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Mairead Carlin Forum  |  Mairead Carlin  |  Show Reviews! (Moderator: Starman)  |  Topic: Combined Review: Williamsport, PA, 5.20.14 & Syracuse, NY, 6.9.14
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Author Topic: Combined Review: Williamsport, PA, 5.20.14 & Syracuse, NY, 6.9.14  (Read 3787 times)
Traveling Spaceman
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« on: July 06, 2014, 09:15:00 PM »

Emerald: A Celtic Woman Journey
Community Arts Center, Williamsport, PA, 5.20.14 | Landmark Theater, Syracuse, NY, 6.9.14


I think I've finally figured out why CW reviews are so difficult to write, and the answer is remarkably simple. How can you describe the indescribable? Compare the incomparable? How can you use paper or pixels to explain these angelic apparitions that sing, dance, play, spin, twirl, frolic, and seemingly float on the stage? It's like trying to paint the soul, explain an emotion, or dissect a dream. You can't.

However, what follows is my humble attempt to do just that. It is a bit long, but shorter than writing two separate reviews. There were some interesting differences between the shows worth noting.

The motivation for this labor of love was to be able to someday re-read and re-live the experience again. Of course, part of the purpose of a review is to share the joy with friends. But ultimately, it's to preserve precious memories that otherwise would be washed away with the sands of time.

My Emerald journey didn't begin until very late in the tour, taking me to the hills of Pennsylvania and the city of Syracuse. It included remarkable highs and lows, in both literal and figurative ways.


PRE-SHOW | WILLIAMSPORT
From the Outhouse to the Penthouse
I don't normally include travel adventures in reviews, but this mis-adventure strangely turned out to be an integral part of the experience.

My journey started off on the wrong road, with a regrettable decision to save a few dollars on a hotel. Did you ever just have a bad feeling about a place? Maybe it was the abandoned buildings on the same road. Or the fact that there was only one car in the parking lot. Or maybe it was the dark, unsecured two-story outdoor staircase I'd have had to climb to get back to my room late after the show. But something wasn't right.

I checked in, and oddly enough, the room itself seemed fine. But I just couldn't shake that feeling. I had to get out. It was 3:30, and I was supposed to meet some folks for dinner at 5:00, so I had to act quickly.

I figured that the hotel right next to the theater would never have a room available four hours before the show, but I tried there first because that's where we were having dinner. A lady answered the phone, and I told her my story. I only said that I was "in town for a show," and she said, "Oh, you must be here to see the Celtic Woman show." I think she felt sorry for me. She put me on hold, then came back and said, "I can get you a room." Whew.

But on this day, nothing would be easy. She said there were two people on hold that she had to take care of first, but she'd call me back in 10 minutes. Fifteen minutes went by. Twenty. Thirty. No callback. It was 4:15, and I was a little freaked out. So I called back, got a different lady, and retold the story. She said, "Oh, I think she said she couldn't get in touch with you. Hang on a minute." I thought, "Couldn't get in touch with me? I've been staring at my phone for 30 minutes, and it never rang."

Long story short, the first lady wrote my phone number down incorrectly and called the wrong person. "I left a very long and detailed message for someone who's going to have no idea what I'm talking about," she said. Despite the circumstances, I had to laugh.

But I was feeling blessed to get out of where I was. I gave her my info and rushed down to get my stuff back into the car, check out, and hurry over to the new place. A lot of the streets downtown are one way, and I had to circle the block twice, even though the building was so close I could practically reach out and touch it.

I finally got to the front desk around 4:30. The lady checked me in, and at the end, handed me a room key and said, "I'm pleased to tell you that you get a free upgrade today. Here's the key to your suite on the 7th floor."

I stood there, stunned, for a second. Suite? I wanted to ask her why in the world I was getting a free upgrade, but I didn't want to waste time. I thanked her, grabbed the key and went to unload the car, wondering the whole time what a suite looks like.

