There was no support act and no interval as the singer opened the first of two nights of An Audience with Michael Bublé at Newcastle’s Utilita Arena. But the charming Canadian doesn’t need a warm-up act nor a break: he had the virtually sold-out crowd in the palm of his hand from the first pitch-perfect note of Feeling Good.
Modern day pop acts could learn a thing or two about performance from this seasoned star who fills his gig with warmth, personality and spades of talent.
Tickets are pricey for his tour, average seats will cost you around £75, but you get plenty of Bublé for your buck and a really classy piece of entertainment.
Clad in a sharp blue suit and backed by a world-class 32-piece band, he gives the audience exactly what they want, from his original material such as Just Haven’t Met You Yet, Nobody But Me, Home and Love You Anymore, as well as classics such as My Funny Valentine, When I Fall in Love, I Only Have Eyes For You and When You’re Smiling, which are the comforting musical equivalent of putting your feet up in front of a roaring open fire.
The vocals and musicianship are the best you’ll find of this genre and there’s really high production levels, from jazz club-esque lights that descend from the ceiling for You Never Can Tell to thunder and lightning effect lighting and stormy scenes for Cry Me A River - then there’s the man himself.
“I love connecting with people and I feel like I’ve been given a gift to be able to open my mouth and connect with people,” he says in one of his many chats with the crowd and it really is an unrivalled connection.
He jokes with kids, he charms mums, he dances with dads, he opens up the mic to sing with an audience member and he emits a genuine warmth as he talks about his own upbringing and family.
No matter what your musical preferences, it wouldn’t be Christmas without a bit of Bublé and you can’t help but sway along as the modern day Bing Crosby performs White Christmas with a note-perfect delivery.
“There’s enough negativity in the world, let’s make this all about happiness,” he says to the audience and on a chilly November night in Newcastle, he really does radiate positivity. He jokes himself that it could all be an act, but if it is, it’s a thoroughly convincing one. Forget the film, this is the greatest showman.