Josh Groban to sing in Utah movie theater near you
By david burger
The Salt Lake TribuneFirst published Jan 30 2013 06:04PM
On the night before his new album "All That Echoes" appears in stores, classical-pop crossover singer Josh Groban will star in a live screening that will play at select Utah theaters.
"You feel like you’ve done everything you could do," the 31-year-old baritone said in a phone interview about past promotions. But a live screening seemed like a new opportunity.
The 90-minute program, called "Josh Groban Live: All That Echoes," will feature Groban as he performs hits from his 12-year career, highlighted by selections from his new album, which will be released on Tuesday.
Theater audiences will be the first to hear these new songs performed live. They can also tweet requests for Groban’s playlist, performed at New York City’s Allen Room overlooking Central Park. Groban will answer fan questions submitted via Twitter and text messages before the live event.
The event is produced by National CineMedia’s Fathom, the company that broadcasts Metropolitan Opera shows and other special events and concerts to movie theaters around the country. Past screenings have included the 25th-anniversary concert of "Les Misérables," featuring Utah’s Alfie Boe, and performances from Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones and Celine Dion.
Groban’s film-screen appearance is "a very special event created just for him," said Dan Diamond, senior vice president of business development of National CineMedia and NCM Fathom Events. The event was scheduled the day before his album release — and 10 days before Valentine’s Day.
Groban will debut songs from his new album, produced by longtime Green Day producer Rob Cavallo, now chairman of Warner Bros. Records. The set list for the concert remains hush-hush, but it might include renditions of the traditional Irish song "She Moved Through the Fair" and a cover of "Falling Slowly," the signature song from the film and musical "Once," both covers from the new album.
Groban said "She Moved Through the Fair" was inspired by a YouTube video he stumbled across one night that featured Richard Thompson — one of Groban’s favorite artists — performing the song. (In a strange coincidence, Thompson’s new album "Electric" will be released the same day as Groban’s album.)
"Falling Slowly," which won the 2008 Academy Award for Best Original Song, is another highlight of the album. Perhaps its inclusion is a nod to the Broadway musical, for Groban is the butt of a good-natured jab in the musical "Once," where a character says he has to cool his ardor by either jumping into a cold shower or listening to Groban.
Groban, who has a recurring role on "The Office" and who made a memorable cameo in Jimmy Kimmel’s song "F---ing Ben Affleck," is an affable, self-deprecating musician who graciously introduced "Once" at the Tony Awards. (As for Affleck, "Argo" is, understandably, Groban’s pick for Best Picture at the upcoming Oscars, he said.)
Groban’s previous album was "Illuminations," produced by acclaimed rock-and-hip-hop mastermind Rick Rubin, so picking Cavallo to produce his sixth wasn’t entirely unpredictable. "He came to my show, and it was nice not to have to explain to him what I did and where I wanted to go," Groban said of meeting Cavallo for the first time.
Groban said they shared the same adjectives when they talked about what he wanted for his next record: the same spontaneous spirit of his arena shows.
Every time Groban works on a song in the studio, the singer envisions his songs connecting with thousands of people standing in front of him.
As part of the interview, Groban answered four questions that his fans have already tweeted:
Would you ever sing at the San Antonio Rodeo?
What is your favorite cheese?
(Long pause.) I love cheese. (Another long pause.) Feta.
If you could have dinner with five people, alive or dead, who would they be?
As long as Bob Marley is there, I’ll be fine.
What do you always need at a movie — Raisinets, popcorn or something else?
I always tend to wear diapers. I don’t want to miss a thing.