Celtic Thunder

“Ain’t Heard Nothin’ Like He-ri-tage!”

After months of painful waiting, I finally received my copies of the “Heritage” CD and DVD on Tuesday. If anything, those last few hours waiting for my package to arrive from Amazon were the worst hours since this show’s announcement. Never mind the fact that I had been fortunate enough to see the show twice last fall–I still wanted the CD and DVD SO badly, and I knew how amazing what I was waiting for would be. Knowing might actually have made the wait worse, now that I think about it. Knowing that Damian would soon be soothing me with a gorgeous rendition of “Buachaill ón Éirne or that I would soon be squeeing over Keith and Neil performing “Whiskey in the Jar” and rocking out on their matching guitars. There was so much to look forward to reliving on the DVD alone, and so much more to hear for the first time on the CD.

I won’t go through every song on the DVD, but rather pick and choose a few.

“Heartland”. A classic. It never gets old. And. DECLAN! Oh, how I love you and your drums. I WILL get my Deco hug this year. I WILL. And a new picture with you, not that I don’t love the one I already.

Or not. TheThunderTube took down “Heartland,” BUT IT WAS REPLACED WITH “THE DUTCHMAN”!! Go watch that instead, before it gets taken down and replaced with a different song.

EDIT: Yeah, they keep changing the videos and I can’t keep up with it. Just go to their YouTube channel. It won’t disappoint (except if you’re looking for all the Heritage videos right now). You have my solemn vow.

(From TheThunderTube)

No words can properly express how I was feeling as I watched “Buachaill ón Éirnefor the first time since last October. There may or may not have been a tear or two trickling down my cheek at the end of the song. That lad has a voice. Pure and simple as that. I wish to reiterate my desire for an entire album filled with soothing songs that best highlight his amazingly smooth and deep voice. “As Gaeilge” (“in Irish”) would be a plus ;).

“The Dutchman”. Oh, “The Dutchman”. Oh, Keith. Sweet, sweet Keith. I love you more and more with each new song you sing. And I love you more and more with your surfer-dude hair. Thank goodness “Heritage” was filmed pre-“Heart-Attack Inducing Hair Cut”. Please don’t do that to me again. I love your “bushy, bushy blond hair-do”. Besides, your “Surfer Medley” just doesn’t work without it. I know it’s your hair and you don’t care what us Thunderheads think about it (you’ve certainly expressed that sentiment, to me even *embarrassed at the memory*), but just please throw us a bone and don’t cut your hair again during touring season . . . at least not drastically like last time. Okay, hair begging over, back to “Heritage”.

“Noreen”. Neil. LOVE. It’s such a beautiful song, made all the more sad because of its history. Phil Counter composed the music for it years ago as a gift for his friend Liam Neeson (yes, that Liam Neeson) and his new wife Natasha Richardson. It was called “An Cailín Fionn”/”Natasha”. Now, a couple of years after her tragic passing, Phil put words to the music and it transformed into “Noreen”. The emotion behind Neil’s performance is just heartbreaking–his eyes even becoming glassy by the end. I couldn’t think of a better person to sing this song. I love every single second of its performance and I can’t wait until the fall to hear it live again.

“Whiskey in the Jar”. One word: *SQUEE!!*. That about sums it up. Well, maybe four more words: Keith’s partly unbuttoned shirt. *Fans self*. Wait, a few more words: running and kilt bouncing up and down. Yup, that sums it up. Oh, to be Keith’s guitar pick in that song. Or to be the lucky person who caught it as he threw it into the audience at the end.

Oh, that shirt. *love*

(From Beth O in the Keith Harkin Fan Forum)

“Place in the Choir”. These photos sum it up quite nicely. So do the words “Damian can’t dance his way out of a paper bag”. It was adorable watching him try to line-dance. Try, being the operative word. Don’t worry, we all still love you.

(From Beth O in the Keith Harking Fan Forum)

(From Amazon, go buy it! It’s only $9.99 right now!)

No, I wasn’t biased *at all* in my song selections. They were all amazing. Just watch it and see.

