Michael Bublé Scores a Big Goal at Tampa’s Amalie Arena
Michael Bublé brought his “Higher” tour to Tampa on Saturday night in support of his new album of the same name. Bublé didn’t come alone; he brought a great orchestra, band, and background singers. The nearly sold-out Amalie Arena boasted a crowd of every demographic imaginable. From families with young children to octogenarians and everyone in-between. Bublé has a loyal fan base who yelled, screamed, and held up signs to get his attention. At 46, Canada’s son Bublé has carved his niche after nearly 20 years in the music world and earned acclaim from his peers and musicians who have been around a while. For his new album, Sir Paul McCartney wanted Bublé to record his tune, “My Valentine,” and offered to produce it as well. He has also recorded a duet version of Willie Nelson’s “Crazy” with the man himself. Let’s hit a few highlights of the show!
Opening the show with the standard “Feeling Good,” the Amalie lit up like Christmas! Stellar lighting, great graphics, and neon, with the beautiful orchestra, set the tone for what you knew would be an entertainment experience! There are no costume changes, Michael arrives on stage surrounded in smoke and pyro in a black suit and tie. Between songs, he signs memorabilia for a couple of kids, waves, gives high-fives, and moves on to the next tune. There is no dead time at a Michael Bublé show. He keeps it moving, and the audience eats it up. “Haven’t Met You Yet,” one of his biggest hits, has fans singing along. The setlist is a mix of standards, Bublé’s songs, and classic pop tunes. “Home” is an emotional ode to family and hearth. Bublé is a family man with his wife expecting their 4th child soon.
The title album song, “Higher,” is a high energy, and you should check out the video on YouTube; it is a great collaboration with choreographer and dancer Derek Hough that is a visual treat. His version of Charlie Chaplin’s “Smile” is a beautiful tribute with just Michael and piano player Roy Dunlap. Michael is an Elvis fan and does a fun tribute to the King by moving to the small stage in the middle of the arena with band members in the round with Bublé donning a guitar. “Fever,” “All Shook Up,” and “Can’t Help Falling in Love” are all sing-alongs with the audience and complete with huge confetti splash.
Bublé is a class act, introducing each member of his musical entourage on the big screens. The encore brought familiar classic songs, including “Cry Me A River” & “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You), and he closed the show with his friend Willie Nelson’s 1982 hit, “You Are Always On My Mind.” Michael thanked the audience for buying tickets, paying too much for gas, and joked about Florida hockey teams. You can’t go wrong with this fabulous show – take your kids, your grandma, or your significant other; you will be in for an entertaining evening! Check out the new album and tour dates at Michael Buble’s website.
Vicky Sullivan Photos