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Review: Josh Groban at American Airlines Center

Posted 10:10am on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013

It was sheer pandemonium Wednesday night at American Airlines Center.

“We’ve got butts shaking; we’ve got selfies being taken,” said Josh Groban, pacing across the stage. “We’ve got everything going on!”

The joke, of course, is that the audience was overwhelmingly female and, as concert crowds go, overwhelmingly calm, polite and pleasant.

However, when necessary, the assembled crowd could be counted on for cat-calls (“Treat me like a piece of meat, Dallas,” Groban cracked at one point), standing ovations and, at the midway point, during a question and answer session, truly bizarre queries Groban fielded with aplomb.

It was the final show of his current “In the Round” tour, which placed the 32-year-old singer-songwriter on a circular stage for the duration of his 105-minute set. The tactic made the cavernous American Airlines Center, its uppermost deck curtained off for the night, feel surprisingly intimate.

Careful to spread the wealth all the way around the arena, Groban and his sprawling band (more than a dozen players scattered on either side of the circle) were restless figures throughout the evening. The drama was intensified or mellowed by the use of dramatic lighting and peculiar tapestries that occasionally descended from the lighting rig.

Touring behind his latest record, All That Echoes, Groban — performing in Italian and Spanish, as well as English — was careful to incorporate selections from the earliest days of his multi-platinum career (and who knew Ally McBeal references could still elicit squeals?).

His voice, a baritone with tenor tendencies, was in fine form throughout, rendering Don McLean’s Vincent with as much care as his own, anthemic You Raise Me Up (performed with help from Dallas’ Turtle Creek Chorale).

Groban even roped in opening act Judith Hill (of The Voice and 20 Feet from Stardom fame) to help out with another signature tune, The Prayer. The pair’s voices blended beautifully, eliciting what seemed like a sigh from a contented audience member somewhere over my right shoulder.

That Josh Groban, always riling up the audience.

Preston Jones, 817-390-7713 Twitter: @prestonjones

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