It had three rooms, if you count the bathroom. The "living room" was big as a regular room, with a couch, work desk, fridge, and coffee maker. The bedroom had this giant bed in which you could comfortably fit a family of four. I felt pretty silly about having all this for myself, but I was so relieved I wasn't going to argue. The sign on the back of the door said that the normal price for the room was $350 a night. Yikes. I'll never stay in a room like that again, that's for sure.

Celtic Woman Central
After showering and dressing, I went down to the front desk to ask for change. By then, it was a minute after 5. There was a long line, and as I stood there, a guy who looked like Craig walked by. I was so tired, I figured I was seeing things. When I got to the front of the line, the lady said that they didn't keep cash at the front desk, and to try the restaurant bar. I figured I'd check in with my dinner crew on the way. After all that, it turns out that I was the first one to arrive. That figures.

On the way to get change, I glanced out one of the big picture windows that look out onto the sidewalk, and could have sworn I saw Anthony out there, checking his phone. After this second sighting, I was beginning to think that maybe I wasn't hallucinating from fatigue and lack of food and water, after all.

So I stood at the end of the bar waiting for my change, right next to one of the other big windows. I looked outside, and saw this beautiful lady walk right past me. This time, I was sure: that was Mairead C, all right. And then it finally hit me. (It really does take a seven-story building to fall on me, sometimes.) I was staying at their hotel. Duh.

Now, it might have occurred to a normal person beforehand that CW might be staying at the hotel right next door to the theater, and perhaps that would be a cool place to stay. But me? I wanted to save money. Eye roll.

New Friends and Close Encounters
Thanks to edtom for setting up dinner. There were eight of us in all at the hotel restaurant. It was such a refreshing change to meet and chat with other folks who "get" why we love Celtic Woman. I even met a very nice married couple that lives in my city. Who knew?

Williamsport was only my third show, so I was the newbie at the table by a lot. Thanks to all for including me and making me feel welcome. It was fascinating to hear everyone's experiences and memories of past tours like Isle of Hope, A New Journey, and Songs From the Heart. With my life situation at the time, there was no way I could have participated in those tours, but it sounds like it was an amazing era. What I wouldn't give to see the footage of Isle of Hope that is rumored to have been shot, but never released.

I told the folks at my table about seeing Mairead, and they informed me that they were standing outside the front door at that very moment, and she stopped to chat with them. It occurred to me that I probably saw the group standing out there when I passed the front desk - but since I hadn't met them yet, I didn't realize it. I think I've raised "being at the right place at the wrong time" to an art form. But I was having such a good time, and so relieved to be a half block from the theater, that I wasn't disappointed.

Still, there was a temporary moment of panic after dinner when I couldn't find my ticket. I had to go back up to the room to get it, which only led to two more close encounters of the CW kind. As the elevator doors opened, Andy walked out. At this point, I was getting used to it. But I was NOT prepared for what was about to happen.

Fortunately the ticket WAS in my room, and I hurried back down the elevator, because it was getting late. The doors opened, and I started to exit, looking down. Suddenly, these little shoes appeared right in front of me. I stopped in my tracks and looked up, just in time to avoid crashing into Sarah. I was so taken by surprise, all I could say was "Oh, I'm really sorry." She replied, "Noooo, I'm sorry..."

If anyone remembers the old Chip 'n' Dale cartoons, it was kind of like that - tripping over each other to apologize. When the doors closed, I stood outside the elevator for a second, just laughing at myself. Fortunately, no one was around to see it. I took the short walk to the theater in the rain, and stood under the marquee to avoid getting wet. I'd come too far, before really even getting started, to let a little rain dampen my spirits.


PRE-SHOW | SYRACUSE
My trip to Syracuse, thankfully, wasn't nearly as eventful. It was just an 80-minute ride on the New York State Thruway, so there was no hotel to worry about. And I held a Meet & Greet pass for this one, so I wasn't concerned about unexpected sightings. I knew I was going to meet the ladies for the first time.

Meet & Greet Meets Expectations
It was my very first M&G, so I kept my expectations low. I'd heard about how rushed they are, and how they're sometimes held in stairwells. Everything considered, mine went great except for me. I had been thinking about a (very) short message I wanted to deliver to each of the ladies. But when the time came for me to be next in line, and I got close enough to look into the dressing room and see them, my mind sort of went blank.

