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2008-08-14 Lakeside OH, USA

reviewed by Mary

 
A few things to keep in mind when striving to impress people:

- The phase you want is, "I was too shy to talk to you last time," not, "I was to talk to shy of you....I was too shock to tie ..."

- It is good to bring along a friend to translate for you.

- It is not necessary to shriek with laughter at someone doing an impression of a seal. Even stifled shrieks are perhaps not as, erm,  refined ... as one might wish.

- If you tend to be hyper-critical, and generally don't start actually liking a song until you've heard it at least three times, spend some time after the concert and before talking to the performers thinking up things to say when they ask you if you liked the new material. Particularly if one of the performers is a person who won't accept a side-step to the question such as "we really enjoyed the concert."

That said, I had a great time at the concert last Thursday in Lakeside, OH. Once again, the CT concert-going experience included my friend Tiffany from MI. Lakeside ended up being a lovely, equidistant point for us to meet, and had the advantage of being a convenient launching point for kayaking in Lake Erie the next day. (No drowning occurred. Yeay!)

Favorite bits of the concert/meet & greet:

- Daryl barking like a seal and clapping his hands, glint in his eye. See, Daryl was instructing the audience in the claps for Whiskey in the Jar. "Clap clap clap clap! Clap clap!" I heard James say something which sounded like "seal", at which I, erm, seem to have cackled somewhat maniacally - I had a rather more interesting drive to the concert than I'd intended, and was more than a little punchy - and
choked out, "seal!" Daryl grinned and did a straightforward seal impression which I found....far funnier than I probably ought to have. Turns out - when he repeated it - that James had said "sea lion". Close enough.

- Same song, "In Cork or in Killarney..." Daryl usually speaks into the mic and says "Killarney!" This time he leaned over to James and said something which I think might have been "Omagh!"

- The courting song in Italian, which I never can remember the name of. They have so very much fun with this song, it's a joy to watch. It's playful, it's beautiful, they interact with each other comfortably and they totally throw themselves into the spirit of the song.

- All Out of Love: the usual walk off stage. The variation this time was that James and Daryl walked off stage. Matthew pretended to be a small child left behind, and walked towards the side of the stage with a shuffling step and a pitiful, woeful, abandoned look. When James came back out on stage, Matthew took him by the hand and led him - walking backwards, again with tiny steps - to the center of the stage. He looked entirely like a very wistful 5- or 6-year-old. Daryl, meanwhile, ran around the stage behind the curtain and came bursting out the back of stage right with a Lord Flasheart-esque "Yeay, it's me!" sort of pose. They were all hilarious.

- Seeing Daryl play guitar. He seemed to have fun with it, although he said that there had been issues with the guitar needing some repair, causing it to go out of tune. I hope he was able to find someone at Milwaukee to fix it! Speaking of which - I'm downright jealous of the folks at Milwaukee who got to see Matthew play flute, and the concert about half a year ago with Daryl & James playing piano.

- I ended up throwing myself into particular lines of harmony during parts of the concert, and enjoying the intricacies. It's bad in a way, because when I do that I miss the song itself, but it was fascinating to trace the individual strands that twine together to make up the CT sound.

- Colm pretending to get up when they said they were going to do a piece arranged for four voices (before the first introduction of Donna). He's very good at physical comedy. The angle of the body was just right for, "Well, I guess it's up to me, then," followed by the crushing disappointment of not being wanted to sing.

- Watching Matthew people-handling. Want to learn how always to have the exact right thing to say? Study this man. You could have no better teacher.

- Offering to tuck money in James' waistband. It made sense in context. No, really. However, I dare you to try to identify who said each of the following lines: "I don't think it's that kind of show." "Well, you never know."

- Managing to talk to Daryl and not sounding (to my own ears) like either a freak or the dullest person in creation. I did mention that I visited Omagh while in Ireland; I forgot, however, to remember *why* I'd thought to bring it up, which was to get his take on my impression of the place. Omagh has a lot of quiet character (disregarding the incredibly disturbing barbershop statue), some cool historical buildings and history - but it seems the town so disregards this that they don't bother to play it up or show the town at its best. For example - the old governor's mansion from...was it the 1600s? Cool hexagonal building. Now privately owned by a packrat, and it looks like the town dump with rusting bits of machinery piled around it. My sense was that the entire town was a gem with no setting, lying forgotten by the side of the road.

Has anyone else been there? The person I was visiting in the area is semi-local (lives about 15 minutes south of town) and so had both the insider's "nothing much there" attitude combined with the stranger's lack of knowledge of the place. I'd love to hear other people's impressions.

And dang, but I need to make it back to Milwaukee one of these years. *Fun* stuff keeps happening there! I'd actually made arrangements to stay with friends up there this year, but then discovered it was the weekend of my parents' 50th wedding anniversary (and consequently, the celebratory party). Somehow, just didn't think I could get out of that one....