Now on to the CD!

The “Heritage” CD was my first introduction to Emmet Cahill (Cah-hill) as a full-fledged member of Celtic Thunder. I had listened to the songs on his website, but those were geared more towards his classical training. I was eager to hear him singing with the other lads–would he blend well with them? Would he fit the sound? I wasn’t disappointed. At all. He’s already getting along with the lads on Twitter, and that camaraderie has most certainly translated to the music. I’m very much looking forward to seeing YouTube videos of his PBS studio visits with Keith in a couple of weeks. This is one time I wish I was on the West Coast, so I could watch for myself without having to simply hope that videos will be posted afterward. I’m counting down the days until the Beacon Theatre show on September 24th (EEEPPP!!!) so I can hear and see him live.

(From Emmet Cahill Official Music)

Oh yes, I think he will fit in with CT very well if I do say so myself. Not only is *he* gorgeous, but “Kindred Spirits” is absolutely beautiful. He is one lucky lad to have Phil Coulter write a song especially for him to perform.

My favorite song on this CD, hands down, is “The Galway Girl”. It’s such a fun song that I can’t listen to it without having a goofy grin plastered on my face the entire time. When I first heard it in its entirety, there was a gigantic gasp as I heard Emmet start it off. Oh boy. Keith, you have some intense competition now. Now, Emmet, if you’re at least 6 foot, you might need to watch yourself while you’re here in the city. I might need to kidnap you and hold you hostage in my dorm room. I’m giving you fair warning, boy, so you might want to do some shrinking before the fall tour starts ;).

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Celtic Thunder

Celtic Thunder Boston Adventure: Part 1

Written in Boston on October 9th while sitting in the park during the matinee show:

I thought I had packed everything on my list, but boy did I forget the most important item: MY CAMERA’S MEMORY CARD! I had just picked up my tickets and was getting ready to take a picture of a CT flier on a post on the corner when I saw the tiny red 4 in the corner of my camera screen. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I did not want to be seeing that number on this of all days. But one frantic phone call to a my friend later, and she’s bringing an extra card for me to use. THANK THE CELTIC GODS! I really wish I had one now, though, because as I write this I’m sitting in a park by a large pond, and there are swans, geese, and ducks everywhere. One’s honking at me right now, as it’s swimming by. It’s very pretty here, and not at all like Washington Square Park. There’s a sense of peacefulness and serenity here that I would never be able to find there. I wish I had some sunglasses, though, because it’s very sunny where I’m sitting, but I don’t want to sit in the shade because then I’ll be too cold.

But I digress. I got to the venue around 12:30, and as I was walking up the sidewalk past the stage door and towards the box office, who do I see coming my way? RYAN! I didn’t want to stop him, so I just said a casual “looking forward to the show tonight” as I walked nearer him. He then said something along the lines of “Oh, thank you” in that gorgeous Irish accent of his, and we were off in our respective directions with a wave and a smile. I would have liked to have stopped and gotten an autograph or a new picture, but I figured I would just let him be for now and just get to him after the show.

After I picked up my tickets and realized my SD card was still in New York, I was walking back towards the stage door and saw Neil and Nicole (violinist) getting their suitcases out of the bus. At this point I was still internally freaking out, and while Neil stopped to sign and pose with fans in front of the door, I was on my phone begging my friend for help, which meant I didn’t go on over with everyone else.

I just noticed the carousel on the other side of the street, how cute. So the next sighting us insane Thunderheads had was DAMIAN AND KEITH, at about 1:45, 45 minutes before the matinee was to start. What those lads were doing on their bus while we were all waiting for them, I have no idea. I have a feeling they were just trying to kill time so they wouldn’t have to spend too much time out in the cold with us. Either that, or they were too caught up in the video games someone said they were playing. (Keith later revealed in a tweet that he was sleeping.) When they stepped off the bus, Damo came first and Keith quickly followed, with a hand on each of Damo’s shoulders from behind, as if he was steering him to the door so he wouldn’t stop. According to Keith, they were headed to the sound check, and after that I thought it was the end of sightings. I must say, though, I very much enjoyed Keith’s hairstyle for the day. He had the front part of his hair pulled back off his face and secured with an elastic near the top of the back of his head, and there was no evidence of hair gel on his wonderful head (YAY!). He definitely got an intense coloring, with some highlights/lowlights/whatever thrown in so that his hair now has a few different shades in it that I couldn’t see after Radio City or in pictures/videos. I think the gel just makes his hair look a lot darker too, so the colors aren’t as easy to see when he’s all gelled up (sad!). I’m finally coming around to his new hair, but it would be so much easier if he would just get rid of the gel altogether, simple as that. But my opinion doesn’t matter to him, and neither does anyone else’s, so oh well.