Mairead N was first in line, and as the longest tenured member, the spokesperson for the group. She extended her hand and thanked me and said it was nice to meet me. I squeezed her hand and told her what an honor it was to meet them all. Then I shook hands with the other ladies - making sure to smile and make eye contact, and thank them - but that's all I could manage. Everything else I wanted to say just kind of vanished, like a computer document you work on that gets lost without saving.

All of the ladies were so kind, appreciative, and nice. And being shy and reserved myself, I can't help but feel like Lynn and I are kindred spirits. As I went down the line, she was the only one who introduced herself. She extended her hand and softly said, "Lynn" - as if she thought I didn't know who she was. I felt a little sad about that. I wanted to tell her that I've loved her work for a long time. But I was rushing, and not thinking all that clearly anyway. I told her how nice it was to meet her. Sadly, she probably doesn't know how much I truly meant that.

The M&G was held in an empty dressing room, where a wall painted solid red provided the backdrop. Against the emerald and blue dresses, it offered a very nice contrast for the photo. I was very pleased with how it turned out - except for me being in it, it's one of the better ones I've seen. The guy who took it did a great job. It's posted at the end of this review.

The ladies, of course, are flawless. Even up close and personal.


THE SHOWS:
WILLIAMSPORT AND SYRACUSE HIGHLIGHTS


This section was the most difficult to write. In fact, this is version 5.0. While it didn't seem necessary to do two full reviews of each song in each show (especially at the end of the tour), in some cases there were intriguing differences between the two.

So ultimately, what I decided to do is stare at the setlist, and as standout moments entered my head, I wrote them down. Most tunes are represented here, but not all. People before me have provided precise, blow-by-blow reviews in complete, chronological order - and did a much more thorough and eloquent job than I could do. What follows here is more like a highlight reel. The comments on each song are overall impressions gained from both shows, except where noted. It's roughly organized in chronological order, with some exceptions.
                                   
Williamsport tickets went on sale before most tour stops did, so by the time I looked into it, everything close was gone - except for one single, lonely seat in the pit. I figured it must be a sign, so I bought it. It was the 3rd seat in from the end, in the 2nd row - but there was no 1st-row seat in front of it, so thankfully I had an unobstructed view.

In Syracuse, I lucked out again. I spent Act 1 in my PBS seats in the 7th row, but after intermission was able to move down into the second row, thanks to one of our dinner group members.

But in Williamsport, the show got off to a dazzling start, right smack in front of me.

The Sky and the Dawn and the Sun. And an Angel.
I was already keyed up because I knew going in that SDS, my all-time favorite opening number, was back in the show. But what I was about to see exceeded my expectations. The house lights went out, and as my eyes were adjusting I couldn't see a thing. But I could hear shoes clip-clopping on the stage, so I knew someone was emerging right in front of me. Then a shimmering backlight appeared, and there was Mairead N just a few feet away, with her bow raised in the air. Bathed in white light, I thought I had died and gone to Celtic Woman heaven, and was being greeted by an angel. With a fiddle.

She began playing the excruciatingly beautiful opening strains of the song, and ten seconds into the show, my heart was already pounding like the drums in Mo Ghile Mear. Hearing the extra verse was pure joy. Mairead's adorable stutter-step during her fiddle solo killed me, as usual. A new day had begun. A perfect way to open the show.

More Cailin Alainn, Please
This traditional tune provides the perfect a cappella opening to Dulaman - so perfect, in fact, that I wish it was more than just an intro. Hopefully in future tours, it could be a Lisa solo with all the verses sung. Lynn handled it beautifully in both shows. In the Syracuse show, her voice sounded a little deeper. She had posted something about a cold earlier in the week, so I wondered if she may have been still suffering from it then.

