Josh Groban in Concert
Thursday, July 4, 2013
July 4th Fireworks Spectacular
With the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
Songs performed: Brave, False Alarms, February Song, The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, Un Alma Más, Mai, Broken Vow, Hollow Talk, Vincent, Vocé Existe Em Mim, You Raise Me Up, I Believe (When I Fall in Love It Will Be Forever), Smile
Comments: The Hollywood Bowl is a great place to celebrate Independence Day. You get to bring a picnic dinner with you and enjoy an evening of great music under the stars. After all the hot days where I live, it was nice to be outside on a cooler evening. The first half of the show featured the L.A. Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Sarah Hicks. They performed selections from John Williams (Olympics theme), movies (Battle march from a John Wayne movie that includes a whistling solo), as well as the traditional salute to the troops (where current and past members are encouraged to stand up and be recognized).
For the second half of the show, the Orchestra was joined by Josh Groban. He was dressed in a black suit, white T-shirt and white sneakers. This was his third night there during this engagement, and he was saying how much of an honor it was. He remembers going with his family to the Bowl on the 4th, and how he would often sleep through the singers just to see the fireworks. His entrance song was his current single “Brave” off his recent CD “All That Echoes.” He sang a lot of songs from the new CD as well as selected highlights from his song catalog. “February Song” had Josh playing the piano.
The band’s violinist got a solo number for an instrumental version of Aerosmith’s “Dream On.” Then the drummer and percussionist started their solos, and the spotlight traveled to show Josh also playing drums. Who knew he could play drums too? The song that he performed on the drums was “Vocé Existe Em Mim” from his “Illuminations” CD. He brought out famed trumpeter Arturo Sandoval for 2 numbers. No other special guests for the evening, despite fans hoping for appearances by David Foster and Celine Dion (it was not to be).
Josh is very serious when he sings. But in reality he is actually a very funny guy. He commented on how he identified with being one of the riff-raff that was sitting in the back. And how he said he was covered in stars and stripes under his clothes, and then someone yelled “then take them off”. He said he would be cold if he did.
Josh’s portion of the show ended with his own “You Raise Me Up,” and 2 covers — Steve Wonder’s “I Believe (When I Fall in Love It Will Be Forever)” and Charlie Chaplin’s “Smile.” He was joined on the first 2 by a choir on both sides of the stage.
Then it was on to the fireworks, and the orchestra playing the patriotic background music.
Thanks to Josh, his band and the orchestra for a fantastic evening at the legendary Bowl.
KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Rock the Kilt lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.