Where I was standing between the stage door and the buses was the perfect location. I could see just inside the stage door to the window in there, which had a view of the stairs inside. The first time I noticed this was when I saw Keith going downstairs a few minutes after he went inside. Then Ryan, George, Neil, Paul (and probably Damo) followed him soon after. But I have to say the best moment was when I saw Neil going down the stairs the second time: He had a smile that reached his eyes, scrunched them up, and seemed to give them a little twinkle, which absolutely lit up his entire face. I saw teeth, and I rarely see teeth in pictures of him. That was a glorious moment. I wish I had known what caused such a reaction, because I just adore seeing him so happy. He’s such a wonderful man, and he deserves all the happiness in the world. Amazing.

I was also able to say hello to Declan, but I wished he could have signed my picture of the two of us from last year. Maybe tonight. I hope. Sharon and Phil really hit it out of the park in finding such talented, kind-hearted (not to mention good-looking) lads. I think I really just need to find an Irishman to call my own. All of a sudden I would really love a Declan hug, I don’t know why, but I NEED to get one tonight. Maybe it’s because it’s getting even colder out now and I want him to warm me up ;).

Just when we all thought it was really over for the afternoon, out came Keith to fetch his suitcase from under the bus. It was around 2:00, and the show was starting in 30 MINUTES. Keith was neither dressed nor gelled, so I was wondering what was up with that. He didn’t stop at all this time either, but I think karma got him good, because the wheel on his suitcase BROKE OFF as he was going inside. I wanted to ask the man who was picking up the pieces if I could have them, but I figured he would look at me like I was a crazy person and say no, so I resisted.

A few minutes later, DAMO also came out, went on the bus, and then got his suitcase. My goodness, these lads leave everything to the last second, don’t they? This time around, Damo was kind enough to stop for a couple of pictures and autographs, but I just wasn’t pushy enough to get a chance at him. Hopefully tonight *crosses fingers*. I really just want a proper picture with him, since I got his autograph last year. However, I would like to get him to sign the poster I’m getting for another friend, since he’s her absolute favorite and she couldn’t come because she’s sick at the moment. Even if I can’t maneuver the poster in a way to be easy to sign, a signature on anything would be wonderful.

The actual end to this pre-show fun was when George finally made an appearance outside. He was bringing Carrie (his wife) and Sarah (his daughter) out to the bus, and oh my GOSH! Sarah’s so big now! She’s growing up so quickly, I think she’s about 8 or 9 now. When he came out of the bus (alone) a woman I was waiting with kindly asked for his autograph for her niece, since he’s her favorite, and he obliged (but said something like “I’m on in twenty minutes! *laugh*) and asked if the woman was going to the show. She wasn’t, but I said I was going to the 8 o’clock one, and he said to wave so he’s know where I was. Like that would help him any, haha, since I’m in the balcony and glo-stick-less. I might just break down and buy a CT one for $5. I felt almost naked without mine at Radio City, and these ones have “Celtic Thunder” written on them, so why not? So I guess my purchasing list is the glo-stick, Damo poster, and the very pretty Claddagh necklace with “CT” on the heart. I don’t think it will break the bank *too* badly. I hope they still have the necklace though, since there is the matinee show today, and all. PLEASE don’t run out *begs*.

I guess this is it for now. I can’t wait for the show tonight and to see my friend, whom I haven’t seen since August.