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Concert review: Josh Groban brought more than just music to Nationwide Arena on Thursday

Josh Groban performs during the Opening night at the 2015 US Open in New York. Credit: Courtesy of TNS

Creating a special bond with thousands of people in just a few hours is not an easy task. However, artist Josh Groban did it with ease.

On Thursday night, the multi-platinum and Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter, Josh Groban, took the stage at Nationwide Arena for the latest stop on his “Bridges” tour.  

From the beginning, Groban created a strong relationship with the crowd. His first interaction with the audience included him reading an email his father — a Columbus, Ohio native — sent him that described what living in the city was like.

Every interaction Groban had with the audience felt inclusive and welcoming. Though he addressed the audience as a whole, it was as if he was speaking to each of the concert-goers directly.

What surprised me most about the concert was Groban’s personality. It was strange seeing a man perform with so much heart and passion in one moment, then shift completely into someone so carefree.

His carefree demeanor was especially present when Jennifer Nettles, country music star and opener for Groban, joined him on stage for a duet. Not only did the two complement each other’s personalities, but their vastly different voices ended up working very well together. Groban’s deeper tone and elongated notes mixed with Nettles’ higher pitched and light voice  created a unique, yet pleasant sound.

An artist’s stage change is something I find myself dreading during concerts. However, the stage change in Groban’s set ended up being one of my favorite parts of the evening. An incredible boom of percussion emerged as a mixture of the bongos and drum-set worked together for a high-energy solo as Groban switched stages, leaving no room for the crowd to feel impatient.

If watching the emotion in Groban’s face as he sang was not enough to show how passionate he was about his music, then his explanation of most songs before he sang them was. It showed how much time he put into writing his music and how personal each piece was to him. This ultimately left each song with more of an impact after hearing it.

The concert was nothing short of a team effort and showcased a wide range of very talented artists, even some locals. Alongside Groban were members of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra as well as a choir of Otterbein University students.

I loved how appreciative Groban was of each musician that took part in the concert, making sure to introduce or thank any performer he passed on stage. Overall, I left the concert understanding that it is possible to be filled with talent and success while still staying incredibly humble.

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