Wednesday, 3 October 2007

25 May 2007 – Josh Groban, Birmingham Symphony Hall

'Awake' tour.

With only two UK dates, it was a choice between Hampton Court with doubtful weather and the guaranteed acoustics of distant Birmingham – the day trip to Brum won.

This likeable young performer already has a devoted following of ladies (the Grobanites) – the gig trademark being glowsticks (see Dec 2004). Combine a seriously good venue (a modern, wooden-panelled hall with the ultimate design for acoustics and sight lines) with a seriously good artist (with the ultimate voice for depth and reach) and you have pretty much a perfect evening. One fly in the ointment for me - the West-coast banter was a bit cheesy at times, along the lines of “..even the guys here love me because they brought along the ladies who love me, and they’ll be getting their (“thanks”) later …” Cringe.

Enough of the negative, get back to the voice. Josh’s voice is clear and mesmerising – it’s like listening to opera without the difficult bits. Every song is moving, whether sung in English, Spanish or Italian. There was quite a bit of joshing around with the band, particularly the drummer who had been teaching him “a few tricks” – only turned out to be a 5-minute drum solo from JG which shook a few rafters. Also to be mentioned was a fantastic violin solo (Led Zeppelin) from Lucia Micarelli.

I’m thinking New Three Tenors, I’m thinking Josh Groban, I’m thinking Enrique Inglesias, I’m thinking (fill in your own suggestion) but, hey, Harvey Goldsmith – how about it?

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