I looked up the English translation of the song: "There's a beautiful girl whom I gave my love/She is kinder and lovelier than a flower or rose/Without her hand in mine, I'm weak/O beautiful girl, you're the cause of my grief." So that's why the song hits me so hard, even in Gaelic - pretty much the story of my life.  :P

As much as I missed seeing Lisa this year, I'm glad I was able to add Lynn's version of Dulaman to the ones I've seen live. Like many of us, the song is one of my all-time CW favorites. I don't think I could ever get tired of it being in the tour.

Wake-up Call
Mairead N's revised version of The Butterfly showcased her uncanny ability to incite a sleepy audience and raise them to their feet. Williamsport was quieter from the start than Syracuse, but this rousing bit of revelry was the first standing ovation of the night in both venues. I especially enjoyed the "false ending" - where she reaches the penultimate note, only to restart the tune and run to each band member one by one, granting them a brief solo before returning to the front of the stage to truly wrap it up the second time, and elevating everyone out of their seats.

Oh, it's on, now.

Newgrange, New Ground
Newgrange, of course, was one of Orla's signature songs, its mysterious theme ideally suited for her hauntingly beautiful voice. It's been reimagined with a spoken-word intro by Mairead C, amid appropriately ethereal sound effects. She walked about the stage throughout as she sang, as if exploring ancient ruins herself. At the end, she hits a note so high, I think only Celtic Woman fans could hear it. Chilling.

I was pleased to see Tommy get a spotlight solo with The New Ground. It sounded just as mournful and beautiful as ever. But it's so hard to listen to this and then NOT hear the opening strains of Isle of Hope. It made me wonder why, given the greatest-hits theme of this tour, they didn't include it. I realize that in a 90-minute show, there isn't time for everything. Still, along with Spanish Lady and The Soft Goodbye, IOH is at the top of my "wish-that-woulda-been-on-the-setlist" list.

Orinoco Flow
What struck me in this song first, and others that followed, is the way in which Mairead C really throws herself fully into the choreography. Though the ladies are moving in unison, Mairead's movements and expressions are more pronounced than the others. And while Mairead N is one-of-a-kind when it comes to energy and enthusiasm, Ms. Carlin has her own wonderful, contagious vitality as well. Add to that her outgoing personality and willingness to interact with the fans, and it's clear that she's made a stunning impact on her first full tour. She sure makes it easy to love her.

The Moon and The Call
Susan's take on The Moon's a Harsh Mistress is well-suited for her style, allowing her to show off her impressive pipes. Her background in musical stage is apparent here as well, in this song that one could imagine as part of a Broadway show. With just Susan, and Brian at the piano, they preserved the intimate feel of the original, but somehow made it feel like much more than a do-over. She seems to really enjoy singing it, and the audience seemed to be glad she did.

When I'd heard that they were turning The Call, one of my all-time favorites, into a solo, I wasn't sure how I would like it. The big, dramatic, bombastic numbers are always my favorites - but this more subdued arrangement, as a Susan solo, pleasantly surprised me. In Williamsport, she performed on like a trooper as her earpiece kept falling out. Despite having to fiddle with it (pardon the pun) four or five times, she didn't miss a note. Kudos to her. Thankfully, her earpiece behaved in Syracuse, and she sounded great on her way to a standing ovation.

Amazing Grace. Amazing Performance.
The layout of The Landmark Theater in Syracuse didn't provide stage access from the aisles as the Williamsport theater did, so this incomparable staple song of redemption lost a little bit of its drama without the bagpipe procession from the back of the theater. However, it still drew a standing ovation. By contrast, in Williamsport I was sitting two seats from the aisle where Anthony climbed the stairs to the stage. Goosebumps.

After Hours
I enjoyed this showcase for the fellas, a percussive duel of drums vs. dancers. While it's certainly intended to give the ladies more time to change and rest and get ready for Act 2, it's anything but filler. I welcome anything that gives hard-working band and choir members their time in the spotlight; their talents are also considerable. I actually enjoyed it even more the second time, as it catches you off-guard the first time because it's so different. Great fun. In the future, I'd like to see something that gives Sarah and Edel the spotlight for a song, as well.

