Celtic Thunder

The Thunder Was Certainly ROLLING

Written October 2nd: Oh goodness. Where do I even start. Last night was AMAZING. Celtic Thunder at Radio City Music Hall absolutely blew me away.

I had wanted to spend some time up around the venue before the show, but unfortunately Mother Nature foiled my plans by making it rain all day, which essentially meant that the lads most likely would NOT be hanging around outside at all during the day. Alas, when I got there around 6:30 (an no rain by this time, *snarky thanks to MN*, there was already a long line of people waiting for the doors to open at 7:00. As soon as I got inside I scooted over to the merchandise table, and I must say I was *slightly* disappointed by the quality of the program, calendar, and poster I purchased for the following reasons: there were at least four different typos in the program; whenever the lads were listed for group songs, Ryan was listed twice and DAMIAN’S name was no where to be found except for his solos; Damo’s “new face” was Photoshopped onto his teenier body instead of taking a new picture in the program and on the group poster (I knew about the poster one, but the program surprised me. Damo sure seems to be getting the short end of the stick here, huh?); the calendar spelled summer as “s-u-m-e-r”, isn’t something missing??; and finally I just expected to have a lot more newer photos in the program, rather than recycling older ones. Thank goodness only the merchandise was *slightly* disappointing, but the show completely made up for those nit-picky points that my proof-reading eye caught.

I think I’m just going to get all my sadness out of the way right now, so here we go. I’m still mourning the loss of: KEITH’S “BUSHY BUSHY BLOND HAIRDO”; Neil’s goatee and eyebrow piercing; Ruth and Joyce O’Leary (I know  they’re doing great musical things here in the city, but it’s just sad they’re not with CT anymore); ZARA (I also know she’s doing great back in Ireland with her own Irish dancing school and new show, but I still miss her.); Megan playing the cello; intense kilt twirling (COME ON! It’s no longer illegal for me to gawk at and enjoy Damo doing that, and Paul was always an amazing twirler. So sad.); “Danny Boy” (It was in the program, why didn’t you sing it?); “Hard to Say I’m Sorry” (KEITH! WHY DIDN’T YOU SING IT???????? Please sing it in Boston or Montclair, and then I won’t be mad at you anymore.); “Bad Bad Leroy Brown” (I know it would have cost too much to bring those six dancers on tour, but it was such a cool number. At least it’s on the It’s Entertainment DVD forever.); and finally, Damo’s hat in “Standing on the Corner” (I know a lot of people disliked it, but I actually liked it). They also didn’t have any dancers at all, so Keith’s and Damo’s respective elation at each having a girl to leave with at the end of the show has been thoroughly squashed. However, I’m kind of glad that Damo’s and Ryan’s dancers weren’t there because I just wasn’t in love with them. I mean, they were good dancers and such, but I was otherwise “meh” about them. On the other hand, I was sad that Keith’s was excluded because I’m IN LOVE with her dress and wanted to see it in person, I really thought the two were a good fit, and I wanted to see “Just Like Jesse James” be performed so I could see Keith’s and Damo’s hilarious reactions in it (I know she was miming the song on the DVD and another woman was singing, so it would most likely have been mimed here, but I honestly wouldn’t have cared. It was all about Keith and Damo at the beginning of the song for me.).

Okay, now on to the HAPPY!

I was very happy when I got inside and saw how close my seat actually was. Even though I was in row RR (about 21 rows back *3 pit rows and 18 orch rows back*), I was pretty much dead center and had a great view of everything. It also didn’t hurt that there was no one on my right side, so I had plenty of room to properly react to the songs without hurting anyone.

Good spot, huh? I guess I didn’t really need that row CCC pit seat that was available on Ticketmaster the other day (but was snatched up the next day when I checked again).This is the scenery for Act I: Heritage. The stairs are made to look old and wooden, and the sides are cobblestone-y. There’s also a big (REALLY fake looking) rock/boulder on the left that is well-used during the show.

Phil Coulter came out to introduce the lads, and he thanked the audience for being so supportive, enthusiastic, etc. I do wonder how long he’s going to hang around on tour, since he usually only stays for a couple of shows, if any at all. I hope he’s still around for Boston’s show, just because.

“Heartland” was the first song in Heritage. I knew beforehand that they weren’t going to be wearing their long, black, jackets, but it was just a surprise actually seeing them without them. I just need to comment on Damo’s pants first. Oh goodness, boy, why are you wearing that color on your pants? I think it was something like here, but I can’t remember exactly. Once I laughed a bit, it was all good, and the pants kinda grew on me.

Whatever sadness I was otherwise feeling for the loss of Keith’s hair dissipated once I saw him come out because (at least for “Heartland”) the new do was really working with the rest of his look. He had his hair gelled back, but with a pouf/lump/bump type thing on the right. I’m not really sure how to explain the styling better, except that it wasn’t like his Twitter picture because it was done a lot neater and more carefully and was flatter except for the bump thing. He was also wearing a scarf, which I really liked. Overall I give his Heartland look an A+, mostly for not sending me into cardiac arrest with my first in-person sighting of his new hair.

