The excitement had been building inside me since I first purchased tickets for my sisters and their “hubby” dates and for my own husband and myself as Christmas gifts. I’ve been patting myself on the back for three whole months for coming up with the perfect gift…dinner for the six of us at Houston’s and this sure-fire winner of a show! Great gift, huh? It’s even better when you know a special little story behind it…
Michael Bublé represents a very meaningful link for our family. Our father, who passed away last August, adored Michael’s music…so much so, that we played Bublé ballads at his funeral. “You’re My Everything” speaks volumes about our dad; its upbeat lyrics and pop sound are just so “him” when he was at his cutest and sweetest. He also adored Michael’s jazz renderings, but, more than almost any others of his songs, Daddy loved the Sinatra-influenced numbers. What a treat to be able to see our father’s musical hero in person!
But, there’s more… March 10th was also the anniversary of our dear mother’s passing. She’s been gone for four years now, but we celebrate her life and all that she was every minute of every day. We know that she and our father dance in heaven to Bublé’s songs and certainly were dancing and smiling down at us while we sat mesmerized in the Amway Arena.
The opening act of the show was an a cappella group whose style is dubbed “vocal play,” called Naturally 7. Wow! They used their voices to create the sounds of different musical instruments, and the results were incredible. One fellow even replicated an entire set of drums! Their singing harmonies were fantastic, too! One song, in particular, stood out for us because of its amazing beat but pure sweetness — “While My Guitar Gently Sleeps.” The first tenor, Rod Eldridge, hit the most incredible high notes at the end of the song that I have ever heard! I would go to a lone concert by Naturally 7 any time…any place!
To say that the audience was “warmed up” by the time Michael Bublé appeared is a complete understatement. The excitement was palpable. When he reached the stage, he started out “hot” and only got hotter — in every way! He is adorable…charming, witty, great looking, and someone most women would love to take home! (I imagine his new fiancee might not be too happy about that!) And that voice! He opened with “Cry Me a River,” and the arena exploded!
This was the opening night of Bublé’s “Crazy Love” tour, and I believe Orlando is really crazy in love with him! The concert sold out back in December, and the arena was completely filled! Michael gave us lots to hold in our hearts — Billy Vera and the Beaters’ “At This Moment,” “Mack the Knife,” “All of Me,” Van Morrison’s “Crazy Love,” “Georgia,” “For Once in my Life,” and on and on. I stopped writing song titles when he did a tribute to his boyhood idol, Michael Jackson. Bublé sang “Billie Jean,” strutted and danced a la Jackson, and it was so cool! Unbelievably, he ended up down in the audience! He made his way to a small stage in the middle of the arena floor, followed by throngs of fans with cell phone cameras, and actually sang “Home” in the middle of the crowd! He obviously loves being so close to his fans, grasping hands, smiling for photos, and making personal remarks to many.
What a treat! From start to finish, it was a magical experience for my family. The stage was glorious, with special lighting effects and backgrounds, big video images of Michael (live, of course), gorgeous colors and patterns, and a very slippery looking, angled floor on which he danced and displayed his quite talented footwork! I would have totally wiped out on it!
I’m still patting myself on the back for thinking of this great gift for my family. The best part is…it was a wonderful gift for me, too! I’ll never forget it.
Posted by longtime Floridian and guest blogger Mary Margaret Bowen, Vice President at Park Maitland School • Daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother • Artist, teacher, computer geek, photographer, collector of antiques, art, and memories.