30 June, 2011

Bells of NYC Rehearsal Video...

This is a video of a rehearsal of the "Bells of New York City" from the Morning Show in Australia from back in December 2010.

The performance version of the song along with "Higher Window" performed on the earlier show "Sunrise" can be viewed in my December entry - "Sunrise and the Morning Show - Australia" here.

25 June, 2011

Singing with Fans...

One thing that Josh has done a couple of times during the tour is bring up fans to sing with him on stage. This is a great article from the Times Reporter about Lauren Schupbach's experience at the Cleveland show.
By Rex Huffman
NEW PHILADELPHIA —When you go to a concert, you expect to listen, not be called on stage to sing.

However, that’s exactly what happened to Laura Schupbach June 4 while she was attending a concert by Josh Groban in Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena.

“I had been looking forward to the concert,” said Laura, a New Philadelphia native who now teaches music in Mifflin Elementary near Mansfield.

“I’m a real fan and we got our tickets three or four months before,” she said. “I am an avid Josh Groban fan.”

Laura said for this tour, Groban encourages those attending to text questions, several of which he then answers during the concert.

“I sent him a text asking which Power Ranger was his favorite,” said Laura.

Unbeknownst to Laura, her mother, Dyan Schupbach of New Philadelphia, also sent a text if Laura could come on stage and sing with Groban.

“She signed my name and gave my set number,” said Laura. “And she didn’t tell me.”

Laura she and her mother and great-grandmother, Millie Sherman, were sitting in the fourth row enjoying the concert, when Groban said he would answer some questions.

“It was really crazy,” Laura said. “When he called my name, I thought he was going to answer my Power Ranger question.”

Instead, he informed the audience that Laura wanted to come on stage and sing with him.

“At first I was not happy with my mom,” Laura said. “I had had really bad allergies that morning, and I was thinking, ‘please, not in front of 15,000 people’.”

That was about all she had time to think about, because Groban jumped from the stage, took her by the wrist, took her to center stage.

“He asked what I did and I said I was a music teacher and I was from New Philadelphia,” said Laura.

“He offered me a bottle of water and asked what I wanted to sing, and the only song I could think of was ‘The Prayer’ (from the animated movie “Quest for Camelot”).”

Laura said when they finished singing, the response from the audience was exciting and exhilarating.

“As we were leaving, complete strangers were coming up to me and asking where they could send pictures and videos they had taken while we were singing,” Laura said.

“It just goes to show there are still a lot of nice people out there,” she added.

Laura, who just completed her first year of teaching, recently had surgery to remove a femoral rod from her left leg, which was placed there after a traffic accident in October 2009.

She will be in the area to sing with the Dominic Greco Band in August and with the Tuscarawas Philharmonic in October. She also is new member of the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus.


Here's a clip that also accompanied the on-line article:

Congratulations Lauren!

FoJG update...

If you are a paid member of Josh's fan club (FoJG) make sure you go and check out the site for a little surprise.

But hurry, it will only be available for a short time.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

24 June, 2011

Joining Chris Botti on Stage...

And on Thursday night (23 June) Josh joined his good friend Chris Botti on stage at the Beacon Theatre in New York to sing "Broken Vow".

This pic is thanks to Twitter user @tar_balls. Click on the image to go directly to the larger version on Twitpic.
Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

This pic of Josh leaving the Theatre thanks to Twitter user @dodoNYC

Thanks to Twitter user @kimjonie you can watch a video here.

And it certainly seem like Josh has been enjoying his mini-break, as he also was able to take the time to see the Tony Award Winning "Book of Mormon" Musical on Broadway.

22 June, 2011

Update for Aussie fans...

Josh just answered this question on Twitter...

Given Josh's current tour schedule, I hope Australia is ready for the "Straight To You" tour in 2012.


12 June, 2011

Giving back (yet again)...

A great article from Patricia Dove of Gloucester County Times. And no surprise Josh continues to show his generosity and makes me proud to be a fan of his. Hope the Hurffville kids have a great time at the show.

