Aidin Vaziri | Josh Groban is living it up on the road. The day we caught up with the multiplatinum-selling operatic crooner, he was recovering from a full costume screening of “The Big Lebowski” on his tour bus. Earlier in the week, he had rescued a wounded baby bird from the rain. Groban, 30, is playing arenas in support of his most recent album, “Illuminations,” an experimental set produced by Rick Rubin and partly inspired by his breakup with actress January Jones.
Q: When you released “Illuminations,” you didn’t know if it would win new fans or scare away old ones. So are there huge curtained-off areas of the arena?
A: If there’s any curtaining, it’s because we designed it that way. It’s an intimate show. We specifically designed this tour to create a theatrical environment in arenas. The reaction I’m getting every night is probably some of the most enthusiastic and heartfelt I’ve ever had.
Q: This sounds like a pretty interactive show. You play two pianos and a drum solo, and wander into the audience. You even serve milk and wine.
A: It’s a full-service show. These are things we tried out at the smaller shows earlier in the year. That’s where a lot of that stuff came from.
Q: Have you got into any trouble with the live Q&A segment?
A: Well, you never know what you’re going to get. My assistants pick three questions, and sometimes they really throw me out there. Sometimes people will ask to sing. That’s the fun part. You have to stay on your toes.