I can’t think of anything better than a beautiful fall-like night in the middle of the summer, picnicking on the lawn of the Filene Center at Wolf Trap, the company of a good friend, and the incredibly beautiful voice of Josh Groban, backed by the Wolf Trap Orchestra, and Groban’s unbelievably talented band. I’m still basking in the “happy glow” from last night’s amazing show.
Josh opened his first show at Wolf Trap with “Brave,” the first single from his 2013 album All That Echoes. And yes, I did call him Josh. He just exudes this friendliness that you can’t help but feel like he is an old friend. It’s easy to see why he is loved by so many—he is charming, talented, adorable, humble, grateful, is a great philanthropist, and has a great sense of humor.
Even though Wolf Trap was completely packed, he was able to make the experience intimate and personal. After the first song, he “chatted” with the audience telling them what a great honor it was to be at Wolf Trap and have the orchestra playing with him. He welcomed everyone, even the “husbands/boyfriends who had been dragged to the show by their wives/girlfriends.” If I didn’t adore him before the show, I am sure that I (and everyone else in the audience) would have been totally charmed by him. This was evidenced after the show when I saw a tweet that said: “Just saw @joshgraban at #WolfTrap. Best. Voice. I’ve. Ever. Heard. Count me a husband, who’s now a fan!” Later in the night, he answered questions that audience members had tweeted him earlier in the day.
He continued the night with a mix of songs from his repertoire of best-selling albums, including “False Alarm,” “February Song,” “Hollow Talk,” “I Believe [When I Fall In Love It Will Be Forever],” “The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress,” and “Vincent (Starry, Starry Night).” He sings several of his non-English songs, including the Spanish “Un Alma Mas” with Daniel Rosenboom doing a fantastic job on the trumpet. That’s another thing about Josh, he has an incredible knack with surrounding himself with the most talented musicians. In addition to Rosenboom, the band consisted of musical director Tariqh Akoni—who has been with Josh since almost the beginning of his career—on guitar and electrical guitar, bassist Andre Manga, percussionist Pete Korpela, drummer Dave DiCenso, pianist Ruslan Sirota, violinist Christian Hebel, and background vocals by the East Coast Inspirational Choir. He closed the show with a trio of songs, including “Awake,” which according to Josh is one of his most requested songs and the bittersweet “Smile.” Finally, what Josh Groban concert would be complete without “You Raise Me Up?”
I’m sitting here trying to decide what the highlight of the night was, but there were so many incredible music moments that I can’t just pick one. So here are my favorites from a night filled with marvelous music. When violinist Hebel began the first haunting strings of “To Where You Are” a hush fell over the audience—it was like all approximately 7,000 people in the audience, held their breath until the song was over. Then Josh began singing and it made me remember every person that I have loved and lost and as my concert companion said “it literally made her cry.” My second favorite moment of the night, was oddly not Josh, but Christian Hebel’s extraordinary violin solo of Aerosmith’s “Dream On” I love classical music, but rock violin holds a special place in my heart!
From the moment that Josh steps on stage, he has the sold-out audience completely entranced. He proves time and time again why he is one of the best selling artists worldwide. Josh’s talent is just immeasurable. His voice, self described as a baritone, hits every note with astounding accuracy and is one of the most beautiful voices I have ever listened to. Last night, as per usual, Josh’s voice, his sincerity, and the emotion that he pours into singing every song, made it one of the best musical experiences I have had in a life full of musical experiences.
Josh Groban played one night only on August 16, 2013 at the Filene Center at Wolf Trap – 1551 Trap Road, in Vienna, VA. For future performances and Information: Call (877) 965-3872, or check their calendar of events.
Josh Groban website.