Warning: So much rambling ahead. This post is for my own mental benefit, nothing more.
I think it’s fitting I’m writing this entry on this particular weekend. In 2009 and 2010 I spent the day in Boston hoping to get autographs from or photos with the various members of Celtic Thunder. But not this year. This year the Boston date has already come and gone, and with none of that same excitement and anticipation of years past.
The tone of my Celtic Thunder adventures was entirely altered, and definitely not for the better. The weather was terrible and rainy. My internship kept me from hopping on an 8am bus to Boston to hang out around the venue all day. The nasty weather meant that my 1:30pm bus was an hour behind schedule, and so I did not arrive in Boston until 7:00pm. In the history of my going to these concerts I have never cut it that close. During the last hour or so of the bus ride I actually developed a knot in the pit of my stomach and I became very anxious. I did not know how far away we still were or if I would make it in time. Not a good feeling to have during what is supposed to be one of the most fun nights of the semester.
It did not in the least bit feel like a Celtic Thunder concert day. In fact, the days leading up to it did not even feel like they have in the past. I was not reading reviews and reactions to the shows online. I was not lurking in the ThunderPub (oh dear, that’s a whole other story with how different it is now). I was not squealing incoherently with excitement to my friends and roommates. Things were just . . . different. And I’m not entirely sure why. I mean sure, I have an idea, but the changes with CT should not have affected me as much as I seemed to have been affected.
Hearing and reading about all the changes occurring with the people involved is one thing, but seeing it (or not seeing it, as was the case) during the shows made it all truly hit me. It all came crashing down and hit me full force. That weekend was probably one of the most bittersweet times in my life. Not seeing Paul and Damian on that stage with the rest of the lads left me with a bit of an empty feeling, as melodramatic as that may sound. For some reason, missing them physically hurt. I haven’t been this affected by an absence in my life in a few years, and I have to say that I’m not too keen to revisit this feeling again any time soon. Also absent from CT were: Brendan, Dave Cooke, PHIL COULTER, the “Heartland” opening, Neil being on stage and playing for the whole time (plus his kilt!). Probably the thing I missed the most was not hearing Buachaill on Eirne. Oh Damo. . . .
Speaking of Damo, as I’m thinking more and more about it, I think The Glee Project was just absolutely cruel. I had to sit through episode after episode to see if Damo would be in the tour this fall, and waiting more than two months to find out he’d be moving on was absolutely inhuman. I couldn’t think of a worse form of torture if I tried. It was the polar opposite of just ripping the Band-Aid off. Way to prolong the pain, Ryan Murphy. I hate you even more now. Especially since I saw Damo’s outfit for his first episode. Just . . . no. And “Pot-‘O-Gold” for the title? Seriously? *sigh*
I read in a CT blog comment that someone did not like the choice of “Friends in Low Places” for Ryan because he couldn’t reach the really low notes. And to this person I just want to say “eff you,” because to so many people (and I’m sure to Ryan as well) this song was not about him performing it perfectly. It was about assuring us that Ryan would “be okay” after all the hell he’s been through since May. I have to admit that tears were shed when the rest of the lads came on stage to since the last bit of the song with him.
During the shows I could not exactly pinpoint it, but something was just off. After some thought, I realized that the sound was entirely different now. I love wee Danny, but I he just changes the sound. His little soprano voice does not blend with the rest of the lads, and as a result the group sound loses its deep, manly quality. I miss that. Damo, please come back and round it out again. Please? Also, please don’t sing a falsetto song on Glee. Please?
After that first Boston show I finally had to admit that this truly was the end of an era. I adore the CT lads as they are now, but it doesn’t change the fact that so many things are irreversibly different now. What I thought stood a chance at being a constant in my life proved me wrong, but it was also wrong of me to want things to remain the same forever in the first place. I guess I can look at all of this as a lesson in coping and going with the flow when something hits me on a personal level.
As much as I hate to admit it, I’m growing up and things are going to change. Who knows where I’ll be come next fall. Will I still be in New York? Will I be in close proximity to a CT show? How about the Boston show, will I be able to continue the tradition of going with my friend? I don’t know the answers to any of those questions, and I absolutely hate it. This part of my life used to be concrete. Buy the concert tickets as soon as they went on sale (and of course get two for Boston) and eagerly wait for fall. But now, will I be able to get them as soon as they are available? I just don’t know. And I hate that.