Josh Groban performing his Stages Tour at The Royal Concert Hall Nottingham on Sunday 22nd May 2016.

Josh Groban performing at The Royal Concert Hall on Wednesday 19th June 2013

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

With a stage set with a grand piano, chandeliers, a bookshelf and a rug, this packed Royal Concert Hall had no idea what to expect from Josh Groban last night as he tours to promote his latest album, Stages, which features songs from some of the greatest musicals.

After two decades in the business, he is still the kind of guy people want to bring home to their mums, bearded, self-deprecating and nerdy. And that’s before he even starts singing.

But when he started to sing, he immediately grabbed this audience’s attention. Opening with Pure Imagination from Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, his voice resonated around the Concert Hall. When the back drop curtain fell to reveal an orchestra, the song was taken to another level.

Other songs followed; Try To Remember and What I Did For Love before lesser known song, Old Devil Moon from Finian’s Rainbow was given the Groban treatment accompanied by some stunning trumpet playing.

Accompanied on stage by the incredibly talented Louise Dearman for a duet of All I ask Of You, the first half was brought to a close with Anthem, from the musical Chess. This outstanding song, aptly titled, as it indeed sounded like a national anthem, was delivered on a grand scale. A moving, uplifting and almost spiritual version showcased the power and range of Groban’s voice, and the addition of a local choir made this song choice very memorable.

The second half highlights were another duet with Dearman as their If I Loved You from Carousel soared around the rafters, whilst Bring Him Home from Les Miserables left hardly a dry eye in the place.

Josh Groban could sing a restaurant menu and make it sound incredible. His range, purity of sound, diction and power is outstanding, yet he can take it all right down to barely a whisper with a voice that is exceptionally pure and accurate.

His freewheeling, irreverent personality is also part of his charm. Between each song he told tales of his life as a child, his ambition to become a musical star as well as some history snippets behind his choice of songs. But it was the warmth and intensity of his voice that swept this audience along and all too soon it was over.