Hurffville Elementary School students definitely have something to believe in.

Today, they believe in Josh Groban — and his generosity.

After singing Groban’s song “Believe” for a radio station B101 contest — they won second place — they were invited by the musician to attend his concert at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on July 29.

“This was the second year for the contest and our second year being in it,” said Nancy Leong, the school’s music teacher.

The contest was made up of two divisions, kindergarten through sixth grade and seventh through 12th grade.

“The first year we did it, we didn’t win,” said Leong.

But that didn’t stop them from entering the radio contest again.

“If you don’t win, you try again,” said student Ryan Andrews, 11.

So that is exactly what they did.

“I gave the chorus members three songs to choose from,” said Leong. “‘Believe’ was the overwhelming favorite among the students.”

They turned in their video in November and in the beginning of December they found out they were finalists.

“I got the message during class that we had won second place with a prize of $5,000,” said Leong. “The kids were jumping up and down in the classroom, going crazy. It was an amazing feeling.”

“This was my first year singing in the contest. When I found out we won I was so excited, I almost started to cry,” said 10-year-old Victoria Abiva.

If the win wasn’t enough, school nurse Jean Weis stepped in to see if she could do something a little extra special for the kids.

I have been following Josh Groban since he was 18,” said Weis. “I sent an email about the contest through his fan page.”

It didn’t take long before Weis was in contact with Josh Groban’s personal assistant, Samantha Phillips.

“Samantha told us that Josh Groban was very excited to hear the kids sing, so I sent them the video,” said Weis. “After some corresponding back and forth a few times it was then that Samantha told me we would be receiving a personal message from Josh himself.”

It was a little over a month ago when they received the video.

“In the video he congratulated the kids on their win and how great they all were,” said Weis. “Then invited all of the kids to his concert in July.”

Out of the 84 chorus members there are 78 going to the Wells Fargo Center concert.

“I was so excited, nothing could be better,” said Kevin Simpson, 10.

So after all this exciting news all they had to do was pick the chaperones and find some transportation.

“The Washington Township Education Foundation stepped up and gave funding for the buses,” said Weis. “So now everything is set, and come July we will all be up in Club Box watching Josh Groban.”


09 June, 2011

Article - The Star of Cleveland...

Compiled by Will MacDonald of the Star of Cleveland.

Which star's favorite bands are Radiohead, Linkin Park, Tool, and Depeche Mode?

Since Josh Groban burst on the scene more than a decade ago, he’s defied labels.

Pop? Classical? Even he’s not sure.

“When I walk in the music store, my album is under classical/pop/easy listening,” he told one interviewer. “It’s hard to say what genre it is. It’s genreless. I try not to define what it is. I let the audience define it. Because for me, it's just me.”

You can decide yourself Friday night with the L.A.-born baritone brings his “Straight To You Tour” to Charlotte.

Here’s some background to get your ready.

5 Things that make Josh Groban cool

1. He’s grown into his voice. When he hit it back big back in the days of TV’s “Ally McBeal” in 2001, it was hard to believe that voice was coming out of someone so young. Now he’s 29 and you can believe it.

2. He doesn’t mind making fun of himself. Whether’s it’s playing a pompous judge in “Glee” or goofing around with Jimmy Kimmel singing Kayne West Tweets.

3. It’s all about the music. He doesn’t show up at an awards ceremony in a meat dress or arrive in an egg and he doesn’t have backup dancers. And so far he hasn’t self-destructed in a Rolling Stone interview, trashed a hotel room, checked into rehab or filed for bankruptcy. If he does any of those, we’ll be sure to let you know.

4. He’s one of the guys. Whether it’s playing poker with the band or watching sports, there’s no inner diva waiting to be loosed.

5. That song “Believe” from the soundtrack “Polar Bear Express” will get you every time, no matter how cynical you think you are.


His fans are called Grobanites

His favorite bands are Radiohead, Linkin Park, Tool, and Depeche Mode

Favorite albums are Paul Simon’s “Graceland” and “Pavarotti’s Greatest Hits.”

