Ramin Karimloo at the Royal Festival Hall

2 May

First of all I’d like to apologise if this is a bit scrambled. I will do a proper concert review sometime next week. But I just wanted to write down a few impressions of Ramin Karimloos concert at the Royal Festival Hall last night.

This was the first concert of his tour which takes him around the UK this month. And what a venue to start a tour! The Royal Festival Hall is quite impressive and provided a great space for the concert.

Ramin has called the tour the “road to find out” because basically that’s what it is. A road to find out where the future might take him.
Accompanied by his tour band, the Capital Voices and on this occasion the London Concert Orchestra Ramin treated the audience to an evening of pop, rock, folk and musical. It certainly was a good mix with something for everyone.
Personally I enjoyed listening to him sing the songs from his album and tunes like “Broken” and “Murder in the city” the most (the last one being an unplanned but beautiful acoustic encore).

Ramins guest singers at this concert were Tim Howar, Tom Fletcher and Sebastien Izambard who all did a fantastic job. I have to give a special mention to Tim who has been one of my favourite performers for years. The guy is a star, simple as that. And to see and hear him duet with Ramin (“Eyes of a child”) was an experience I will never forget.

By far the most heartwarming moment of the evening was Ramin being joined on stage by his son Jaiden and singing “Hallelujah” for him (and with him to be precise – I sense a star in the making here). Anyone who wasn’t completely in awe at that sight must have a heart of stone.

My favourite songs of the night apart from the ones mentioned above were “Cathedrals”, “Constant Angel”, “Broken home” and “I and love and you”. I’ll admit I had never heard the last one before but I fell in love with the song straight away.

A special shout out goes to Steve Young who did a fantastic job on guitar and lent his voice to several songs as well. It’s great to have such an extremely talented guy join Ramin on his tour.

After all this praise I can’t help but mention two minor rants, both of which have nothing to do with Ramin, his band or the concert as such but shouldn’t be kept under wraps.

First of all: I do think charging £4 for a little programme that consists of 24 pages is pushing it slightly. Especially considering 8 of those pages are nothing but ads. But then that’s the usual thing of supply and demand – the programmes were sold out in the interval already.

My second rant is directed at one person only. And I do hope he gets to read this and realises I’m talking about him because he should know his behaviour is affecting other people – and not in a good way. I am all for supporting your favourite singer / performer etc. But constant screaming (or lets call it whooping) accompanied by repeated standing ovations simply is a bit annoying for the people around you. Plus it really can ruin the atmosphere – all that whooping while little Jaiden was on stage singing with his father was just not necessary, to name just one example.

But then I didn’t want a brilliant evening like this to be ruined by one person so I tried to ignore this and just cherished watching one of the most talented people I’ve ever had the privilege to see on stage do what he does best: Enthral the audience with his voice and his genuinely nice and humble personality.

Well done Ramin! Definitely a great start to the tour. I’m looking forward to see what the next concerts will bring.

Song list

Show me light
Wild world
The impossible dream
Songs of a human heart
Constant angel
If ever I would leave you
Broken home
I and love and you
Blue moon (Tim Howar)
Everything I’ve got belongs to you (Tim Howar)
Radames letter / Till I hear you sing
Oh what a beautiful morning
Bring him home
Guiding light (with Sebastien Izambard)
Broken (with Sebastien Izambard)
The perfect space / Hallelujah (with Jaiden)
It’s all about you (with Tom Fletcher)
Closer walk with thee (with Tom Fletcher)
Cathedrals
Eyes of a child (with Tim Howar)
Coming home
Music of the night
Murder in the city
Good Riddance

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5 Responses to “Ramin Karimloo at the Royal Festival Hall”

  1. Kirstie May 2, 2012 at 3:06 pm #

    Thanks for the review, it reminded me of a few details I’d forgotten. Truly a special evening with one of the most deserving men in the business at the moment, some really special moments, especially with Jaiden,

    As for the person you mention, I was in the side stalls so didn’t hear him but I’ve seen a few people having a well deserved rant … people like him just ruin the experience for other audience members and I believe Ramin was rather annoyed as well, though like the class act he is, didn’t let it bother him outwardly very much.

    Thanks for the song list as well … I hadn’t remembered every one!

  2. Jan Baer May 2, 2012 at 6:13 pm #

    Thank you for your review. Living in the states, I won’t be seeing this tour until September where it will be in a small intimate club setting. I’m sure it will be very different by the time he gets here. I am so touched at Ramin bringing his son onto there stage with him. He doesn’t speak very often about his being a family man with a beautiful wife and 2 small sons. I love that part. Thank you again for taking the time to let all of us that could not be there know how special this concert was. Oh, what’s you’re take on Ramin’s transformation from sexy persona to this new style including bow tie?

    • theatregirl May 2, 2012 at 6:18 pm #

      To be honest I never saw him as having a “sexy” style. He’s always had a very individual style. The outfit last night wasn’t that different from what I’ve seen him wear before except for the bow tie (which I thought suited him very well). :-)

  3. Carolyn July 6, 2012 at 8:51 am #

    Hi theatregirl,
    Late post I know but I was googling some stuff and came across this. The whooping man, was he the guy in the front row? I think he follows him around, I went to see Ramin in Les Mis 3 times (yes I know!) and he was there three times in the front row, and did a lone standing ovation after Bring me home. He looked quite funny standing all alone. Although my dd pointed out that he probably thinks we are the stalkers and not him!

    • theatregirl July 6, 2012 at 9:06 am #

      Yes, that’s him. He’s been to almost every performance Ramin has done since at least Love never dies. But from what he told me the concert in Cardiff was the last time he watched a performance of Ramin (yes, he actually came up to me and said that today would be the last time I’d see him and he apologised for “everything he put me through” – quite dramatic, I know!). ;-)

      PS: I watched Les Mis about 30 times while Ramin was in it so your 3 visits sound perfectly reasonable to me. :)

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