I Know My Love. But Not the Words.
Mairead C's new solo has a bouncy, upbeat spirit despite the romantic angst of the lyrics. It doesn't challenge her considerable vocal range, but it's a fiendishly catchy song that burrows its way into your head and refuses to leave. However, it does give her a chance to show off her other considerable talent: her personality. She works it to full effect, putting maximum effort and expression into the choreography. The handclaps with the choir are a lot of fun, and provide a delightful "hook." It was a nice surprise, as I'd never heard the song before. At shows, I usually mouth the words along with the ladies, and this is the only one where I couldn't. I do hope it winds up on a future recording so I can learn.

Si Do Mhaimeio i
Speaking of bouncy, this classic - reimagined as a duet - was played even more lightheartedly than when Meav smiled and bopped her way through it at the Helix. As with so many of the current numbers, there's a stark contrast between how much more movement and choreography there is in the show now. In this new version, the choir not only sings, but also dances and even acts a little.

This appeared in the added humorous bit where the male choir members abandon Sarah and Edel to "dance with the stars," causing them no small annoyance. Of course, the tables are turned at the end, when the guys are rejected by their new partners as they leave the stage. Good fun, and the cast was clearly enjoying it, putting a slightly different twist on it in each show.

Dah-Dah-Dah-Yah-N-Dee-Dah. 'Nuff said.
Williamsport had the full Emerald treatment of Teir Abhaile Riu, with Mairead C and Lynn entering from well back in the theater. The guy whose lap Lynn sat on was at least in the 10th row, maybe further. There isn't anything you can say about this classic that hasn't already been said. Other than the fact that no one - but no one - makes better pouty faces than Chloe, this iteration was just as fun, frantic, and fantastic as ever. Susan is the ideal mediator for this good, old-fashioned, Gaelic girl fight.

In Syracuse, the lack of stage access constrained both TAR and Nil S'en La to the stage only. And while the tunes do lose a little bit of fun without the audience interaction, it didn't really seem to affect the energy of the performers, who built both numbers to their usual breathtaking climax and standing ovation. No surprises there.

A Little Love for Lynn
As much as I'm sorry I missed Lisa and her solo Bridge Over Troubled Water, I was thrilled to get a chance to see Lynn perform My Lagan Love, long one of my favorites.

It made me think back to the announcement of Lisa's "break from CW," coming not all that long after Chloe's. Mairead C being an instant success certainly helped the situation, but with beloved members parting, the group still needed some continuity.

Enter Lynn, a welcome and familiar face. And this time, she looked more relaxed and happy on stage, and smiled more easily. I do hope she enjoyed this tour, because I certainly enjoyed seeing her. It was like getting a glimpse back in time, to the IOH and SFTH eras, before I was able to attend shows.

She even seemed to show some emotion in Syracuse. Between You Raise Me Up and The Parting Glass, it was her turn to thank the audience. She said, "It's almost as if you knew it was our last show" (well, of course we did!), and I could have sworn she got a little emotional. It only brought louder cheers. Maybe it did mean more to her, since unlike the others, her return is over. Thanks for coming back, Lynn. It meant more than you know.

Nil S'en La(te)
By now, all of us are familiar with Ray's humorous drum opening to this tune - but even though you know it's coming, it still makes you smile. He must be a riot to tour with.

Once Mairead N chases him back on stage, wielding her fiddle, the electrifying instrumental that follows gets the choir dancing in the aisles, and the rest of us dancing in our seats. It's a tremendous addition to this already-classic number. There can never be enough Mairead fairy fiddle magic for me. She never ceases to amaze and awe.

In Syracuse, there was an odd glitch in the number - or was there? When the choir stopped dancing, signifying that they'd been "caught" in their revelry, the ladies weren't even on stage yet. It was a couple of seconds before they finally came out and "scolded" the choir. Our dinner group talked about it afterward, and we wondered if it was really a timing error, or if the girls just did it to mess with the choir because it was the final show. I guess we'll never know.

