I went to see Josh Groban last night at Wolf Trap Amphitheatre in Vienna, Virginia last night, an absolutely perfect night for that performance. The weather cooperated more than I have ever experienced at a Wolf Trap show – where I am normally running to my car during a thunderstorm and cursing myself for not getting tickets under the cover instead of the general admission tickets on the lawn. Of course the advantage to the lawn is that there’s basically unrestricted picnicing, meaning you can bring tons of food and uncork bottles of wine and drink through the whole concert. The humidity was very low last night, so nothing stood in the way of listening to an amazing voice except for a few hundred crickets trying to join in on the concert.
I was trying to think about the last and only other time I’ve seen Josh Groban perform. It’s been awhile, maybe almost 10 years, after his second album came out. I can still remember him when he appeared as a character and sang on Ally McBeal in the late 1990s, before he became one of Oprah’s adopted favorites. While I can’t understand half of what he’s singing, his voice makes any song beautiful. As a piano player, I also like to play several of his songs, like “Remember When It Rained,” “You’re Still You,” and “To Where You Are” – all fantastic ballads with very well written sheet music on the market. Overall, except for the half mile backup for parking, I am happy that I was able to make my annual minimum Wolf Trap visits by way of seeing Josh. Even though it was a short performance set, it was definitely a good one. And he’s really funny!
On a side note, the photos and video I took at the concert were from a camera I had just received in the mail earlier in the day. While I love my DSLR camera, concert venues rarely allow cameras with detachable lenses inside, so I’m constantly searching for the perfect low-light (minimum aperture of f/1.8) compatible point-and-shoot camera with equally good video and photo capabilities. The latest camera I’m trying is the Sony RX-100, and so far I’m not impressed. The zoom is terrible, the quality of the video was mediocre, and the video formats are a multi-step (unnecessary) process to download from the card and get to YouTube. I don’t think I’ll be owning this camera for much longer…
Pardon my massive shaking around the key change…everyone started to stand up, and I had to go from the ground to standing as well. Alas, it looks like professional camera operator is not in my future as a career.
Christian Hebel was the stand out musician from Josh’s band. I didn’t end up capturing his solo of “Dream On” by Aerosmith at the Wolf Trap concert, but here’s a great video someone took earlier this summer at the Hollywood Bowl.