He's come to Dublin to switch on Christmas lights and sit down with Tubbs for a Late Late chat of a Friday evening, but it's been almost 3 years since Michael Buble toured on Irish soil. The Canadian crooner more than made up for it last night though, as he kicked off his 5-night residency at Dublin's O2.
As the lights went down and the smartphones went up, the man who is more than happy to call himself Mickey Bubbles proved he still knows how to give his audience fever. A showman from the off, Buble sent the temperature soaring as he teased his fans with the old school favourite, before bringing everyone in the O2 to their feet with his smash hit single 'Haven't Met You Yet'.
Of course there was still time for jokes about his wife (She gets around, apparently) and impending fatherhood, but for Buble and his audience, it was all about the show. "In these last moments of freedom, before life as I knew it ends, I just ask that you give me a party, lets hang" he said. And a party is precisely what he got.
It may have started off slowly, with a trip down Buble's melodic memory lane, but the show built to a rather brilliant crescendo. His truly excellent band (The All Star 'Team Buble' as he likes to call them) brought the audience to their feet, as Michael gave Linda Martin a run for her money with the aid of his superb support act Naturally 7. The New York boys were no less than pitch perfect as they melded their acapella Vocal Play with Buble's dulcet tones.
Slick Gatsby style graphics and some rather pricey special effects certainly allowed the production to impress, but it was Buble who stole the show. Not once did he falter beneath the heat of the spotlight, as gave his audience everything and more. And if he didn't have them at hello, they were firmly in his hands by the time he dedicated the somewhat anthemic 'Home' to the Irish capital.
As the storm clouds rolled in the crowd cried him a river, and the show came to a truly spectacular close: You could have sworn you were at a One Direction gig listening to those screams. Without spoiling it for those who have yet to attend, Buble proved why he is where he is with one of the finest closing numbers these ears have ever had the pleasure of hearing. It's a rare talent that can pull off a finale like that one.
Has Michael, in his own words, "blown his load too early" on opening night? Doubtful: He's still selling out arenas after a decade on the circuit, and has proven that he's got the stamina to stay in it for the long run, so I'm sure he can offer four more fabulous nights for his Irish fans. 'Tis a long way from those days with Michael Parkinson he's come eh?
Here's to Mickey Bubbles: If there's a more charismatic and talented showman on the circuit, I guess I just haven't met him yet.
Review by Sarah Doran
Michael Buble plays Dublin's O2 Arena on July 16th, 19th, 20th and 21st. Limited tickets for tonight's show (July 16th) are available from Ticketmaster.ie