Paul Wilson: Josh Groban & Judith Hill at Sprint Center

Screen shot 2013-10-17 at 4.34.27 PMI’ve only gone to six or eight concerts where I went for reasons other than my own choosing…

Either I was taking someone who wanted to see something I didn’t particularly care for, or in the case of Garth Brooks, just wanted to attend the opening of the Sprint Center because it was an “event.”

In my preview story for the Josh Groban, Judith Hill concert, I made it clear Groban wasn’t my cup of tea. That I was going to see Hill and Hill alone. Well, I’m ready to eat those words now for all the women who viciously attacked me in the comments section.

I may not be a “Grobite,” I can tell you that he put on one solid show, and I can’t recall an artist more interactive with his audience. The bottom line being that I enjoyed this performance far more than I would have ever expected and yes, I’d go again.

judith_hill_cropI sat with friends and family of Judith Hill’s band which added a lot to the evening.

Hill walked out to a less than half full Sprint Center to only moderate applause which I found odd at best. She then laid down a nice, somewhat short set with the sole flaw being the backup singers never were properly mixed until Hill’s last song.

At set change, I looked around amazed at the crowd size.

The upper sections had been draped off and half the second tier was blocked off. I would put the arena as configured, at nearly full, but there couldn’t have been more than 6,000 people there. I sat in the fifth row with available seats well within reach.

Touring on Groban’s new release, All That Echo’s, I had assumed he’d have been a bigger draw.

Groban’s band opened with his individual band members playing in the crowd at the four corners of the arena, a nice touch that came off really well.

Early in the show Groban noted that he understood there were protesters outside, commenting that he generally didn’t get that since he was the “least objectionable person he could think of.”

Then after pondering that on stage for a moment he worked himself up and struggled to say… “Sh, shii, shit!” to add a faux edginess to his squeaky clean show.

Groban congratulated KC on the Chiefs and said this was a far better trip than last time, when he and his dog were ushered to the Intercontinental hotel basement for a tornado.

After doing a number of his favorites Groban took a small break and the band took the stage with what became the feature of the night for me, tackling their rendition of Aerosmith’s “Dream On,” led by violinist Christian Hebel. It was at the conclusion of that house rocking cover we saw Groban reappear on the drums, exhibiting that he’s equally at home on percussion as he is at the microphone or piano.

Hill rejoined Groban on stage, first for the song “Remember When It Rained” and once again for “The Prayer.” By the end of the latter if you weren’t moved in some manner there was just something wrong with you.

And, it still moves Groban, who described it as a “pivotal” song in his career when asked by producer and friend David Foster to perform it at the Grammys as a 17 year old kid, filling in for Andrea Bocelli. Groban said he was home, doing math homework when he got the message and called back to tell Foster he was busy. He explained, his life’s priorities weren’t yet in place and Foster replied, “No, you misunderstand, I’m TELLING you to do it!”

Towards the end he introduced the John Shearer Kantorei Choir of Kansas City, a 16 person ensemble who joined him on stage and provided back up for a cover of Stevie Wonder’s “I Believe; When I Fall In Love It Will Be Forever.

Throughout the evening Groban answered questions from the crowd, calling them out by seat number and name. One question came from a girl who traveled from Australia for her birthday. She wanted to see him in KC, and then was off to NY, asking for things to do while she was there. He told her everyone needed to see the Statue of Liberty, but asked if anyone knew whether or not the government was open yet, or not?

Another question indicated that someone had heard Groban could juggle and brought a beginners tube of balls labeled, “You too can learn to juggle.” He took them, demonstrated his beginner skills then tossed the balls to the crowd.

He also noted the number of men in attendance, thanked us and informed us that the two hours invested in his show would pay them back later, “If you get know what I mean.”

You Lift Me Up, a Groban anthem, came during the encore. He turned it into a sing-along, with the Kantorei ensemble again providing back up.

Would I have gone to this show on my own? No way.

Would I go again? I certainly would and voluntarily. It was a rock solid performance by one of the great voices of our time.
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24 Responses to Paul Wilson: Josh Groban & Judith Hill at Sprint Center

  1. harley says:

    whats next? review of Disney on Ice?

  2. Lance Winkler says:

    Look at you, you Groban lover you!

  3. GW says:

    See, I told you!!!

  4. paulwilsonkc says:

    Lance, it was indeed a great show.
    GW; my apologies.

  5. Night Owl says:

    LOL ! ! ! 😉
    One should NEVER the underestimste the Power of the Voice , Music , Talent , Humor and More Importantly the Guy who is Josh Groban ! ! ! ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

    Once you see Josh Groban in Concert , Once will NEVER BE ENOUGH ! ! As when Josh hits the stage , Josh is Pure Engery and Magic and he is like a lightening bolt hitting a transformer ! ! ! ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

    A must see Concert for Everyone snd did I mention he is really FUNNY , QUICK WITTED WITH S GREAT SENSE OF HUMOR !