On a related note, there did seem to be a lot more laughter, inside-joke glances, and smiles on stage in Syracuse. I guess when you do the same thing 88 times, you look for ways to make it a little different and fun. I've never been a performer, but I imagine it has to be bittersweet when you're on an odyssey like that with a group of people, and then suddenly it's over. Williamsport had a great vibe after a sleepy start, but Syracuse was even better, both from the stage and from the audience.

Mairead's Dance
What a thrill to finally see my all-time favorite Mairead N tune, Granuaile's Dance, up close and personal from the second row. I'll never forget watching it for the first time on A New Journey DVD and thinking that I'd never seen anything like it in my life. Was it real, or was it some mythological wood nymph who was running, leaping, spinning, and kicking - all while playing the violin like I'd never heard it played before?

I'd seen performers with virtuosity. I'd seen others with verve. I'd never seen such a combination of both in one, with the volume turned up to 11. Where on earth does she get the energy? All I do is watch, and I feel like I need to nap when it's over. The theater was rocking at the end of this one in both venues. A Mairead fiddle solo is always a wild ride, and you'd better keep up - you don't want to get a bow pointed at you.

In the past, I've heard people say that Mairead gave them a look from the stage. I figured that was reserved for the longtime concert-goers, familiar faces that she knows well. But right near the end, I did get the odd feeling that she was looking right at me and giving me a little nod. It was the weirdest sensation, and I can't say with 100% certainty that I'm right. But if so, that's amazing. As if she knew it was my favorite tune.

The National Anthem of CW Nation
My all-time favorite CW songs are The Voice and Dulaman. But if there was such a thing as a Celtic Woman National Anthem, I would nominate Mo Ghile Mear. What I mean by that is: if someone who had never heard them before asked, "What does Celtic Woman sound like?", I would play for them the song that (in my humble opinion) has all of the elements that make Celtic Woman great:

An old Irish song. Both English and Gaelic lyrics. An exquisite David Downes arrangement. Rousing opening harmonies from the choir. Thundering percussion to set the mood. A trade-off of leads among supremely talented soloists. A swaying bridge to the plaintive opening verses about - as Lisa Lambe would say - "Love, Land, Loss, and Hope". A back-and-forth duel of drums in the middle. A Mairead fairy fiddle break. And the slow but relentless build-up to the final crescendo, wringing out every last drop of drama and emotion until the final, cathartic close: "Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!"

"That's what Celtic Woman is all about, Charlie Brown."

What came after all that was the show-stopping, raise-the-roof ovation of the evening, the sheer decibels and duration unmatched by any other number. At both performances, Susan tried two or three times to introduce the next tune. We wouldn't let her. She had to laugh and shout out, "We DO have a couple of more songs," before it died down enough to continue.

Just paying tribute to our nation.

You Raise Me Up
My favorite part of this song is always Mairead N introducing it. Her voice always sounds like a lovely whisper. I also love the way she gestures with her bow, as when she says, "...from the very beginning of Celtic Woman," tapping it downward to emphasize the point - and in other songs, when she "applauds" for the soloist with her bow. It makes sense, because her hands are always full. But rather than a hindrance, the bow seems so natural, just an extension of her hand. Clearly, she's doing what she was born to do.

The Parting Glass
This is a bittersweet song. While it's becoming one of my favorites, it always means the show is almost over. In Syracuse, Lynn's introduction got the tune off to an emotional start, and Anthony's pipes turned it up a notch higher. At the end, it was a singing, swaying, swooning love fest - the way it ought to be.

Something else that was special in Syracuse was a lovely tribute by Susan that followed, giving thanks to the crew behind the scenes. Celtic Woman Tour posted a video of it on their Facebook page. As of this posting, you can still watch it here: http://tinyurl.com/kgt3slt

The Playoff
Anthony's electrifying opening on the pipes coaxed an already jacked-up audience into an even higher state of (un)consciousness. Mairead N was the ringleader, doing shout-outs - not whispers - for each and every member of the band, giving them each a short solo, and introducing the choir for bows. Hearing her speak so forcefully and loudly was out of character, and out of this world, at the same time. Not quite as big a surprise as when she first uttered, "Let it Snow," but a fun surprise nevertheless.