He can do voices including Cartman for South Park and Eddie Vedder

He’s a Dodger’s Fan

Sings in Italian, French and Spanish

Went solo to the prom

Has sold 23 million albums worldwide

He’s 6 feet tall but slouches

Likes dark chocolate

He’s a nightowl

Thought he become a veternarian

Likes South Park and Monty Python


“I was not like the popular guy in high school. This is revenge for all the bullies in high school [laughter]. It's a great feeling.” — Inside Connection, February 2004

“The shower is my time to open up my operatic chops, because of the enormous echo. You sound five times as big in the shower, so I break into some ‘Nessun Dorma’ [from Puccini's Turandot] or Pearl Jam. You’ve got to go big when you're in the shower. There's no half-singing in the shower, you're either a rock star or an opera diva.” — Vh1.com, November 2003

“I’ve been fascinated by music for as long as I can remember. I was the kid on the playground in the third grade who would tell other kids about Paul Simon or Depeche Mode.” — Kansas City Star, August 2004


07 June, 2011

Cancellation of Greenville Concert...

The Twitter accounts of both Live Nation Carolina and the BiloCenter have announced that Josh's concert in Greenville (June 7th) has been cancelled due to illness.

A further (unconfirmed) report is saying that it is due to food poisoning and Josh is under doctor's orders to refrain from performing. (Source)

I really feel so sorry for the fans that will be disappointed by this news, but I think we all know that it must be pretty serious for Josh to cancel.

Get well soon Josh!

04 June, 2011

Getting Personal...

From John Benson from Vindy.com.

A few years away from the spotlight, multiplatinum Grammy Award-winning singer Josh Groban is coming directly to his fans with his “Straight To You Tour,” which comes through Cleveland on Saturday at Quicken Loans Arena.

Supporting his latest effort, “Illuminations,” which found Groban working with famed uber-producer Rick Rubin (Run-DMC, Beastie Boys, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Metallica and Johnny Cash), the 30-year-old operatic singer has upped the high-tech ante for his latest tour. Not only will the tenor belt out songs such as “Oceano” and “Alla Luce,” but he’ll also take audience questions via text messaging.

The Vindicator talked to Groban about the layover between albums, working with Rubin and what not to do if by chance you get face time with the singer at one of his concerts.

Q. Easily the biggest question fans have is what took you so long to release “Illuminations,” which is the follow-up to 2006’s “Awake.”

A. I think anytime you work with a new producer, there’s a little bit of a getting-to-know-you period as far as what you want to accomplish together. That said, Rick Rubin takes a notoriously long time anyway, even with people he’s worked with forever. A lot of it I can just chalk up to his process. That’s one that takes a much longer time than I would have liked, to be honest, but I think most artists want to finish things as quickly as possible. With Rick, it’s one of those things where it’s just not done until it’s done.

Q. Your press materials talk about how he actually gave you homework to write as many songs as possible. What was the feeling when you finally penned your single “Hidden Away?”

A. It was very much a dam-bursting kind of a feeling. We didn’t make noise for a really long time. So he’ll have you fester with your own melody ideas and these bare-bones demos without ever kind of putting the paint on the canvas. By the time you really sit down and really dive into your songs, it’s a great kind of creative explosion. I think he knows deep down if you’re trying to get someone to write, that silence and keeping someone from that immediate gratification can be a very good thing.

Q. Considering last year you appeared on “Glee,” who is your favorite character on the show?

A. Well, one of my favorite characters I don’t think is really on the show anymore is Sandy Ryerson (portrayed by actor Stephen Tobolowsky). He was kind of the creepy guy who had to stay 500 feet away from kids at all time. I served him a restraining order in my episode. Also just being able to see a cast of amazing musical-theater actors. I grew up loving theater, so to see so many triple threats are getting pop-culture exposure is personally really cool to see.