EDIT: This was his hairdo. Thanks to the woman who took these pictures. http://www.broadwayworld.com/article/Photo_Coverage_WLIWs_Celtic_Thunder_Meets_the_Press_at_Radio_City_20101008

The song was fantastic as always, and I guess other than that there isn’t much else to say about it.

“Buachaill ón Eirne” was next, and my goodness, if I wasn’t already in love with Damo, I sure as heck would be now. That wee lad from “The Show” has grown up so much, and I’ve noticed that he’s so much more well-adjusted to his “new voice” now. The song was so smooth, relaxing, and PERFECT that I didn’t want it to end. I could have that lad sing to me in Irish 24/7 and I would never get tired of it. I think he was also enjoying the audience reaction to this new arrangement, at least according to his facial expressions during the short instrumental parts between each line in the three verses. It was really slowed down from the original “Come by the Hills”, and I’m definitely not complaining about that. Damo just SHINES in the low, slow songs. He needs to release an album of lullabies or something because if he did, I would never have another restless time falling asleep ever again. He’s just THAT GOOD. I’m determined to learn all the words by next Saturday so that I can sing along better with him, and thus amaze myself with my wonderful Irish abilities (which are still lacking and my test is TUESDAY, EEK).

“The Dutchman”. Keith and his guitar-y fingers were at it again in this song, and it was gorgeous. Initially it had a “Mountains of Mourne” feel to it, as he started the song sitting on the rock, then slowly made his way over to sit in middle of the stairs all scrunched up. Repeatedly during the verse transitions, the audience would start to clap and cheer, thinking it was the end of the song. At least I knew beforehand that it was “Hallelujah” all over again and so I didn’t clap until he was completely done. Granted I still didn’t hear all the lyrics because of the clapping/cheering that was happening, but what’s a girl to do when bunches of other people in the audience aren’t privy to the same preparatory information.

They switched up the song order a bit after this, so it didn’t quite follow the program, but it was a nice little surprise to have the Damo/Paul duet next. It’s called “Just a Song at Twilight,” and beforehand I was slightly skeptical of how the two would sound together, just because they *seem* so different vocally. In reality, they blended wonderfully, but I had a problem hearing Damo during a lot of it, not only because he was singing so low, but I think his mic just wasn’t loud enough, and so he got drowned out by Paul and what few instruments were playing (albeit rather loudly). But once again, he excels at a low, slow song, and I’m still waiting on his  lullaby CD.

“Black is the Colour”. Oh Ryan. The part that stuck out for me the most during the song was actually the lighting. During the middle/end of it, Ryan was pumping his fist in the air and at the moments when he did that, the lights flickered/changed colors. It was a really cool effect. It had to be, to take my eyes off him for even a minute during that song. I was glad that, with the absence of dancers, Nicole (who has played the viola with them in each tour I’ve seen) was able to take on a larger roll and be the object of Ryan’s affection/dissatisfaction, since I don’t think the performance would have worked in the same way without a woman. I mean, it’s not like he could run his hands through his own hair in the same way he did Nicole’s. I need to see it again to truly determine what his intention was with her hair, since I wasn’t paying close enough attention to his face at that second.

EDIT on October 10th: It’s been over a week since I started writing this post, and I can’t seem to finish it because there’s SO MUCH to say (and I’ve just been so insanely busy). The whole show/experience was FANTASTIC, and I don’t really think I can put it all into words because the greatness was so overwhelming. I’m just going to skip to what happened after the show.

I know I wasn’t supposed to do this, but oh well, there’s nothing anyone can do now. After the show I went around back to the stage door to see if I could be lucky enough to get some autographs or pictures. Paul was the first to come out, and he stuck around for a couple of minutes, although I wasn’t pushy enough to get an autograph, just pictures of him.

Next came Neil, and once again I wasn’t pushy enough.

Then Keith came out!!!!!! And I got his autograph!!!! He was such a quick little bugger though, that I didn’t even manage to take a picture of him while he was 5 inches away from me. Guess I was too awestruck.

Ryan and George sort of flew by us and didn’t really stop, except for Ryan to sign something for one girl and her little sister, because the lads can’t say no to little kids. We thought George was going to come back, because he said “hold on,” but I think he meant the Scottish meaning, because he NEVER CAME BACK. I hung around with one other woman until 11:30, and NOTHING. I wanted to tell Carrie and Sarah on him so he would get in trouble, haha.

Damian also didn’t stop, but that didn’t stop those two girls because they followed him down the street. When he was almost to the end of the block, they called out, and the littlest one made a sad face to lure him back. How could he resist? So in the end they got autographs and pictures, and he stole their silver sharpie (which the littlest one was later ecstatic about).

Overall it was a wonderful night, and by the end of it I was determined to make Boston even more wonderful by getting more than just one signature.

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