Concert DVD

Soundstage Presents: Josh Groban: An Evening in New York City

Reviewed by Melissa Minners

            At 28 years old, Los Angeles native Josh Groban has found great success as a singer/musician.  The Grammy-nominated singer with the enchanting baritone voice first received serious notice in 2001 for his performance of Youíre Still You in the season finale of the television show Ally McBeal.  Since then, his career has skyrocketed.  With several albums under his belt and notable duets with such accomplished performers as Barbara Streisand, Celine Dion, Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman, Josh Grobanís vocal talents have wowed audiences all around the world.

            In 2009, Josh Groban performed at the Rose Theatre at Fredrick P. Rose Hall, home of Jazz at Lincoln Center.  The performance was recorded and aired on PBS as part of their June 2009 pledge drive.

            I was thrilled when I received a copy of Soundstage Presents: Josh Groban: An Evening in New York City for review.  I am a fan of Grobanís music and believe him to have a beautiful voice that is almost magical in nature.  I couldnít wait to see how this DVD would turn out.

            Josh Groban: An Evening in New York City features 12 songs including fan favorites such as You Are Loved and February Song, songs written in other languages such as Alla Luce Del Sole and Una Dia Llegara, and songs that hold special meaning for Groban such as Smile.  This DVD also features duets with renowned trumpeter and composer Chris Botti and jazz pianist and composer Herbie Hancock.

            The music on the DVD is undeniably beautiful.  Whether in English, Italian or Spanish, Grobanís vocal talents are enchanting.  The songs performed on the DVD were diverse enough to show Grobanís range as a singer and musician and his versatility as a perfomer.  In between some of the songs, Groban actually talks to the audience revealing that, although his voice may be god-like in nature, he is just an ordinary man with extraordinary talents. 

            I have only a couple of gripes about this DVD.  First, I found the violinist performing beside Groban to be amazing, yet Groban didnít acknowledge her to the audience.  Although he didnít acknowledge all of the orchestra members, he did acknowledge his pianist, the choir, his acoustic guitarist and his bass guitarist.  Why no mention of Lucia Micarelli, who stood beside him performing during most of the concert?  My only other gripe is directed toward the film crew and their various angles.  When Iím watching a concert, I really donít want to see the cameraman as he gets a close-up on the performer.  I also donít want to see the teleprompters - I would rather believe that singers are infallible and always remember the lyrics to every song they perform.

            Otherwise, I found Soundstage Presents: Josh Groban: An Evening in New York City to be a highly enjoyable concert DVD.  This is Josh Groban in a more comfortable environment than The Met, Carnegie Hall and the like.  I enjoyed this DVD so much that I plan on watching it yet again after writing this review.  It will be given an honored spot in my vast DVD collection.


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