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June 2019
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2009-02-15 Dunedin, Florida

reviewed by Susan

I'll TRY to keep this review brief. (I just finished it, and it's not brief. So grab a cup of tea before you begin. I suggest Red Rose.)

I don't know if I mentioned yesterday that I live just ten miles from Dunedin, so it was easy to go two days in a row.

I didn't play the new CD until I was driving to Tampa the next day to pick up my friend Marilyn for the second concert, and I thought to myself, "wow, this is GOOD!" After a while I had the music turned up so loud that I couldn't hear the GPS system in my car announcing turns and I got a little lost. Did that make me turn
down the music. NO.

Marilyn's husband commented that he couldn't understand why someone would want to see the same concert two days in a row. I agree with Robin's thoughts on the matter. Also, at the first concert I was busy taking notes, and this time I was going to sit back and enjoy it all. If it had been the same concert word for word, song for song I would have been happy, but it wasn't.

I mentioned to Marilyn that the tenors were going to sing at the 5:00 Mass, and she asked, "want to go?" I had never thought of it, but that's what we did. They did Panis Angelicus, and as we left the church I head many comments on the beauty of their performance.

We got to the pre-concert cocktail room before everyone else, but the staff let us in to wait. Father Gary, the youngish priest, walked in, and I greeted him. Marilyn said, "I almost fell asleep during Mass." I was scandalized and said, "Marilyn!" Then I turned to Fr. Gary and said, "She didn't mean it! He looked amused but
said sternly, "That's ten years in purgatory for you!"

With our VIP tickets we got seats in the first row, this time a little closer to the center. We were told from the stage that there were to be no flash photos and no recording devices. When Colm came out I tried to take a photo with no flash, and as a result he looks like an amber ghost. James knew that I was coming to the second show. After a very short while I saw his eyebrows go up in recognition. During one song he actually looked at me and sang a few lines. I was flustered and don't even remember the song. Something about faces maybe? Pale faces? To me it was better than a rose. By the way, they gave out two each this time. Once again James knelt before two ladies in the front row, Matthew went off to the right and Daryl went off to the left.

James was still wiping his brow and upper lip occasionally, but I guess he got used to the Florida heat. Or maybe that frequently-visited water bottle supply at the back of the stage helped.

I didn't take notes, but I did notice that they left out AVE MARIA, CALEDONIA and AN COLEEN RUA (or however it's spelled). The ones they added that I can remember are IRELAND'S CALL, a Seth Groban one which I think was YOU RAISE ME UP, NELLA FANTASIA and the MAD PUCK GOAT (I can't remember the title). They had different quips for these songs, which I won't reveal.

Happily for me, both Daryl and James again accompanied themselves on the piano to, respectively, CARRICKFERGUS and COME WHAT MAY. I don't know what it is about that second song, but I just want to close my eyes when I hear it.

There were again a large number of Canadians in the audience, and Daryl's quip about Matt's hometown of Fargo, North Dakota got as big a laugh from them as it had the night before.

At intermission Father Gary came out again as he had the night before to say that the tenors had left and he was going to perform for the second part. This time, however, he started by saying, "We'll begin with, `God Save the Queen.'"

When they sang SHENANDOAH they were standing at the front of the stage with their toes hanging over the edge. Because they were so close I tried once more to take a photo with the "use available light" setting, but it was worse than Colm's photo.

They again sang the Bob Dylan YOU AIN'T GOING NOWHERE, which has a lot of catchy whistling. The audience tried to whistle along, but our whistlers were too dry.

The show ended and they walked off to our standing ovation. Matthew asked if we wanted one more song. It was NESSUN DORME. They rehearsed us in our part, the "ah ah AH ah ah AHH ah ah," and James made a quip about what we should picture in our minds to get the right sound. I thought it was hilarious and let out a loud snort in a most unladylike fashion. Once again we started with the "ah ah AH ah ah AHH ah ah," and suddenly James looked at me and said, "Susan, I know you don't like to be singled out, but you know this one, help us." My immediate reaction was putting my hand over my brow and slinking down in the seat, but I recovered in a moment.

Another standing ovation from us, and the concert was over.

In the lobby I practiced with the camera, setting it for night photo and flash, Then I noticed that the battery icon was flashing. Oh, great! I still can't remember whose shoes I accidentally photographed. Next year when they swing by West Central Florida I'll be ready with a cheap camera that doesn't have all of those settings.

Marilyn told James that she was disappointed that they hadn't sung her favorite, "Caledonia." Now that I've heard LAY DOWN SALLY, I'm disappointed they didn't sing that one. I especially love that low breathy voice part.