    See For Yourself and I Gaurantee You will LOVE Josh as much ad his Beloved Grobanites Do ! ! ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

  6. Night Owl says:

    I was So excited when posting , I did make a few typos in my comment . 🙁
    Hope Everyone will forgive me ? ?
    Can NOT wait seeing Josh Perform LIVE in Newark , New Jersey on October 30th at the Prudential Center ! ! ! ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
    Josh’s Core Band “The Groband” is AWSOME check them out as well and say “Hello” to Josh and the Groband for me ! ! ! 😉

  7. mike t. says:

    paul, did you get your man card back?

    • paulwilsonkc says:

      Mike, here’s the secret; I went in mumbling in disbelief I was there. Apparently when you do that, you keep your man card. If you’re mildly converted in concert, they have no method to know that so you leave with your card in tact.

  8. harley says:

    its not about being a man…its about being someone who recognizes talent
    and how incredible these people are.
    Groban is beyond anything written… you just sit and watch the
    guy sing without any effort…it’s not talent….its god given gift.
    saw groban and bocelli both in vegas….most people wouldsay
    no way…but once you see their range and what they’re able
    to do….and the setting they do it in….there is no one to compare
    them to.
    not a big fan of either’s music genre…but they are beyond the
    talent of anyone on earth.
    glad you enjoyed the show Wilson….its good that guys like
    you get to experience real “culture” and the fine things
    in life once in a while.

  9. harley says:

    Wilson…maybe take chuck to one of those concerts with you next time..
    but tell him to leave the colt 45 malt at home!

    • paulwilsonkc says:

      Bait on, H-man. Rubber and glue; rubber and glue.

      • harley says:

        rubber and glue?
        must be an old saying.
        not baiting…just nice that you get away fromgthe
        gloom and doom stories you usually write.
        I felt bad for you when groban fans attackd you…
        way out of line…even on kcc.
        we’ll poke..kid///throw a few zingers…make a few
        funny comments but those comments were beyond
        lets keep to the subjects…have some fun…I get
        neddled and harassed almost as much as glaze.
        sometimes I laugh because they are funny quips..
        others I scream because they’re uncalled for.
        sorry…gotta go..i’m writing for an east coast
        afternoon drive show and gotta finish up my

  10. NotImpressed says:

    Not positive, but I think the song’s title is You Raise Me Up, not ‘Lift.’

    • paulwilsonkc says:

      You are correct, NotImpressed. Wrote this really, my mistake. Even knew better.
      I’m writing for a west coast morning show, had too many thoughts in my head.
      Thanks for straightening that out. ImImpressed.

  11. Lisa says:

    You commented about the area being sectioned off with a curtain because of a small crowd. That is intentional for his In The Round Tour. He is going for an intimate group setting. He can easily sell out auditoriums. That just isn’t his goal for this tour.

  12. Resi Classen says:

    I have been following Josh Groban only for a short time and missed out on the concerts in the UK. I like to follow his US tour through the internet media and find most of the comments truthful and just.
    Although most of Joshes followers are females, I have introduced his music to some of my male friends and workmates. His classical voice is very much appreciated and admired.
    Personally I prefer his more modern stile and it seems that he is bringing back a lot of romance to the female population which at the end of the day the male species will also benefit from.
    So I can not see the reason why so many males have an aversion to him.
    Every bad can be turned into good, you just have to look for it. 🙂

  13. Nick says:

    If it helps any my daughter thought he was really cool.

  14. Jamie Little Pedant says:

    It’s “Grobanite,” not “Grobite.” “All that Echoes,” not “echo’s” (that means “echo is”). “You Raise Me Up,” not “lift.”

    Sorry. We Grobanites are awful sticklers for accuracy.

    Go CHIEFS!

  15. harley says:

    I suggest this reviewer stay away from anything having to do with groban
    next time he comes close to kc. hahahahahaha

  16. Queen Mary says:

    I sent you my thoughts on the Minneapolis – Target Center concert. Then, the system didn’t take it. I am a “GROBIE” I love Josh and his music. The show was sold out or very near in Mpls. I was NOT happy with Josh or his behavior toward the crowd. The band was fantastic both in their performances but also in the giving of their time after the show for fans. I have been to many Josh concerts and have anything he has put out on DVD. His performance in Minneapolis (after 2 1/2 days off) was not up to snuff. I give Josh a C- this time. No one stood up No one sang along…he was trying to get people to sing along to “You Raise Me Up” and they didn’t sing along. I was flabbergasted as well as disappointed. Not much of a standing ovation and everyone knows that “You Raise Me Up” is the end of the show. My friend and I will think long and hard about spending our money on tickets again if there isn’t some marked improvement. We are people who have followed his entire career, neither of us were happy, upbeat = no great emotion when the show was over. We just wanted to get food and go back to the hotel.

    • paulwilsonkc says:

      Queen, I don’t know what it was…but if you recall, Judith took the stage to what seemed like 3-4 seconds of very light applause.

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