And then the house lights went up, and it was over. I can't speak for everyone, but right after a show I feel like I've run a marathon. Physically and emotionally. And you realize that until the next show, whenever that may be, you'll never feel that way again.


POST-SHOW | WILLIAMSPORT
In Williamsport, most of the dinner group was sitting within a row or two of each other. We said our good-byes as the theater was emptying, and agreed to meet again in Syracuse.

California Girl
In Williamsport, we met a young college girl who had flown all the way from California just to see the concert. She charmed us with her unbridled excitement over seeing CW live for the first time, barely able to sit still. One of our group had an extra pit ticket and gave it to her, only making her more excited - were that even possible.

I remember telling her before the start what I always tell people who are about to see their first show: as incredible as you imagine it to be, it will be even better than you think. And I reminded her of that when, right after the show, she was literally bouncing up and down, laughing, and crying at the same time. Mairead N actually saw her from the stage during the bows, and was laughing too. She got such a kick out of the young lady's reaction, as we all did.

Afterward, I found the young lady alone on the sidewalk outside the theater, waiting for her ride. So I walked her to the hotel doorway, where she saw the people she was waiting for. As we were approaching, Susan came out, looking like she was in a terrible hurry. She did stop and sign a couple of autographs for folks who were sitting and waiting, and then walked right past me to the bus - which honestly, I hadn't even noticed was sitting there. It was such a relaxed atmosphere. I really didn't see security anywhere, unless they were disguised as fans.

I did consider standing there to see who else might come out - but I wanted to get upstairs and tweet a thank you to the ladies, and I had a seven-hour drive to VA facing me the next morning. I bid our California friend farewell, and went upstairs.

I sent a simple tweet to the four ladies, and was thrilled to get a "favorite" from both Maireads, as well as a retweet from Mairead N. And our young friend? She later posted Twitter "selfies" of her and a couple of the ladies. Guess I should have stayed down there. But I was happy for her. It was a great show. And hey, I got a suite for free.


POST-SHOW | SYRACUSE
Since this final show was a matinee, our group decided to eat after the show, rather than before. As it turned out, the ladies of CW apparently enjoyed the same post-show meal as our group, as you'll see below.

Street and Greet
Just about everyone in our group stood outside the stage door after the Syracuse show. The crowd there was a lot larger than Williamsport, and there was definitely a security presence. Of course we all want to see the ladies, but first and foremost we want them to be safe.

We first saw Susan, who greeted some fans and then went into the bus, only to come out later to greet one young lady in particular. The girl seemed very excited, and it was nice of Susan to come back out.

While we were waiting for more members, a woman approached the tour bus with a large paper bag marked "Dinosaur Barbecue," knocked on the door, and went inside with the food. We had to laugh, because the famous "Dino" was the very restaurant at which we'd decided to eat after the show.

Both Maireads came out later and spent quite a bit of time posing for pictures, chatting with fans, and thanking us for our support. I got the chance to take a picture of the couple from my hometown with Mairead N, which was pretty exciting even though I wasn't in the picture.

After so many years of touring, you'd think she might be a little fatigued with all the extra fan outreach, but that is clearly not the case. She was just so nice, and so accommodating, and so kind, and so appreciative of everyone. It is truly a unique pleasure, especially in this day and age, to support artists of this high caliber - both as performers and as people.

Which leaves only one more thing to say. Can the new tour start tomorrow?
 
« Last Edit: July 21, 2014, 12:18:52 PM by Traveling Spaceman » Logged


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« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2014, 06:06:12 AM »

  Fantastic review and picture!  I'm going to digest it in more detail after work.  You're pretty good at describing the "indescribable"!  :) :) :)
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Hubert
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« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2014, 02:51:43 PM »

Yeah, I loved it also.  I read it on the CW forum and responded there but when you put in that much work two responses are in order.  Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings with us.  I'm glad that you had a great time.
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« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2014, 03:49:42 PM »

Thanks, John and Hubert. You are "two" kind.  :)   It was a lot of labor to be sure, but a labor of love. I always appreciate when people take the time to read it and post replies.

