Canadian soft pop crooner Michael Bublé is one of the world’s biggest recording artists – he’s sold a gazillion albums, scooped two Grammy Awards, etc., etc. – but his fame is off the charts in Ireland, where he just played to nearly 100,000 fans over two nights at the new outdoor Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
Even Bublé was amazed by the outpouring of love from his Irish stalwarts. He’s never played to a single audience that numbered close to 50,000, so Irish fans ensured a Bublé first. Not only that, but all the tickets sold out in only two hours, a feat that even hometown boys U2 would have a hard time matching.
"This is ridiculous," he told the audience in awe. "Can you turn the lights on? I want a moment to be proud,” he gushed, adding that prior to his Irish gigs, the biggest audience he had ever played to was in the 25,000 range.
"You're salt-of-the-earth people, so I know I can say this to you," he said. "If you're in London or New York, people are so far up their asses they don't know where they are. If you want to sing, sing. If you want to dance, dance."
Bublé told a press conference before his gigs that he was taping the Dublin shows for his personal collection because he was so overwhelmed by the Irish response. He’s been to Ireland before and sold out every venue he’s played at, and he named his most recent album, Crazy Love, after his favorite Van Morrison song. The album sold 46,000 copies in Ireland during the first week of its release, shattering all kinds of records in the process, and has sold more than 100,000 units since then.
"I walked down the street in Dublin a few months ago and I felt like one of the Beatles. The egotistical part of me, would like to tell you it's because the Irish have good taste. All I can say for sure is that I don't take it for granted," Bublé told the media.
"For a Canadian kid to be playing to this many people surpasses my wildest dreams. Thank you everyone in Ireland is all I can say.”
Just to be on the safe side, Bublé purchased 13,000 plastic ponchos for his fans in case the weather turned rainy. "I figured I could hand them out because if it rained we could make the best out of it by dancing and singing in the rain," he said.
That didn’t happen, but the weather wasn’t optimum for enjoying an outdoor concert. "I feel very fortunate to be the first entertainer to grace this place," he said, "even though it's cold as s***!”
According to the Sunday World newspaper, Bublé also has another connection to Ireland – apparently he enjoyed a brief romance in 2004 with Cecelia Ahern, the best-selling novelist and daughter of former Prime Minister Bertie Ahern. The two met during an appearance on a talk show in Belfast and dated for a short while before they split.
Speaking of Bublé and women, the one semi-sour note during his Dublin gigs came when he announced that he was getting married to his long-term Argentine girlfriend, prompting a chorus of disappointed boos from his female admirers.