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2005-03-16 Elmsford, NY

reviewed by John

 

I had hoped to post a review of last night's concert before the others got back home. However, it was so very enjoyable that I got lost in the moment, and forgot to keep writing after a couple of songs into the second half. I am therefore hoping that Barb did make comprehensive notes and can do a better job than I managed.

 

In general terms, the concert was nothing short of WONDERFUL. The guys seemed very relaxed after what sounded like a very upmarket reception the previous night at Radio City Music Hall following a brief visit to California; there was plenty of on-stage banter, some fluffed lines, and plenty of giggles. Niall and James especially flirted outrageously with some (sometimes very embarrassed) members of the audience. The stage was enormous, and poor David who took to it first seemed dwarfed by its dimensions. What the size did, though, was afford them all the opportunity to move (and sometimes run) around the stage more than would normally be the case. It was a very animated performance indeed, and the musical quality was....well, I hardly need tell anyone who will be reading this what the calibre of that was. The guys wore black suits, white shirts, and Irish flag-co-ordinated ties - Niall pale green, James White, and Matthew orange (which was really closer to red). Black shirts and tieless for the second half.

 

I had the distinct pleasure (indeed delight) of meeting people with whom I correspond, but whom I had never met before last night.

 

All this stuff aside, the concert was magnificent. Aside from the expected material (and that does not make it any less exciting to hear in my book), there were two new highlights. The first was the duet with Brian Kennedy from the forthcoming album (due in September as Matthew announced), 'Non siamo isole'. This was its first public live performance, and in the absence of Mr. Kenndy, Matthew took his part, and I surely don't have to say anything about the tone of his voice, playing off verses with Niall's lovely interpretation. It flowed beautifully, and received a terrific response. It was also very nice to hear James' contribution more to the fore than is the case on the recorded track. The other special moment for me (because I have a huge affection for backing vocals) was Deirdre's "Once in a very blue moon' - lovely, delicate, gentle melody, with perfect and understated vocal accompaniment from the guys. I understand that this song has been recorded by Mary Black amongst others, so many may be familiar with it - I wasn't.

 

Hopefully, once I am home at the weekend, I'll download the photos and Barb will be able to post them having secured the suitable permissions (!) Meanwhile, happy St. Patrick's Day, especially to my friends in Dublin, who know who they are, and who really ought to be at work today!

 

John