Adult Contemporary artist Josh Groban  made his first ever stop at the beautiful Avalon Ballroom inside the Fallsview Casino which would be the first of two consecutive sold out shows. Groban is on tour in support of his eight studio album “Bridges,” which was released last fall.  Groban was surrounded by his wonderful band which also included long time band leader/guitarist Tariqh Akoni  and the talented MB Gordy on percussion. His band also included a string section and choir as well.

Taking the stage at 8:05pm to a round of applause. Groban eased into “Pure Imagination,” which was made famous by the 1971 movie “Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory.” If the first song didn’t wet the audiences appetite, well the 2nd song sure did. Groban then went into one of his biggest songs “You Are Loved (Don’t Give Up)” which immediate grabbed everyone attention as some sang and some just closed their eyes and mummed along with Groban’s vocals.  Groban is well known for his high lyric baritone range but casual fans may not know that he is very engaging and has a great sense of humor.  Groban talked about how wonderful his first trip to the Falls has been. He was taken back by opening his curtain in his hotel room and seeing all of the Falls and its beauty right there in front of him. He also made fun of his attire as he is more of casual dresser but wore a nice dress coat and wore contacts which he quipped to his longtime fans, ” You know this must be special night if I put in contacts,” which drew lots of laughs.

Groban showed his powerful vocals on “Bring His Home.” He got behind the piano and tickled the ivories on both “Wandering Kind and “Play Me.” He also let his band enjoy the spotlight as they did two instrumentals “Marrakech” and “Musica Para Camina.” Groban who speaks 7 different languages, sang the Italian songs “Musica de Corazon” and “Alla Luce.” “You Raise Me Up” had people waving their cell phones in the air while singing along.

The highlight of the evening for me was the incredible performance of everyone together on stage for Simon & Garfunkel’s classic “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” The choirs harmonies behind Groban’s voice with the encompassing string section were eye opening and mouth dropping. It was flawless and worth the price of admission alone.

Overall, Groban’s voice is one of the best in business. His interaction with the crowd all night took it to another level. I must say what a performance Groban laid on the attendees in the Falls on Friday night!

 

Setlist:

 

Pure Imagination (Leslie Bricusse and Antony Newley cover)

You Are Loved (Don’t Give Up)

Won’t Look Back

Old Devil Moon

Granted

Marrakech (Instrumental)

Wandering Kind

Play Me

Bring Him Home

Musica Para Camina (Instrumental)

Musica de Corazon

River

Alla Luce

You Raise Me Up

 

Encore:

 

To Where You Are

Bridge Over Troubled Water (Simon & Garfunkel cover)

 

Photo Gallery

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We would like to thank Alex Pederson from the Fallsview Casino for the credentials to review the show.

About The Author Gus

My first opportunity to write about music was with Kissunderground, featuring just one band (KISS). In 2006, I started working for another outlet that showcased more musicians. It was a great experience for me at the time. I personally nailed down some great interviews during my time at glam-metal.com (Paul Stanley, Jonathan Davis, Slash and Sully Erna to name a few). In early 2009, I decided to venture out on my own with the idea of creating a website that has all the offerings that a reader would want in a music review website. That's when Backstageaxxess.com began. I’m so proud of what was created here and of our staff that brings it to you. Each one offers a diverse opinion and a creative ability to share it in a unique way. We are so lucky to have them here. When discussing making a list of favorite shows with the staff, I also found it hard to narrow that list down to a select handful of shows. Everyone experiences a concert in their own terms, whether it’s the show itself, maybe it’s the people you met there and the new friendships created, or maybe it was meeting the artist at the show. For my criteria, I tried to stick to just the show itself, but again, it was sometimes hard to do. My first concert was Sammy Hagar’s first tour with Van Halen at the Niagara Falls Convention Center, Niagara Falls, NY, on August 30, 1986. My favorites are as follows: 1. Kiss – Tiger Stadium - Detroit, Michigan 6/28/96 2. SARS (Rolling Stones, AC/DC, Rush, and handful of other bands) - Downsview Park – Toronto, Ontario 7/30/03 3. Paul McCartney (every McCartney show I saw was awesome, but Iwent with my first show) Air Canada Centre -Toronto, Ontario 10/10/05 4. Motley Crue – Memorial Auditorium – Buffalo, NY 12/19/89 5. Kid Rock – Tweeter Center - Camden, New Jersey 3/25/06 The honorable mentions would be any McCartney show (The Joint at the Hard Rock, Las Vegas, Nevada, April 2009 or Air Canada Centre Toronto, Ontario 8/10/10), Prince (Club 2112) at the Rio Hotel, Las Vegas 12/30/07, Heart (Pulse Lounge * only 200 people) Hilton Hotel, Anaheim, California, January 21,2008, Monsters of Rock (Van Halen, Scorpions, Metallica, Dokken, and Kingdom Come) Rich Stadium, Orchard Park, NY 6/19/88 and the Rocklahoma Festival (Queensryche, Lita Ford, Triumph, etc.). Also, Cher (with my mom) at the Blue Cross Arena Rochester, NY, November 22, 2004.