Q. As far as the “Straight To You Tour,” what do you have in store?

A. This is the most open with the fans I’ve ever been on a tour. I really bust down that fourth wall from the first moment. This is about sharing an experience that will only happen for one night only. Every night it’s totally different, and so I love the unexpected.

Q. Finally, for those lucky few who you do interact with during the show, what are a few ground rules you want them to know about?

A. I’d say keep it above the waist (laughs). Also, stealing the mic would be a bad one, or dousing me with water or any other liquid would be a really bad idea. (With a Hanz and Franz voice): But my burly security team will take swift action against anybody.


Old School Approach...

From Melissa Ruggieri of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Some only know Josh Groban as the poster boy for PBS. An impeccably rumpled, golden-throated singer who gives off the vibe of being approachably intelligent.

That’s why older folks love him.

Then there is the other side of Groban – the self-effacing, wicked sharp jokester who is quick to parody himself in a video on the comedy website FunnyOrDie.com or go on Jimmy Kimmel’s show to sing Kanye West’s nonsensical tweets.

That’s why smitten teenage girls love him, too.

Groban, who recently turned 30, has sold more than 20 million albums in a decade, his soaring balladry as effective on a tearjerker such as “You Raise Me Up” as it is on the current “Bells of New York City," his love letter to his new home.

In mid-May, the Los Angeles native embarked on his fourth career tour, dubbed “Straight to You,” to support his latest release, “Illuminations.”

The show plays the Gwinnett Center Arena June 8. It is both theatrical and intimate, says Groban, allowing him time to banter with the crowd between songs and respond to questions sent via text before and during the show (instructions will be given at the venue).

“It’s so old-school, but it works,” he said.

Last week, during a break from the tour, Groban called from New York to discuss the show, his Broadway aspirations and his role as the jerky fiancĂ© to Emma Stone’s character in the upcoming Steve Carell/Julianne Moore film, “Crazy, Stupid Love.”

Q. You really work hard to interact with your fans, whether on your website or taking text questions during concerts. Because of the nature of your music, do you think you have to extend yourself more to show people the goofy side of your personality?

A. Maybe a little, but there’s nothing I have to overdo to get the point across. I just have to be myself. Oftentimes people see you as super-serious and they base you on how serious your song is. If I can be that other half of me onstage, I don’t have to try very hard to get that point across.

Q. How do you think you’ve grown as a performer? Do you get nervous before shows?

A. I get nervous about the unknowns, what is out of my control. I used to get nervous about things totally in my control, but now, singing, playing piano, enjoying myself aren’t things I get nervous about. Five minutes before show time, my wheels are spinning. I can’t wait to get out there and blast off. But sometimes you have to say to yourself, ‘I hope this is all going to work.’

Q. You’re going to be on the road most of the year with this tour. How do you stay sane?

A. I love it! I get crazy when I’m off the road, when I’m sliding around the apartment in my socks. I thrive on routine. I think it’s great to drive across the country and feel like you’re really reaching people. It never gets boring. The performer side of me says, this audience wasn’t there last night, so you’ve got to give it to them good again.

Q. And how is your dog Sweeney handling the road?

A. He loves it. He feels the same as I do about the crowd. I’d much rather have him with me if I can. He loves running around the venues.

Q. You’re traveling by bus, right?

A. Yeah, it’s great. After a show you can get on there and have a beer and watch ‘Spinal Tap.’

Q. Tell me about your role in “Crazy, Stupid Love.” How do you think you fared as an actor?

A. It’s my first big movie, so I was honored to be in it at all. But I auditioned for it fair and square. They knew my background was improv, so to go in and try to be someone else is so fun. I missed acting so much. It was a dream of mine to do Broadway at some point.

Q. Is Broadway still a possibility?

A. It’s one of the things that originally drew me to New York, the idea that one day, being so close to it, it might happen. I’ve had a wonderful time getting to know the Broadway community. It’s been really fun dipping my feet into that water.

Q. Any particular show you’re dying to do?

A. Well, I’m a big [Steven] Sondheim fan. And I guess now, [laughs] everyone wishes they were in ‘The Book of Mormon.’