Concert Review: Michael Bublé at the Phones 4u Arena, Manchester – 02/03/2014

Already in its second year of touring, Michael Bublé’s To Be Loved tour arrived in Manchester on Sunday night, and fans were not to be disappointed – the singer showed no signs that he had already performed this show over 60 times. The evening began with his warm up act in the form of Naturally 7 – an American a capella group who managed to get the audience suitably warmed up.

It was soon time, however, for Bublé to make an appearance, as he opened his hit show with John Davenport’s ‘Fever’, also previously sung by the likes of Elvis Presley and Ray Charles. The talented performer then went on to sing a plethora of his own songs, including the popular ‘Haven’t Met You Yet’ and ‘Home’, which the audience expectedly lapped up.

Although it was wonderful to hear Michael Bublé sing live, with his sleek and seemingly effortless voice, as well as his superbly entertaining performing skills, I felt his show was somewhat unnecessarily filled with songs belonging to other artists. From Daft Punk’s ‘Get Lucky’ to Arthur Hamilton’s ‘Cry Me a River’ and Nina Simone’s ‘Feeling Good’; he actually sang more covers than his own material. Although it has to be said that they were all sung with great skill, it seemed a shame that he felt the need to include these upbeat songs just to avoid his show becoming slightly depressing.

Nevertheless, the audience, as far as I could tell, did not seem to remotely mind his eclectic choice of songs to perform, and were keen to get up and dance, especially when Naturally 7 joined Bublé to sing a medley of Michael Jackson songs.

It is clear that a concert by Michael Bublé is most definitely not just about the music; his numerous interactions with his audience were both entertaining and heartfelt. The singer seemed to be genuinely grateful for the support that he has received from his fans over the years, and made every effort to tell them of this fact, which was heartwarming to hear, even as the relatively mediocre fan that I am. His support for his band members was also very evident, as he dedicated a significant portion of his show to praising them individually. This was, again, inspiring to witness.

Bublé drew his show to a close with an encore in which he sang Leon Russell’s ‘A Song for You’, the ending of which he urged the audience to be silent so that he could sing without any backing music or a microphone. Hearing the power of his voice reverberate around the arena was a truly magical way for the singer to end his performance, and cemented his fans’ belief in his musical ability.


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