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Michael Buble charms audience

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Thursday, June 24, 2010, at 12:02 a.m.
  • Updated Thursday, June 24, 2010, at 10:02 a.m.

Photos

Wichita is so hot that Michael Buble described it with an expletive.

And Wichitans are so nice, Buble said, he described them as "almost creepy."

"I like it here very much," he said. "It's hot... but it's great."

Buble, the 34-year-old Canadian crooner who's often compared to Frank Sinatra, performed a show at Intrust Bank Arena on Wednesday that drew thousands of swooning women and the husbands and boyfriends they dragged along.

Buble said it himself from the stage during one of many chatty periods in which he joked, played with double entendres and charmed his already charmed fans.

"Oh, how I would love to shower with you," Buble said with a smirk after an audience sing-along. "If you sound that good here, I can imagine that if you're in the shower you sound even better."

Buble took the stage in a suit with a skinny tie, and, using lights and video screens, his crew created a 1950s-style lounge onstage boasting a 13-piece band, complete with upright bass and horn section.

Buble started the show with a series of low-key standards, including his opening song, "Cry Me a River," plus "All of Me" and "Mack the Knife," a song Buble said was his favorite as a child.

His 20-plus-song set also included some of his radio hits, including "Everything" and his recent hit "Haven't Met You Yet," which he saved for near the end of the show.

A highlight of the show was Buble's performance of "Best of Me," a slow, soulful tune on which he was backed up only by a piano, showcasing his buttery voice.

"When I was going through difficult times, this song was a real help to me," he said.

During a lighter moment, Buble performed a brief crotch-grabbing, moon-walking version of Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean," and shortly after he walked through the audience, traveling to a remote stage at the back of the arena, where he performed a peppy cover of "All I Do" backed up by his opening act, the crowd-pleaser Naturally 7.

The novelty group, a rare opening act that earned a standing ovation, hails from New York and performs a style of singing called vocal play.

Centered on group founder Warren Thomas, who learned to mimic the sounds of a drum set with his mouth, the group of seven singers sounds as though it is backed up by a full band. Another member can make his voice sound just like bass guitar, while others can imitate harmonicas, electric guitars, horns and more.

The group's energetic performance included a cover of Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight," in which Thomas perfectly re-created the famous drum solo.

Denise Neil will appear on the Brett and Tracy morning show on B-98 at 9:05 a.m. today to talk more about the Michael Buble concert.

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