Thursday 22 March 2018


eamon sweeney

michael buble

the o2, dublin

The Irish sometimes like to elect their favourite new singer years before the rest of the world takes a blind bit of notice.

David Gray was massive in this country from the get-go, packing out every single venue he was booked into at a time when he couldn't get arrested anywhere else.

Canadian crooner Michael Bublé might have three Grammys under his belt, but he was filling the rugby ground in Donnybrook, and even the massive Aviva stadium, ages before the rest of the world knew his name.

Bublé is back for a whopping five-night residency all this week in the O2. He's quick to show the crowd his love and appreciation, thanking them for their continued support.

The stage appears to burst into flames and the O2 goes bananas for the curtain-raiser 'Fever'.

"Hope you like my new show, or at least the opening," Bublé says. "I've spent all my money on it. The rest of it is crap. You could say that Michael Bublé blows his load too early, again."

He needn't worry, as the entire show is slick and assured and highly entertaining. Bublé specialises in the kind of Brat Pack meets pop, jazz and classical shtick that would have many listeners running for a sick bag, but it's all undeniably effective.

A woman in the front row holds up a handmade sign that reads, "This is my 100th Bublé show. Hug or restraining order?" Her hero opts to give her a warm hug.

His version of Van Morrison's 'Moondance' may be predictable, but it's also rather pleasant. His set is punctuated with an entertaining brand of banter that tends to be quite salty in places.

Bublé announces that he's set to become a dad soon. And he wants to celebrate his last few precious days of freedom and urges the crowd to party with him.

The carnival atmosphere goes up a notch for an obligatory rendition of Daft Punk's 'Get Lucky' that everyone from hip new trio Daughter to Linda Martin appears to be tackling this weather.

For his next trick, Bublé goes walkabout into a thrilled crowd. He performs a bumper set of Motown favourites with his support band Naturally 7 at the back of the auditorium, a 'vocal play' group from New York who perfectly compliment his style.

The Canadian has the O2 in the palm of his hand, as he will all this week.

This isn't the coolest or most sophisticated show doing the rounds this summer, but when it comes to the old-fashioned adage of sending them home happy, it has few equals.

Irish Independent

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