AU ABROAD

Live Review: Michael Buble + Naturally 7 - Allphones Arena, Sydney (09.05.14)

It's evident that Michael Buble has a special place in his heart for his Australian fans, as this is where he got his first big break in 2000, just before he almost gave up on music. Thankfully he didn't, as his popularity and success over the last 14 years has only grown, and with good reason, as his live performance is slick, sophisticated, elegant and engaging. His first of four Sydney shows at Allphones Arena, was to a packed house of ardent fans.

If you are going and thinking of just turning up for the main act, I would suggest you make the effort to get there early to see Naturally 7, who are supporting Buble on this tour. They are billed as 'special guests' on the tour, and they are certainly that, with their unique take on a cappella. Their press release states they are '... an R & B/Urban/Soul phenomenon...' and this description is spot on. They actually refer to their unique style of performance as "Vocal Play". They have coined this term as they not only adeptly sing all the melodies and harmonies, but perfectly mimic the drums, guitars, horns, strings, turntables and beats using nothing but their voices! A definite must see, they are engaging, humorous, high energy and incredibly talented in their own right.

The crowd is certainly in a great mood, amped up and happy after the support and waiting in excited anticipation for the main act, the man himself, Michael Buble. They are not disappointed as he begins with a smooth and intimate version of "Fever" surrounded by impressive lighting, video effects and staging. Buble goes straight into a crowd favourite with "Haven't Met You Yet" and the stage is fully revealed with a huge high-definition multi-screen on the back wall, a moving stage that gracefully moves the band forward, coupled with stunning projections and great sound, suggesting this is going to be one hell of a show.

What is particularly impressive about the show is the fact that every song Buble performs he makes his own. From Van Morrison's "Moondance", to The Beatles' "All You Need Is Love", to Daft Punk's "Get Lucky", Buble owns the music to the point that you almost forget they were originally performed by other people. The other lovely thing is that all the cover material blends beautifully with his originals, creating a truly entertaining and seamless night of hits.

There are so many elements that combine to make this a memorable, enjoyable and highly successful show, not least the amazingly talented musicians, affectionately called 'Team Buble', many of whom have played and toured with Buble for at least 10 years. They bring the music to life with a perfect balance of talent, precision and passion, and on a few tracks even manage to dance with their instruments!

But the one stand-out element, that has lifted Buble's reputation beyond just his musical talent to his current well deserved heights, is the man himself. He is honest, sincere, engaging and funny. Like most performers the show runs to a pretty tight script but Buble still makes you feel like this is the first and only time he is telling that joke, that you truly are his favourite audience and that this show is just for you. If you enjoy his recordings his live performance is a must see. The tour is coming to an end soon but there are still a few dates in Brisbane and Sydney. Details below...

BRISBANE: Monday 12 May and Tuesday 13 May, 2014 – Brisbane Entertainment Centre

SYDNEY: Friday 16 and Saturday 17 May, 2014 –Allphones Arena

Tickets from www.ticketek.com.au or 132 849