I first came across Ramin Karimloo when he played the Phantom in the sequel to the original Phantom of the Opera, Love Never Dies. Since then I’ve seen him as the Phantom in the 25th anniversary production at the Royal Albert Hall, sat in the front row to see him play Jean Valjean in Les Miserables, and watched him at a concert in the Royal Festival Hall. He has an incredible voice, seems like a lovely person and is very versatile: the music he plays ranges from Broadway and West End classics through to indie-guitar ballads and American country and bluegrass, hence the title of his two gigs in London on Sunday and Monday.
I was lucky enough to get a ticket for last night’s show and it was fantastic. The venue was a really intimate one and the atmosphere was friendly as everyone there was an enthusiastic Ramin fan. The presence of a number of guests mixed things up a bit: singer Simon Bailey performed a track with Ramin and then sang one of his own; Lee Mead and Stephen Rahman-Hughes sang backing vocals to ‘Oh What a Beautiful Morning’; and Hadley Fraser (who performed as Raoul opposite Ramin’s Phantom and Inspector Javert with Ramin’s Jean Valjean) joined the stage so that the duo could perform as the Sheytoons. I had an amazing time, although I managed to consume slightly too much wine.
This morning I saw that the setlist had been posted on Ramin’s Twitter feed, which is handy as I didn’t recognise all of the songs. Now I know what they are!
My highlight of the night was when Ramin performed ‘Bring Him Home’ from Les Miserables – absolutely stunning. I can’t wait to see him live again!