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2007-08-21 Amsterdam Concertgebouw

reviewed by Anja

I returned from Amsterdam quite late yesterday evening so I am a little late with my review :-) Rianne already gave you a nice review and Marjoeska shared some of her pics so this review will be quite personal:-)

When the concert in Amsterdam was added to the CT schedule quite a while ago it was clear I would do all I can to see them (meaning getting the time off work to be able to travel). We had the pleasure of hearing the guys in that venue before - okay, not in the Grote Zaal but in the Kleine Zaal which was great. The concertgebouw is reknowed for its sound quality and I must say it really is very good!

The Nederlands Theater Orkest and their conductor Jules van Hessen (whom we know from the Eindhoven open air) were wonderful. All the musicians enjoyed the concert, they were excellent and having fun which of course is very important for a good concert. The orchester (strings), Martin Quinn on guitar, Andrew Quinn on drums and of course the one and only David Munro on piano were the solid background for the Celtics and Deirdre presenting a program with many classics I had not heard for quite a while.

I always liked the combination of Spanish Lady and Mairie's Wedding a lot and it was the perfect opener for the guys. The music started and the guys came down from the choir balcony looking great wearing their black suits and ties (may I suggest you wear different colours of shirts? It might be nice to have three different colours with the suits, cream, light blue, mint...???). The strings were just perfect for this song. I especially love the blend of both choruses at the end.

Will ye go lassie go is one of the songs I am never getting tired of. The harmonies are stunning and the high note at the end is one of my favourites :-)

An poc ar bhuile... no words, really :-) I am a fan of songs sung in Gaelic (with An Cailin Rua being my new fav followed by Bheir mi o) and I love hearing the reactions of the people around - such a tongue-twister and yes Matthew, there were some Gaelic speakers in the audience ;-)

You raise me up for me is completely Daryl's song now. He dedicated this to his parents again and I think it is a perfect song to do that. I have the pleasure of also having wonderful, open-minded parents who teached me to respect other cultures and other ways of thinking and this song seems perfect as a thank you for all those teaching respect and love! I think I said this before but Daryl brought a souly touch to the song I absolutely love, when he starts singing he's always giving me shivers and in Amsterdam his voice seemed to carry so much more - one of the highlights of the nights (for me)!

I'll tell me Ma is a very nice up-tempo song and I love the guys soften their voices before dashing into the final chorus :-) This song has the quality for a "classic" CT song :-)

Deirdre joined the guys for "Barcarole" from the Tales of Hoffmann, a wonderful arrangement for four voices that blend with each other so very well - just made for a concert venue like that.

Will you still love me tomorrow is such a gem of a song and I enjoyed hearing Deirdre doing this again.

Having a string orchester for The Prayer seems to be a blessing - that was another one to give me shivers, the song has such a beauty and Deirdre and Matthew were brilliant that night! I will miss hearing this live.

The poor old dog that was drowned was next... The Irish Rover :-) I prefer this to all the other "drinking song" type of songs and liked it most when Matt played the whistle and Daryl had the Tambourine (hint, hint....).

Angel of Mercy is another gem, a song with so much quality in it and perfect harmonies. Of course the story will be special for those who have lost a loved one but I also think this song is written for all the lovers and special people we meet in our lifetime.

Shenandoah was breathtaking that night. Personally I prefer this to Danny Boy which was confirmed by hearing both songs in Amsterdam.

Remember Me ended the first half and  even if I still have to say it's not my favourite  it was great with the strings supporting the guys.

The guys started the second half with Ireland's Call  not one of my favourites but good to "warm up" the audience after the interval.

As I mentioned before An Cailin Rua is one of my new favourites. The tune has such a natural beauty and the quality of Martin on the guitar is giving so much to this song. I really hope this little tune will be on the next recording (including Martin on guitar, please). The poor red-haired girl sitting somewhere in the front last Tuesday might not agree, though ;-) First she was lovely red-haired girl and then got some evil looks when it came to the part where the girl in the song ran away with the butcher&.

James then added another highlight of the evening: Summer of my dreams. The perfect song for James, really! I love the way his voices carries the words like a summerbreeze  and there you are, transported back to a beach, a lake or a green meadow in your own summer of your dreams. The string orchester was just perfect here and I could have listened again and again.

Whiskey in the Jar is not a favourite of mine. But it has never been, no matter who is singing this. It is good to clap along, though and the Amsterdam audience did a very good job here! They all knew what to do...

The next song was another "gift" in form of a song I always loved to hear live but which had gone from the setlist since a while: A love so beautiful. I think it was in 2004 when I last heard this so it was nice to have it back, even if it was just for the orchester performance that night.

A venue like the Concertgebouw needs a classical tenor song and Nessun Dorma of course is one of those. The guys had the audience doing their choir bit several times and got lots of giggles when it went wrong twice (once the audience failed and once it was one of the orchester so that poor guy was told he's fired&. *lol*). When it finally came to the choir part  after all those rehearsals  it went very well and wow  wonderful clear high notes in the end guys! Can we have more
classical bits???? I know I am a pest saying this again and again&.

Deirdre joined the guys for Nella Fantasia which was very nice with the strings, a classy piece of music!

Still by your side is one of my favourite songs on the last album so I was very pleased to hear this with such good musicians in the background.

Back to the goat section (some painful veterinary treatment?) with Paddy Mc Ginty's Goat. Most of you will have seen the little fight going on on stage between Daryl and James about playing the "leading lady" but James I am sorry to say with that perfect Soprano B flat from Daryl it will be difficult for you in the next audition ;-). I hope with all the fun on stage people realise WHAT singing quality Daryl is adding here  well done!!!!!!

From laughter to emotion  my all time favourite Caledonia. This Dougie MacLean song is very special to me with Scotland being one of my favourite places in the world. It was also one of the first songs ever by the Celtics that impressed me so much. Watching "Der Grosse Irische Abend" (Celebrate) when it was aired for the very first time while talking to a friend on the phone until this song came up. I know quite a few versions of Caledonia but the CT version is beating them all  including Dougie's own&

Next highlight and last song for that night was All out of love. I have never been to a concert where the people did not go mad after this one and Amsterdam was no exception. Again compliments to the guys, especially Daryl, for all the high quality top notes in this one. It must be hell to sing those notes but sorry& this is one of my favourites and I will always love to hear this live&.

Time to say Goodbye  an encore with a special meaning that night as it REALLY meant it was time to say goodbye to Deirdre and David for a while. I hope you will both enjoy your time off and you will be missed!

Anja