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2004-09-28 Oakville

reviewed by Barb & Heather

 

What does one do when the tenor of your dreams comes to the edge of the stage and reaches out for you?? Do you sit mesmerized in your seat, or do you reach up toward him and grab him. Thats exactly what Heather did last night in Oakville. Hi, its Barb and Heather reporting in from Oakville. It is 12:30am Wednesday morning and we have just come back from the most wonderful concert experience that we have ever had. Sorry Chicago, but Oakville was magical tonight for us. Heather kept track of the songs and from the moment that the guys came out on stage their eyes scanned the audience looking for their fanclub members. Maryann (motor city celt) her mom, and Mary's friend Bonnie were in the audience, Barb and I were sitting front row, left side on the end and boy didn't they find us quickly!

 

We were smiling from the time we got into our seats until the minute we left the lobby. The boys bounded on stage singing a rousing rendition of Granada. Niall introduced the next song, saying that it was from Scotland and we immediately thought, Caledonia and sure enough it was. Dublin City, Wild Rover, were next and just when we thought it couldn't get any better, James said that they were going to vary their concert schedule because of a Special Request and dedicated the next song to Barb and Heather, Summer of My Dreams.

 

And Barb and Heather melted right on the spot. James sang it so beautifully that Barb was moved to tears. The guys were in dark suits, white shirts and cream coloured ties. They sang Fionnghuala next a cappella, and we were still amazed how they got their tongues around all those words. THEN, they came out singing Nella Fantasia with the very beautiful Deirdre. Her voice has a bell quality to it and the notes soared to the rafters. Next Deirdre sang Song for Ireland. Just lovely. After this the songs sort of melded together, we think that they sang some Neopolitan opera arias of which we recognized them but didn't know the titles. Sorry guys, they were Pavarotti type songs! :-) Oh and here is the one the we did recognize, the German drinking song, we can`t remember the name of that one either. Next Niall introduced the Phil Coulter song about Derry, The town I loved so well. Fare thee well, Mary from Dungloe and Remember Me finished off the first half of the concert. James dedicated Remember Me to Jackie Miller, (it was Friends of Jackie Miller who presented the Celtic Tenors ) and to Barb`s mum. Needless to say that it brought a few tears to Barb`s eyes.

 

After intermission, the boys came out once again, dressed in black suits, black open neck shirts. Nessum Dorma started the second half with a bang and we were back on track. Deirdre entered on stage dressed in a beautiful long gown of black lace, with a white crinoline and enthralled the audience with Marble Halls from the Irish Opera, the Bohemian Lady. Next was the song about Nelson Mandella, Something inside So Strong. After this came the Roy Orbison song, A love so beautiful. James and Matthew left the stage after this song and left Niall all alone to sing Love of My Life, made famous by Freddie Mercury of the group Queen. Now, for a little comic relief in the form of O Sole Mio, which James translated to O My solo. Everyone in the audience seemed to love it. Included Barb and Heather who had heard it for the first time and were grinning from ear to ear watching the antics of James, Niall and Matthew on stage. We just love these guys and each time that we see them in concert, they become more endearing to us. Thank you James, Thank you Niall and Thank You Matthew, you guys are the best, Thank you for coming to Canada. I still have not completed my list of songs that they sang so before I get kicked off the computer here in the lobby of the Ramada Inn, I will quickly finish what songs they sang in order, Irelands Call, Star of the County Down, the best version ever of the Fields of Anthenry, The Contender, Whiskey in the Jar, Danny Boy as only the Celtic Tenors can do it, Time to Say Goodbye, and then it was encore time, Phil the Fluthers, complete with James high-flying kicks. I know that we have forgotten a couple of songs, because, like we were saying before we were MESMERIZED!! We will continue part 2, tomorrow when we are more awake.

 

Our heartfelt thanks to the men who made this concert possible, James, Niall and Matthew, and David and Deirdre, we cannot put into words how very special this evening was.

 

I'm back home now while Heather should be in the air winging her way back to Winnipeg. Before I give you my thoughts about meeting the tenors after the concert, there are a few things I should like to mention.

 

It was a delight to finally meet Mare, our Motor City Celt, her mum and her friend, Bonnie. Mare drove us to the concert and back later. Thank you so much Mare! Strangely enough, out of all the rooms at the hotel, Mare's room was directly across the hall from ours. How is that for coincidence!!

 

The concert itself was sheer magic, definitely the best I've attended and over far too quickly - I could easily have listened to them for another 2 hours. The Centre was virtually sold out and I only spotted a couple of empty seats. The audience was an enthusiastic one right from the beginning and needed little encouragement clapping and tapping along to the music. We were all invited to sing along with "Ireland's Call" and most of the audience did so. The boys kept looking over to make sure Heather and I were singing. :-)

 

During the intermission, I was lucky enough to meet Alice Miller, daughter of Jackie Miller (the concert was presented by the Friends of Jackie Miller for Wellspring). It was Alice who organized the concert and she asked me if I was enjoying the concert and whether I had seen them before. I answered in the affirmative and must have said something, to which she said, "Are you the Barb who James mentioned?" Again I answered in the affirmative and we spoke of how talented and wonderful these men are, and how delighted she was that they had made a return trip to Oakville to perform this benefit concert.

 

Now for the Meet and Mingle, as Heather so aptly called it. After the concert, we decided to step outside for a little while until the crowd abated. When we went back in, the first person we saw, leaning against the bar, was James. We went over and received hugs and kisses and spent a good deal of time chatting, while James signed programs for some special people who, although they put some hard work into publicizing our tenors, were unable to see them this tour. Judy and Glenda, I will be mailing programs to you in the next day or two! Please know that all 3 tenors appreciated your efforts as you will see from what they wrote on your programs.

