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2008-02-23 New Albany

reviewed by Linda & Gary

 
Friday we had six inches of snow and wondered if the roads would be clear enough to leave Saturday morning. More snow was predicted for Friday evening. Fate was with us and Saturday was sunny and the roads
were dry.

We arrived at the Ogle Center at 3:30. Thank you Tom for the badges. Emily and her Mom Susan came up and introduced themselves. You've made it so much easier for fans to meet each other. Emily and Susan are from Milwaukee and I believe they win the prize for traveling the furthest. It was great meeting them and I wish I could have had more time to spend with them. Maybe next time we can meet up before or after the concert also? After finding our seats a young lady asked Gary to take a picture of her and her friends. After chatting with the girls Gary discovered that they had traveled from Indianapolis and had seen The Tenors at the Dublin, Ohio Irish Festival. Gary talked them into checking out the website. Ladies, if you are reading this please come and join us and share your experiences with us.

Before I even go through the list of songs I want to say that you can't improve on perfection---NOT---you can if you happen to be The Celtic Tenors. Proof is the bruised fingers on my left hand from heart-felt appreciation through my clapping!

After the theater lights were dimmed Colm Henry was introduced and a handsome young man came out to take his place at the piano.

After Matthew, James and Daryl came on stage they immediately started singing I'll Tell Me Ma. It was after this opening song that the lads introduced themselves. Matthew asked if the audience had ever heard of the Book of Kells, which got applause. Well, in all, Matthew received three rounds of applause. Daryl took a wee bit of exception to this and accused Matthew of solicitation for extra applause. Well he didn't have to worry because Daryl received four rounds of applause. Doesn't that sound just like brothers?

The second song introduced was You Raise Me Up. After a brilliant performance James announced, "It's a little early to be making dedications but---" and then he said that this song had been sung for Linda and Gary, David and Judy and especially to Don and Thelma who were celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. My Mom's faced screwed up as if she were going to cry but she was able to compose herself. How special to have friends who will take the time to make your parents feel on top of the world. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Finnegan's Wake was introduced as a song about Tim Finnegan who had a problem with the drink. Needless to say the heavy drink caused his death. Well the silly song ends with whiskey splashing on the corpse and Finnegan arising from the dead. Daryl then announced that he had his own Whiskey label and it was called Lazarus. It took a second but then he got his laughter.

The beautiful Song For Ireland was next. This was the first time we had heard this poetic tune and we hope it won't be the last. The Holy City had the lads using their "tenor" voices with forceful depth of feeling. Colm played beautifully. I've never seen James face get so red. Gary thought he might pop a vein. They put their all into this song and were rewarded with grand applause lasting longer than
norm. I'm surprised there was no standing ovation.

Donna came on stage in her purple dress with the hip sash closed with a rhinestone clasp with coordinated with her necklace and bracelet. She joined the Tenors in another sacred song, Pie Jesu from Requiem.

Donna then sang a solo, Puccini's O Mio Babbino Caro. AS we have said before, this young lady has become better with maturity and she was darned good three years ago.

Next there were five flirty individuals on stage during Libiamo.

The first a capella of the evening was the popular American Shennedoah. The a capella songs were my father's favorites. The stillness of the theater and the clarity of performance resonated properly in his partially deaf ears. He said he could hear and understand every word.

The final song of the first set was Remember Me with the usual introduction. I must say that Colm played this to perfection.

The second set started with So Strong and then Bring Him Home. Both of these are favorites of mine, but next was Ten Thousand Tears, which is my absolute most favorite. Donna came out in her ecru/gold satin and lace dress. James held and kissed her hand during the song. These being my favorites, I could gush but won't because you all know how wonderful the Tenors perform these pieces. I wonder if this is when all the bruising took place on my fingers?

Daryl had sneezed during TTT and apologized saying he must be allergic to this song as it had happened before and only during TTT. What do you all think? He then chatted with Donna about her new album and introduced the song she was about to perfor, Summertime from Porgy and Bess by Gershwin. By the way it is on her debut album Prima. It is a must buy!

The Tenors came back on stage and laid their microphones down to sing Danny Boy. Matthew said the acoustics were so good that it just seemed like the right thing to do.

Next was a song dedicated to Emily and she was told not to think anything negative. The song was The Mad Lady and Me. It is a lilting, catchy tune and much better in person than on the radio interview. It was followed by, An Poc Ar Buile with Colm taking a rest.

Saturday was not only my Dad's birthday but Daryl's Mom's also. He talked about traveling and how one misses home and how they can have a little piece of it whenever they sing Caledonia. Daryl dedicated this lovely favorite to his Mom.

When Whiskey in a Jar was announced they told the audience that they could come back that evening for a double dose and why not since they had to be there. They got a chuckle. After the first round of clapping Matthew stopped the singing and asked for a do over. He thought the audience could do a better job. I thought they had done rather well. After this fun song they introduced their many faceted road manager Matt. Matt shouted from the soundboard that he was also selling the CD's tonight.

The last song announced was All Out of Love. Each of the three lads had a red rose. James gave his to my Mom and this time she couldn't hold back a tear. There was a well deserved standing ovation, many bows and finally the question, "One more?"

The accommodating Tenors started singing A Time To Say Goodbye. Donna then appeared in her red gown with matching shawl to sing with them. All five musicians took several more bows during enthusiastic clapping before leaving the stage and tidying up for the meet and greet.

I want to agree with Lord Harding's comments concerning Colm's talent. I just want to add that he never overplayed nor underplayed and was the perfect accompanist. I was always aware of him but he allowed the voices to ring true.

About The Celtic Tenorstheir onstage demeanor and their warm interaction with the audience make them very accessible performers. Not only were we pleasantly awarded front row seats, but the Tenors made sure we were treated to one of the best concerts we have attended. The afternoon performance had a few empty seats having about three quarters of the 500 seat theater filled but those who did attend more than made up for those absent with audience clapping, volume and enthusiasm.

We did talk to the house manager and were informed that the evening performance was nearly a sell out.

I also want to thank these wonderful young men for making my parent's day so much more special. We love you guys!!!