Michael Buble pulls out all the stops

Fired up: Michael Buble’s legion of fans sang along as the four-time Grammy Award winner belted out a string of old and new hits. Photo: DARRAN TAN/The Star

Fired up: Michael Buble’s legion of fans sang along as the four-time Grammy Award winner belted out a string of old and new hits. Photo: DARRAN TAN/The Star

The singer was simply charming at his recent one-night concert in Kuala Lumpur.

CANADIAN jazz sensation Michael Buble never fails his fans.

Even without trying, his boyish charm, wit, sense of humour and of course, his rendition of soulful ballads, can melt iron souls.

He proved that on Tuesday night as he crooned and swayed his way to the hearts of his fans during the Asian leg of his one-night To Be Loved tour at the Putra Indoor Stadium in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur.

A cappella outfit Naturally 7 opened the night for Buble, with their vocal play combined with a lot of beat boxing.

The seven-member American group got the audience warmed up for the almost three-hour jazz act (40-minutes of heart-pumping a cappella and two hours of Buble) that the audience was about to witness.

They threw in some funky moves and sing-alongs, and cranked up the temperature before Buble burst into stage with Fever.

And what a party it was with screaming fans amidst the royals at the almost sold-out venue.

The four-time Grammy Award winner said: “I just love getting in front of people. It’s so important to be in touch with your audience. You’ve paid your money and I want you to be entertained. If you want to cry or laugh or dance or sing or yell, you can do whatever you want. My responsibility is to take you away.”

And that he did. From the time the pyrotechnics were set off to shock the audience, Buble pulled out all the stops to entertain the masses, who had braved the horrendous traffic and slight drizzle to see the singer in action.

The 39-year-old skilfully flitted between his string of old and new hits, and had the audience eating out of his hands. Gone (well, almost) was his cockiness of youth and in place was a much humbler human being, thankful for little mercies.

“I’ve left you as a boy and now I’ve come back as a father,” he said, in reference to his last concert here in 2011, as the crowd cheered in approval.

Michael Buble had the crowd eating out of his hands form the word go.
Michael Buble had the crowd eating out of his hands from the word go.

From Otis Redding’s Try A Little Tenderness to Feeling Good, Beautiful Day, Moon Dance and That’s All, Buble belted out some of his best classics. He even showed us how Everything, which he wrote when he was 16, had morphed into the song it is today, after subtle changes to the score.

Buble’s showmanship was of par excellence as he took jibes at the weather, at Asians and at his musicians whom he fondly refers to as Team Buble, but all in good spirit. In between sets, he even attempted to structure every sentence with a “lah” and thanked his good buddy, shoeman Datuk Jimmy Choo, for teaching him the basics of the language.

To get closer to his legion of fans, he walked past the audience several times to shake hands and take wefies, only to have his bodyguards scowl in disapproval.

The night got a little intimate with Buble, sitting next to his pianist, Alan Chang, singing an impromptu version (that’s what he claimed) of Stardust, before launching into a soulful rendition of the original track, Home, which the duo co-wrote with Amy Foster-Gillies.

For this song, the trio won the 2006 Songwriter of the Year Award with critical acclaim from the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN).

After that, it was party time again as Buble insisted the audience get up and dance to Daft Punk’s Get Lucky. He was on a roll and kept the momentum going by running to the back of the arena, where another smaller stage was erected and Naturally 7 awaited.

With the boys, he sang the Temptations hit, Ain’t Too Proud To Beg, sans musical instruments – another first, claimed Buble.

When he sang All You Need Is Love, the audience was completely taken by surprise when millions of heart-shaped confetti started falling from the ceiling.

Buble was simmering with love for his fans and 20 songs later, he was still burning with fever as he bade a fake goodbye and walked off stage.

The crowd knew he would return for an encore. Not one, not two but he delivered four in succession. Instead of performing his rearrangement of Sway, Buble did Dean Martin’s version, which left the audience somewhat less satiated. He made up for it with Song For You.

The former wedding singer in his native city of Vancouver, Canada is definitely getting bigger with his acts but it’s nice to see that he has matured.

The one-night performance in KL was a musical feast as the audience happily spilled out of the stadium with Buble’s tunes ringing in their ears.