Josh Groban made his Ravinia debut Saturday to an enthusiastic response from the sold out crowd singing 16 songs in front of his band and the Ravinia Festival orchestra.
During his fifth tune, “Vincent,” Groban invited Seth Goldberg to the stage to sign the tune as he has done with other of the artist’s songs. Goldberg has done this publically but never on stage.
“We saw him on You Tube and he was great,” Groban said to the audience. “He said he would be at the concert and here he is.” With that Goldberg came on stage and entertained the audience with his dramatic signing along with Groban. This part of the concert was planned.
What Goldberg did not know is he would get another chance. Before Groban began the final song of his encore, his signature “You Raise Me Up,” he brought Goldberg back. “His (family) doesn’t know this but Seth Goldberg is coming back to join us,” Groban said.
Groban wanted more than Goldberg to join in. He invited the audience to sing along. “Kumbaya with me,” Groban said. With that, the orchestra, the band, Groban and Goldberg communicated to all, “You raise me up to more than I can be.”
Goldberg gave the concert a special moment as did Groban singing 16 songs and talking to the audience about a variety of things. Yet, the evening was not perfect.
During the first two tunes, Groban’s voice could hardly be heard above the sound of the orchestra. When he sang with his band alone, his voice was clearer. The audience did not seem to mind. The standing ovations were loud and long.
Later that evening, those who wanted to hear more Groban could catch him performing at Lincoln Center on PBS. There he was in front of an orchestra as well but his voice was loud and clear.