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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Celtic Thunder in Loveland

This post will be a bit shorter than the one on the Denver show, because the set list is exactly the same for both nights. So I went to the exact same show twice? Well, no, not really. I don't know what the rationale was for doing the same set list both nights, but I enjoyed seeing it again. I enjoyed the Denver show immensely, and had I only gone to that one I would have had a decent impression of the group. But, seeing them tonight singing the exact same songs in the exact same order, tonight's show was a lot better. The Denver show was not an off-night, but some of the guys seemed to be getting pretty tired by the second half, and certain spots stuck in my mind, like the high note at the end of "Noreen" when it seemed Neil was stretching to get to that note- he got there, but it wasn't as strong a finish Saturday as it could be. Tonight all the guys seemed to have more energy and they all were singing better. I noticed especially on Neil's rendition of "She's Always a Woman", and on "Whiskey in a Jar", but really the whole show benefited greatly from the guys' day off yesterday playing and relaxing in Boulder.

There were still issues, of course- hardly any longer show goes off without any hitch, but Colm remembered the words to get into his verse of "All God's Creatures", and Neil did not land on his butt when he fell over 'drunk' at the end of "Seven Drunken Nights" this time. Neil's instrument for "Brown Eyed Girl" wasn't quite right when he started the song, but he gave a great performance anyway, and once he got his guitar plugged in properly he played very impressively. He is indeed still deserving of the title "Guitar God". And, at the very beginning, the balance on "Heartland" was much better. "Steal Away" was absolutely breathtaking, to the point that I would not have dreamt of singing along, because I was too mesmerized by the luscious harmonies these 6 men created tonight.

In addition to the higher energy and stronger voices, tonight's show benefitted from the acoustics of the space. I love the visual aesthetic of an opera hall, which is what we were in Saturday, but oddly enough, I liked the sound in the Budweiser Events Center better. The seats were far less comfortable, and while I was in a very similar spot relative to the stage, with almost the same angle between me and the set as last time, I was sitting much further away this time. But, the way lower notes and especially percussion sounded in that space was like magic. Barry Kerr played great bodhran solos Saturday too, but tonight's drum war segments sounded richer and all-round better just because of the space we were in. And, when the guys got to that gorgeous a capella section of "Steal Away", those harmonies also filled the space differently, sounding even richer and more amazing.

So, now the Celtic Thunder tour season is winding to a close for me, since I have seen my shows. I met all of the Celtic Thunder singers, most of them twice, I have autographs from almost all of them, photos of almost all of them, and fantastic memories that will last a very long time. I even got photos of those beautiful Celtic Thunder tour trucks, with the shiny red cabs and the gorgeous artwork on the sides. It was dark, so the photos are more of a reminder than a fitting record of these lovely things, but thanks to a very nice security guard who walked with me to where the trucks were parked, I got to stand right up close to these beautiful things. If any of the guys saw me from their bus windows, they may have thought me a bit mad, but that's ok. Even if none of my pictures turned out at all recognizable, I actually stood just a few feet away from them- just me, the trucks, and two security guards. I'm not sure I could explain why those trucks make me so happy, but seeing them was as absolutely necessary as seeing Ryan. :)

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