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June 2019
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2009-11-26 Winnipeg CAN

reviewed by Heather

I will attempt to do a review of the concert here yesterday
Winnipeg at the McPhillips Street Station Casino.
However I know that it will pale in comparison to that of our Very Own John Harding's reviews of the past, however I will do my best.

Winnipeg Manitoba is known world wide as one of the coldest snowiest cities in Canada and it has the nick name of 'Winterpeg'. However this year proved to be otherwise as we have only had one good dusting
of snow and that was at the end of October and it melted right away. Because of what is called 'El Nino' we are favoured this year by the weather gods for above normal temperatures for this time of year.

Normally we would have about a foot of snow on the ground and had at least 2 blizzards but this year it is different.
And the one good thing about blizzards is that they blow in and blow out equally as fast...almost as fast as the Celtic Tenors who were in town less than a day. Daryl commented from the stage that it took them about 25 hours to get here.
Now I don't know if that is true or not because that would have had to have been one heck of a lay-over or re-routing of their flight from Ireland, but it was sure good to see them again.
Even if I only see them every couple of years or so...they put on one heck of a fantastic 'Holiday Show'. I know it doesn't look like Christmas just yet, but trust me, it is on the way...and while there is no snow on the ground just yet there is definitely a nip in the air! And the the tunes of the season seemed to get everyone in that Christmas frame of mind last night.

I had been looking forward to this day for almost 10 years now.
A decade as James said from the stage. (wow am I that old I thought??)
It has been almost 10 years from the very first time that I had seen the guys on their very first PBS Special from Europe.

Yesterday started out with a frantic call from my Aunt Kathleen who had called to say that she had taken ill and would have to cancel out on going to the show with me that evening. While I was disappointed that she could not make it I knew that she had to be ill if she turned down an opportunity to see the guys again and at her age (almost 85) we didn't want to take any chances of her getting any sicker than she already was.

The concert was held at one of our two main casino's here in town.
The McPhillips Street Station Casino. (the other being the Club Regent Casino) The outside of the Casino is done up to look like
an old turn of the Century Railway Station, complete with a locomotive in front.
I have posted a pic of the Casino in the North American Concerts folder 2009. The set up of the stage for the concerts at the casino
is really quite strange because it is actually part of the Keno tables at the Casino and for any concert they pull a curtain across
the stage also another curtain at the back of the tables. There were
4 rows of tables and each table held about 8 seats. Total capacity for the casino bowl held about 425 seats in all.

The hall was quite full so I imagine that they got pretty close to selling all of them. I was quite pleased and as I looked around everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves.
I had been promoting this concert to my friends both at work and at home and to my chiro/dentist etc for weeks and even having paid a visit to the Irish Club here in town, I had made up flyers and had
left them just about everywhere I could think of.

Before I forget, I must tell you that I met Matt Sobodny's (the guys tour manager) parents and grandmother who had come up from Fargo North Dakota just to see their son and the guys perform. They are lovely people and I was amazed when I found out that Matt's grandmother was 90 years young. She looked amazing!! I could tell that Matt's parents were quite proud of their son.
Matt also manages a group you might know...'Manhattan Transfer'.

The show started promply at 8pm last night and I completely missed the intro to the guys coming out on stage because I had been waiting
for my friend Joan to arrive with her friend Bev. But I managed to sneak into my seat around 8:05 and as it turned out they didn't arrive
anyway until almost 8:30pm!! But that is Joan, I have known her for
over 35 plus years and I have never known her to be early for anything.

I have posted the set list that the boys sang last night and I have
to say that they did dedicate more than one song of the evening to
Veronika and to Matt's grandmother (on his dads side I believe) who had recently passed away. I know that both ladies would have been smiling down at them last night. I have never met Veronika in person
however I have been e-mail pals with her for quite a few years.
Some people you don't need to meet in person to know them. She was one of those people. She adored the Celtic Tenors and the fan club and every Christmas would take delight in doing something 'Artistically' for them to surprise them at one of their concerts. I know that I will miss her a great deal and even though it hasn't really sunken in that she is gone I know that she must have put up one heck of a battle to live. She must have been really needed elsewhere to be taken away on what would have been her 60th Birthday. You could almost feel that she was smiing down at the guys last night...

Before I forget, I must also tell you that at the casino there is a Marble Hall with a 'Ginormous' as James likes to call them...Christmas Tree. To the right of the tree they had set up an Autograph table and behind that was a Grand Piano. The Casino had put up ropes so that the crowd would file past the guys and not crowd them all at once. Every so often I would see one or two of the guys heads pop up and wave. I wish that I was one of those people would took tons of pics but I'm not and I take a terrible picture. That is why I bring friends with me...besides, any pic that I would have taken last night would have been quite shaky and for some reason...(hmm I wonder why?!) I was nervous as hell. And when I get nervous my mouth goes all dry and I have trouble smiling and even talking, sometimes my lips seem to stick to my teeth, that is one problem about having a couple of bonded teeth they dry out when you are nervous for some reason. Note to time you are at the dentist see about veneers...LOL. There is something to be said about seeing your idols in your home town. You want things to be perfect. Oh well...

I must say that the guys looked well and that it was a pleasure seeing them all again and that this was the very first time that
I had met Colm, who is very tall and good looking and a super nice guy and one terrific piano player!!

I'll tell me Ma
You raise me up
Finnegan's Wake- Matthew gave a short intro into the song and James piped up that they didn't have to sing it now since he already gave the whole song away. LOL
Four Strong Winds
Hard Times
Holy Night
was lovely!
Silent Night- sung in English/Gaelic/German and dedicated to Veronika.
The Holy City
Dimming of the day- a beautiful song, first time I had heard it.
You ain't goin' nowhere
White Christmas -Audience participation
Adeste Fideles
Funiculi Funiculà
Caledonia- sigh...any Canadians'in the audience? yes Matthew,
Winnipeg is in Canada. (just kidding)
Whiskey in the Jar
Danny Boy
Remember Me-LOVE THIS SONG!!
Nessun Dorma - audience participation. Funny but my claps were always
just abit off for some two three, one two three, one two.
I'll have to practice that for the next time I see them.

ENCORE : Time to say goodbye...awww...don't go....
Irish Rover complete with Train Whistle. (how apropriate for being in a train station)

James,Matthew,Daryl,Colm, Thank you for coming to Winnipeg and making last night so very special for me. I felt like Cinderella after the ball.

Good Luck with the rest of the tour..