Bublé's Louisville Concert 6/4/11

Michael Bublé, first of all is one of the 'shining stars' in music today, IMHO.
Been a fan for several years now...introduced him to hundreds of acquaintences, who've virtually all fallen in love with him.
Last night, he came back to Louisville after having been away for, in his words 2 and half years.
The good news is, he has a remarkable voice--an incredible group of musicians in his band and is not just a singer, he's an Entertainer with a capital E. Hilariously funny quips and audience interplay--one can't help but be mesmerized by this young man...and I hope he has 50 more years of albums, concerts and success.
However... as the other shoe drops, wait for it, wait for it...THE SOUND AT HIS CONCERT LAST NIGHT WAS AWFUL.
Speaking to a friend about this, he said that virtually ALL performers of that level bring in their own equipment for sound reinforcement...but I can't address that.
The concert was at the relatively new YUM Center, and I was ready to fault the 'house' audio system until my 'in the know friend' told me that.
OK, I'm not going to pretend that I wanted audiophile sound in an arena...live/acoustic sound, or anything like that...decent or passable would have been OK--I was there to see and support an entertainer that I admire--but the sound was so incredibly bad as to be painful...WAY TOO LOUD...which is a common mistake--but then distorted, piercing, terrible mix, with the piano sounding hollow and too loud/soft/distorted.
But the BIG problem was the pain that his 'swells' caused because of the Large Horns, (let's don't go there with the love horn, hate horn crowd) which in this venue sounded horrible.
It would seem that a $1Million Dollar event, (about 20K people spending $100. each, would allow Michael to have sound people who know the difference between loud and good.
Years ago, the liquor industry/entertainment industry commissioned a study evaluating the correlation between music volumes and bar receipts. Louder music, to a point, increases excitement...to a point.
The issue is, that after a certain volume level was exceeded, people scurry to the exits like rats off a ship.
Again, sheer volume wasn't the case last night...horrible distortion and simply bad sounding speakers ruined it more than the 'too much volume'.
Michael, if you can somehow read this--find that 'magic volume', loudness level that hits the vast majorities 'sweet spot', get some better speakers...your albums show us all that you know what a good mix sounds like--make that your calling card at your concerts too.
Know this, even with the horrible sound, I LOVED the show. No entertainer that I've ever seen is better than this guy...he's loaded with charisma, vocal talent, he's a handsome young man, full of energy--and utterly masterful.

Here's hoping for better sound next time--and yes I'll go next time he's in the region.

Good listening,

Seen him from Row 10 floor center. I agree with the comments about his personality. The ladies love him - definitely a good show to take your wife or GF. Michael is a really cute smooth crooner with an OK voice (like Diana Krall).

Sadly I found his band rather lacking - so it is not just his sound system but the whole crew leaves a lot to be desired.

In the old days when you paid $20 a ticket you could accept a lousy sound system. However at $200 a seat, I think it is appalling what they get away with. Basically the concert circuit is simply a big money grab today.

BTW - if you like Michael's stuff then definitely buy the Robbie Willimas Swing when you're winning CD and the DVD concert of Robbie swinging at the Albert Hall (amazing).
The crew I heard was unbelievably talented...the guy playing bari sax was the best I've heard, and I'm a Gerry Mulligan fan. They were, in a word magnificent...my only gripe, again was the sound system/venue or both.

Also, to say he has an OK voice is like saying Monet knew a little about color.
I think he's got a generational voice/as in 'once in.'

Good listening,
The ladies love him, but he is not a very good vocalist. He is pretty much the Bing Crosby of today musically speaking.

Row G at the Palace Theater, no further back or it is horrible.
Row G or forward at the Brown Theater for best sound.
Singeletary Hall in Lexington has the best sounding venue that I have heard in our state. Well except for my house of course.. Have not been to the Yum Center yet.

I'm surprised that more people haven't addressed the overall, larger concept of Concert Sound.
The Bublé experience was just one...I've had so many, and virtually every one, (excluding Phoebe Show's Louisville show) was better.
It was tragic, as I, unlike a couple of posters on my original query/statement, called both Bublé 'average', or not very good...then lumped Diana Krall into the same mediocre eval. Whereas I LOVE Bublé as not only a vocalist, but as an entertainer. But, as I've said before, personal preferences of voices is similar to wines...one person's nectar is anothers poison I suppose.

But the issue was sound--and it was ATROCIOUS!!

Good listening,

A friend of mine works with the Bubbler (Reprise Records), so I've seen him perform twice. He is -IMHO- a solid, if unremarkable, singer. He is also -IMHO- a terrific entertainer.

I was actually favorably surprised by the SQ at both shows - particularly given that they were at the +/-20,000 seat Staples center in LA. Now, my expectation bar was set spectacularly low. Between ca. 1995 and ca. 2005 I saw zero arena shows because the SQ was generally so poor in the shows I'd attended <1995. I just concluded that arena shows were more often about spectacle than music, and for the most part that's not my cup of tea.

Since 2005, I have seen 4 shows at Staples (the 2 above and Fleetwood Mac twice). The SQ at all 4 was vastly superior to that which I remembered from the "old days". Fleetwood Mac's sound was -IMHO- shockingly good for high volume, high impact rock 'n' roll, and Bubble's was solid plus, for biggish band jazz. The acapella group that opens for Bubble was also handled pretty well by their sound squad.

Maybe it's just Staples, or maybe it's my own particularly low expectations, but I can't bitch about the SQ at the Bubble shows.


BTW, I though that Buble's band was solid thru and thru. They never attacked much challenging material, though. I don't think that this necessarily reflects on their capabilities, more likely it's a concession to audience taste and expectations.