a patron named Jeff, right on the last drum beat. "That was amazing!" Bublé exclaims. "Throw it back!"

Jeff's partner is initially reluctant, dabbing it on herself before throwing it back. They then re-enact the throw. Bublé carries humour very well.

"This is the emotional part of the show," Bublé says for 'Home'. "I wrote this next song. . .for Jeff.

"It was hard for me to sing that seriously," Bublé shares at the end, "as I could see my little chicken legs hanging off this stool." The crowd erupts in laughter. "I look like Kermit," he says mimicking another voice extremely well.

He then shares the story of 'Everything', singing the original version with a piano backing, and it is almost more beautiful than the final version. "Ten years later, I rewrote it for a girl and it went like this."

He allowed the crowd to finish the song without him. "That was beautiful," he says. "If this was 'The Voice', and I heard that, I would have turned my chair around so fast!"

He plays 'Higher' and follows with a lengthy monologue about him bringing enough sexy to Brisbane to double the population in a year.

'To Love Somebody' brings back the high vibes, as it ends with a beautiful a ccapella harmony from the backing singers.

"I would like to thank whiskey and deep depression for helping me write this song," he says for 'Hold On', before playing 'Smile' accompanied only by piano.

Bublé then shares the story of being asked to sing on the posthumous Elvis record with the King. In Graceland, they placed the suit Elvis wore during 'Fever' next to the suit Bublé wore while recording his part of the song. "And that's the closest I've ever been to the King," Bublé shares proudly.

The band relocates to the front of the stage extension in the middle of the crowd and an Elvis medley follows. It would have been nice to see a full-length rendition of 'Can't Help Falling In Love'.

'Beautiful Day' closes the set, and during the encore break, a video plays with a short snippet of each orchestra member and their name. It's very honouring.

'Cry Me A River' starts the encore and Bublé's once in a generation vocal talent shines. A truly transformative experience.

'You Were Always On My Mind' closes a fantastic show on a sentimental note.

Funny, brazen, sacrilegious and charming, Bublé is everything you expect from a world-class vocalist, and a cheeky bit more. A raucous and wildly fun evening.

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