The version here is actually shorter than on the CW Forum - I did not realize that there is a character limit here, and when I tried to post the whole thing, it wouldn't let me. I tried two or three different edited versions, but they were still too long. Then I thought about splitting it into Part One and Part Two, but there didn't seem to be a logical place to cut it in half.

So what I wound up doing is to just take out the pre- and post-show adventures (except for the M&G, of course) and post the main show review. That finally worked.   :)

I've learned my lesson: keep it under 20,000 characters next time.   ;)
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« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2014, 05:40:08 PM »

very in depth review great job and sorry didn't know there was a limit on the size of posts so that has been fixed and removed. I have fixed both forums to no limits. :)
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« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2014, 10:46:38 AM »

very in depth review great job and sorry didn't know there was a limit on the size of posts so that has been fixed and removed. I have fixed both forums to no limits. :)

No worries Glen, thanks for reading it.   :)
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Starman
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« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2014, 05:39:30 PM »

  I really enjoyed a more leisurely reading of your reviews of these shows!  I wish I could have been there for them!

  As far as M&Gs, as you said, it is so easy for all  you planned to ask or say go out the window!  I usually pick a couple of things I want to say to one or more of the girls and make sure to get those in--everything else you can get said is icing on the cake.  For example, at the Akron M&G I made it a point to tell Mairead C that my mother's family is from  the Belfast area, County Antrim.  I also got to tell Lynn how I love her new album.

  Next time,  I'll make sure I can address Mairead N and Susan in some coherent fashion.  :D

   Your review prolonged my enjoyment of the tour beyond those shows I was able to attend and for that, I thank you.  :)

   
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« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2014, 06:27:57 PM »

Yeah, I loved it also.  I read it on the CW forum and responded there but when you put in that much work two responses are in order.  Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings with us.  I'm glad that you had a great time.
I couldn't have said it better it myself. Two great concerts, two great fan (and cast) gatherings.
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« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2014, 01:48:04 PM »

Quote
I couldn't have said it better it myself. Two great concerts, two great fan (and cast) gatherings.

Sure was. Let's do it all again next year.   :D
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Hubert
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« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2014, 12:36:03 PM »

I can relate to all that you guys said involving M&G's.  Really the only way I can say everything I want is to take notes into the M&G.  Boy, that would look dumb.
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« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2014, 11:37:48 PM »

Perhaps they will tweak the M&G format to allow a bit more time with the ladies like there used to be. The nice thing about the current format is, at least you know all four ladies will attend.  :)
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« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2014, 10:48:54 PM »

Just a note, I've gone in and added the rest of the review (pre-and post-show adventures), so it's now here in its unabridged form, as on the CW forum. Thanks, Glen, for removing the character limits.  :)   

It's funny, in person I'm not much of a talker, but put me in front of a keyboard and I can't shut up.  ::)  Especially when the subject is Celtic Woman.
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Starman
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« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2014, 09:45:42 AM »

Just a note, I've gone in and added the rest of the review (pre-and post-show adventures), so it's now here in its unabridged form, as on the CW forum. Thanks, Glen, for removing the character limits.  :)   


   I've gone back and read your "unabridged" review.  Thank you for doing that, as you added many interesting details.  I had an experience like yours at a motel in Evansville recently.  There were people who obviously had  been drinking sitting on the steps and a lot of noise in the afternoon when I checked in.  I was running late and didn't have time to change motels.  Interestingly though, it was completely quiet at night and I didn't have any problems.  :-\

   I hope you'll post more reviews in your shows to come--I'll certainly be one of your interested readers!  :)
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« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2014, 12:18:12 PM »

Thanks, John - getting anxious waiting for the 2015 tour schedule to be fully revealed, so I can decide where I'm going.   ;D
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« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2014, 05:05:30 PM »

Thanks, John - getting anxious waiting for the 2015 tour schedule to be fully revealed, so I can decide where I'm going.   ;D

   Me too!  :)
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