 

At some point Matthew wandered over and I went off to have a lovely chat with him. We sat at a small table where he signed the programs and chatted a little about his new house, and about their tour in the US. He mentioned that they would be in Toronto today meeting with some "important people" and fingers crossed that all goes well, as this could mean more concerts in the future for Canada. Rest assured I am wishing them well today!!!

 

Next, having met up with Heather again, we were finally able to meet the lovely Deirdre and the delightful David, both very charming people indeed. In Chicago 2 years ago, we missed meeting them so it was nice to have the opportunity last night.

 

Finally, we were able to tear Niall away from a group of people, and have our turn chatting with him. We had a lovely little gossip about The Irish Tenors and all their news while he too signed the programs.

 

David then came over saying he had to round up everyone and there was the final round of hugs and hopes of seeing us again in the not too distant future.

 

There isn't a lot I can add to what others have said about these men - they are so enthusiastic and gracious to their fans, genuinely so. That they appreciate their fan club is an understatement, as they appreciate all their audiences.

 

As we were wandering around during the intermission and at the end of the concert, It was wonderful to hear small groups of people talking about the performance and how delighted they were to have attended the show.

At this point I just want to add how much I enjoyed seeing my good friend Heather - I only wish she could have stayed on for a longer visit. Next time Heather!!!

 

I should also mention, and perhaps apologize first, that we took no photos. For me, the important part was meeting and having a friendly and relaxing chat with James, Matthew and Niall without trying to get everyone posing and losing valuable chatting time.

 

Now that is not to say there were no photos taken. Mare and her mum took a couple and while Heather and I were chatting with James, a photographer from a local newspaper asked if she could take a pic of the 3 of us together. Unfortunately, neither Heather nor I caught the name of the paper, and whether the photo even gets chosen to be printed is another matther.... but I will keep my eyes open and see if I see the pic, then you shall too. :-))

 

I will close for now, for I'm sure that Heather will add more later of her impressions of the "Meet and Mingle".

 

Hugs to all,

Barb

 


****

 

Well, here it is, the 2nd part of my review from the Oakville concert. I forgot to tell you that the audience gave the guys and Deirdre two standing ovations. They loved them, there were whistle calls and hooting and woo hoo's in the hall that night.

 

In fact,there were a pair of ladies, sitting behind Barb and me about 2 rows up, that were whistling and woo hooing, all night long.

 

After the second encore song,James, Niall and Matthew, along with David and Deirdre, made their way to the front of the stage to take their well deserved bows and waved to the audience. What a night, we were so sad to see them leave, we just wanted them to sing to us all night long. Soon, everyone was making their way out to the lobby and to the Meet and Greet or the Meet and Mingle, since there was no real table set up for the guys, that we could see, they met their fans and signed autographs for what seemed like ages. They are very giving of their time and tried their very best to make the rounds. Anyone who wanted to say Hello to them, they had time for. At first, when Barb and I came into the lobby, we spotted Mare and her Mom and Bonnie, we said Hi and then popped outside for a breath of fresh air, and to let some of the crowd settle down before we went back in. Barb went ahead and then I think that I lost her because when I looked up there she was, along with Mare and her mom and Bonnie over by James at the bar. Its all so hazy now, I am glad that we posted our earlier review when we did right after the concert. I just about pushed poor Mare and Barb out of the way to get my squoosh from James. And I would do it again, sorry girls, first things first!!;-)

 

James, thank you so much for my squoosh, it was well worth the wait.

 

Two years is too long, and I hope that I don't have to wait that long again for another squoosh from you. James is looking very slim and very,very handsome. His face just glowed after the concert. He looked like an angel. Thank you again for dedicating Summer of My Dreams to both Barb and me. I will treasure that memory always.

 

Especially when you came over to our side of the stage when you were singing Phil the Fluter's Ball. I am sorry if I acted like a giggling school girl when you reached out to me, I really thought that you were reaching for someone else behind me. :-o

 

It wasn't until Barb nudged me to reach out and grab your hand that I knew that you were singing to me. (to us) Next time I won't hesitate. James then introduced us to John Steele from Los Angeles.

 

John is representing the guys in North America, John is a very interesting man to talk to. Next, Matthew came over to chat with me, he is so cute and charming. He asked me if I hated him for not answering the Summaries, how could I hate you Matthew?? You are such a sweetie!!! I know that you are busy, I am just as happy to know that at least you get the summaries and are able to keep up with things in the club. And Niall, I want to tell you how good you looked, and how much we appreciated that you took the time to chat with Barb and me after the concert. We also met this time with Deirdre and David. Deirdre, I might add is beautiful inside and out.

 

She is very petite, but well spoken, and we chatted about the new Dance Troupe show that is going out on tour, I believe that she said that it was called, The Eye of the Irish Tiger, or something like that. And David, what can I say about David, without getting a big smile on my face, David is a charmer. His Scottish brogue is very appealing. Is it me, or is it that anyone with an accent can say just about anything to you and you will just nod in agreement! :-)

 

Niall was still chatting with us when I noticed that the hall was just about empty and that the cleaning staff were coming out of the hall, so we said goodbye to him and left to head back to our hotel with Mare, her mom and friend Bonnie.

 

I just want to say that I hope that the Celtic Tenors have a safe journey back to Ireland, and good luck with the Irish and German tours this fall. Thank you again for coming to Canada, I hope that we will see you all here again soon.

 

Sending you all my love,

Heather (who is back in Winterpeg, and still on Cloud Nine)