Saturday, April 14, 2007

When Celtic Comes to Town

Remember that group I pasted a raving review about, Celtic Woman? They were in a nearby town recently, and I attended the concert with my brother and sister. Frankly, this was one of the first music concerts I'd ever attended. (Sure, I like country music and such, but there is rarely an artist that doesn't, among his or her repertoire, have a song I hate. Plus, ticket prices are so inflated, and most artists that come through don't have anything to offer that I would pay such money to see.

We finally managed to squeeze into a roof space of a public parking garage, and then beat the elevator five floors down by taking the stairs two and four at a time.

One of the first things I noticed (besides my figurative nosebleed; we were in the second-worst seats of the house) was the haze hovering above us. It occurred to me that theaters like this must intentionally emit some sort of particulates to give the spotlights body. In other words, you can see the whole of the path the light takes as it beams all the way down to the stage below.

The concert began around 8:05, with the standard KET "support your public television" introduction. I was just a leetle disappointed to find that most of the strings and other exotic instruments were recorded. There was a guy on the recorder/bagpips and two other fellows on guitars or other such instruments, and a guy on the piano. And of course, on the violin.

Most of the music was from the second CD, with a few from their first CD. I couldn't for the life of me recall the specific order that the songs were in, but they songs are roughly listed in order, or at least in which half they were, with a few thoughts on certain performances.

Máiréad intro'd the concert just like in A New Journey, as the group (minus Hayley; she and Méav alternate, it appears) burst forth in their new introductery song "The Dawn and the Sky and the Sun." The drums made a lot bigger impact in person than on CD or DVD. And I was happy to see they'd added a new verse on that allowed them to jump into the chorus again before ending, although I didn't quite catch the words.

Lisa Kelly was up next with "Caledonia".

Following Lisa, Méav sang Danny Boy, a song which everyone seems to think is the greatest think since sliced bread, but which I've never thought too highly of.

Chloe hit the stage after that for The Prayer.

Since all four had solos, I'm pretty sure that Órla came and sang Siúil A Rúin.

Máiréad darted back on stage (the stage was small enough that she seemed to be bouncing off the walls) to play The Butterfly.

The Blessing

Granuaile's Dance

Last Rose of Summer - Méav and Chloe sang this, since Hayley wasn't there.

Scarborough Fair - Méav and Chloe

Vivaldi's Rain - Came with rain sound effects in the beginning.

Mo Ghile Mear - When they started playing this, I thought "aw, they should have saved that for the end." Then I glanced at my cell phone clock and realized it was on the hour, I thought it was a rip-off; just an hour of music? Fortunately, it was just an intermission for us to take a bathroom break, and to shell out money hand over fist for the CD's, DVD's and assorted other merchandise at vastly inflated prices.

Second half:

They started out the second half with a big song performance, but I'm not sure what it was. It might have been The Soft Goodbye.

Lisa Kelly sang one of the best cuts of A New Journey, "The Voice". However, for about the first half of the song, her voice was a little too quiet. Not sure if it was operator problems or artist problems.

Sing Out

Nella Fantasia

The Butterfly

At the Céili


You Raise Me Up - The only song with any audience interaction; Chloe stops and says "Thank you, you've been a wonderful audience." This brought the crowd to their feet, certain that this was the closing act. It wasn't; Máiréad kind of did a musical recap of several of the night's pieces, and then the group came back out to sing Spanish Lady. Then they joined in with the chorus of Mo Ghile Mear. It's not like we want you to leave, but quit telling us you're leaving and then come back.

Either way, it was an excellent performance. I definitely intend to go again next year, this time with far better seating purchased in advance. Until then, I highly recommend the CD, DVD and even checking to see if there's a concert coming to a venue near you.


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