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2008-05-06 Washington NC

reviewed by Robin

 
Now, as most anyone who knows me can attest, a Celtic Tenors concert is always cause for celebration in my book. In fact, Ive become such an enthusiast over time that I half expect the restraining order to come through any day now! All kidding aside, however, the most recent concert I attended (Washington, NC on May 6, 2008) was certainly all Id come to expect from an evening with the Celtic Tenors&and then some.

First, let me say, that while I am quite familiar with the caliber of performers were talking about here, and never doubted them for a minute, I know the grueling schedule the last leg of the US tour demands of them. With exhausting back-to-back cross-country trips on either side of this particular show, I certainly could not have blamed the guys and Donna for appearing&lets say...less than fresh...Tuesday evening. But their practically super-human strength, stamina, and professionalism astound me yet again. From the first moment they bounded onto the stage (or glided gracefully, in Donnas case), they were as vibrant as had they just returned from a four month vacation in paradise.

I, as usual, didnt keep up with the actual song list, and was a little too distracted after the show to attempt a snatch-and-grab of one of the set lists on stage. Based on earlier reviews from this tour, I dont think much has really changed in the way of the song list, though. My mother had read that The Holy City had been included in several recent concerts and was praying that it would be included on this night&she was NOT disappointed! I wasnt really familiar with that song before tonight, but let me tell you&Im a big fan of it now! Absolutely awe-inspiring. And then there was the new addition that I myself had been anxiously awaiting&Bring Him Home. Wow. Thats all I can say. Wow.

One of the (many) shining moments for me came as the house lights came up at intermission. One of the ladies who was with me, a close friend of my family, had never seen the guys perform before. She has, however, attended several other concerts in this particular community series with us this year. Some of them were barely the quality of a poorly-performed middle school musical. Im not sure exactly what she expected for her first Tenor experience, even though Id been promoting them for months. As soon as the last notes of an impeccably delivered Remember Me faded and the house lights came on at the break, she turned to me and said, Oh my, you were right. Thats all she had to say aloud, because the utterly enthralled look on her face said a gracious plenty. Shes now as spellbound by our boys as we all are!

The second half was just as engaging&complete, of course, with the story of the mad goat. I do so love that goat! I fell in love with the statue of King Puck on my trip through Killorglin a couple of years ago, and hearing that song brings the whole journey back to me every single time. And, while Ive never been able to count myself a huge fan of Air Supply, I have to admit that the CTs version of All Out of Love is one that gets me every single time, as well. While You Raise Me Up makes my heart beat really fast, Daryl hitting those last few high notes at the end of All Out of Love makes it stop altogether.

A few other highlights from the show&
--Nella Fantasia was dedicated to our little group and another group of fans that had traveled all the way from Florida&at least an 8 to 10 hour drive!
--Colm Henry was every bit as talented and charming as had been reported in earlier reviews. There were a few times that I found myself just staring at him in wonder as he played.
--Ive come to the conclusion that it should be against some law of nature or something for any human being to be as beautiful, talented, and delightfully friendly as Donna Malone!

In all seriousness, though, it was truly a magnificent evening all around. It was a pleasure to see James, Daryl, and Matthew again, and equally as lovely to meet Colm and Donna for the first time.

With everything that the Celtic Tenors have given me in the past, it was a special honor for me to present to James the proceeds of a special mission project that the members of my church have been working on since January of this year. We decided back in December to adopt his Kenya trip this June as our big first-quarter project of 2008, and the enthusiasm from our small congregation was much more than I could have ever imagined. After filling James in on our preliminary plans earlier in the year, Ive kept the rest of the project hush-hush, in hopes of seeing on his face the precise look which he delivered tonight. Please forgive me, James, for being so sneaky, but the moment of unveiling is a priceless memory that I will cherish always!