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June 2019
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2009-12-10 Easton, USA

reviewed by Robin

Sorry for the delay....the days since the concert have been very busy ones, and I'm still a little (ok, a LOT) short on sleep! So please don't expect a brilliant, John-Harding-style appraisal, but here's my two cents worth regarding the December 10, 2009 concert at the Avalon Theatre in Easton, Maryland!

We arrived in Easton mid-afternoon on Thursday, and after getting checked in at our hotel and exploring the area a bit, we decided to grab an early dinner in the pub beside the theatre (both of which were directly across the street from the hotel!). After dinner, we discovered that the pub actually opened into the lobby of the theatre, and we could hear piano music drifting into the lobby. Being the nosy person I am, haha, I snuck a peek into the auditorium, and found Daryl and Matt Svobodny doing a sound check. (I'm sure the others were there, too, but I didn't open the door far enough to see them!) I love hearing/seeing Daryl on piano, so I couldn't help but watch through the door for a few moments, but I knew they were busy, so I (somehow) tore myself away! Besides, we had to hurry back to the hotel to get ready for the concert.

The theatre was quite pretty, though very small. I dont know how many people the balcony area would hold, but Id guess the main floor seated no more than 125 people or so, if that many! We had four seats in the center of the front row, and I quickly realized this would not be ideal. There was literally no more than 2 feet between the stage and the front of my seat. So I was already prepared for a sore neck before the show ever even started&and I wasnt disappointed in that respect. There was even one moment of fleeting terror as Daryl executed an exuberant high kick at the end of a song, and I can only be grateful for well-fitting shoes because if his shoe had flown off at that moment, Id be sporting a braced up broken nose right about now! Many thanks to the official cobbler of The Celtic Tenors, whoever he or she may be!

BUT there is a definite benefit to being that close: youre able to hear their actual voices rather than the amplified voices coming over the loud speakers. The speakers were mounted high up on the walls flanking the open stage area, meaning they were technically about even with my seat and therefore broadcasting behind me, which was GREAT! With voices as beautiful as the three in question, purity and simplicity are best! The odd angle we were sitting at, coupled with the decorative Poinsettias at the front of the stage, meant that I couldnt see Colm playing as clearly as I would have liked, though I did get caught trying several times! One of my favorite sayings is, Live for the moments you cant put into words. Colm sitting behind a piano is definitely one of those moments!

All of that ambiance aside, the concert itself was, in a word, FUN! It was very apparent that the guys were having a great time onstage&lots of good-natured ribbing and joking about. Much of their interaction onstage is such that even the most casual observer could see the genuine respect and friendship among them; knowing them as I do now means I recognize even more!

As I have pointed out in response to recent reviews, the song list was absolutely perfect! (Ill include it at the end, and must give thanks to James for helping me steal a copy from the stage afterwards!) I got to hear my Christmas favorites O Holy Night and When A Child is Born (all of the hint, hinting and nudge, nudging must have worked!), plus a couple of Christmas songs Id never heard but loved just the same! Many of my all time favorite CT songs were present, too&The Holy City, You Raise Me Up, Caledonia, and practically every other song on the list! I do regret my decision to not become familiar with Dimming of the Day before the show. I had never heard the song, and decided after hearing so many of you mention it that I would wait and hear the CT version before listening to others. So I wasnt prepared for the longing sadness of the lyrics, and Im afraid I didnt explain that well enough when asked if I liked the
song&I really DID like the song (a lot, in fact), I just wasnt prepared like I wish I had been. Very emotional, and I was quite caught off-guard.

Overall, this is one of the best CT concerts Ive been to, though I say that every time, and Ive been to a LOT of them at this point! It was so laid back and relaxed, and the set list was a perfect mix of holiday hits, CT standards, and Irish favorites. I cant possibly say thanks enough to James, Matthew, Daryl, and Colm for a GREAT evening!

Hugs to all!

As promised, the set list: (Thanks again to James!)

Ill Tell Me Ma
You Raise Me Up
O Holy Night
Night (English/Irish/German)
The Holy City
Spanish Lady
Lay Down Sally
Hard Times
Remember Me
When a Child Is Born
Mille Cherubini
Funiculi Funicula
Dimming of the Day
Aint Goin Nowhere
Wanted Man
Whiskey in the Jar
Nessun Dorma

Encore: Time To Say Goodbye and Adeste Fideles