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2011-03-26 Aurora, IL

reviewed by Linda & Gary

 
Wonderful, Merveilleux, Wunderbar, Maraviglioso!!! What a high note to leave from the North American tour. The Paramount audience was so receptive and the theater is to die for. The 1920's building seats 1700 and 1100 seats were filled on a Sunday afternoon performance. The walls of gold shimmered under the soft lighting. It appeared to be gold foil paper but when touched you knew it was paint. It couldn't possibly have been gold leaf because who could afford that?

The lights dimmed and we sat for a minute wondering what was happening. A stagehand came out and took the microphone from the tallest stand. All of a sudden a booming female voice welcomed us, issues the usual regulations regarding cell phones and photography and announced The Celtic Tenors. Stage black-their forms barely visible as they enter- the egg shaker and light on Matthew as he starts to sing; next James, then Daryl and finally stage lights on as we listen to "I'll Tell Me Ma".

James sets forward and speaks in Gaelic, something about Saint Patrick's Day and apologizes because it is a few days past-laughter. The usual shortened introductions. When James introduces Colm he mentions his Illinois debut and his disgustingly young age-applause. A very red Colm smiles; red you say, ask Mr. Rogan about Florida sun at the beach even if it is only for one hour. My next gift will be a tube of sun block. Sorry Colm, I just had to spill the beans.

James then gave the sad circumstance of the next song "The Fields of Athenry". Colm was superb on this piece as he is on all. I don't think I'll ever tire of the lads singing this song. It is hauntingly beautiful.

Matthew tells the story of "the creature" and Irish wakes, especially Finnegan's and how it was the ladies who started the fighting. James piped up that the Irish never drink and drive and that fighting is very rare, you can imagine the audience reaction. Daryl commented about watching Desperate Housewives then Matthew stating that women never start fights. I believe there was a lot of laughter both on and off stage. James then asked the audience if they really needed to hear the song. "Finnegan's Wak" with all the shenanigans was performed. I don't know who has the most fun with this song, the audience or the performers.

Without introduction the trio sang their a cappella version of "She Moved Through the Fair". Those of you who have not heard it yet are in for a real treat.

Daryl picked up his guitar as Matthew introduced a new Scottish song translating to cross the waves, go home. For the first time we heard "Westering Home". Oh Boy! Oh Boy! Oh Boy! Wait till you hear this one? It's a keeper!

Westering home and a song in the air
Light
in the eye and its good by to care
Laughter o love and a welcoming there
Isle of my heart my own land

Tell me a tale of the Orient gay
Tell me of riches that come from Cathay
Ah but it's grand to be waken at day
And
find oneself nearer to Islay

And it's westering home with a song in the air
Light
of me eye and it's goodbye to care
Laughter and love are a welcoming there
Pride of my heart my own love

Where are the folks like the folks of the west
Canty and couthy and kindly, our best
There I would hie me and there I would rest
At home with my own folks in Islay

And it's westering home with a song in the air
Light
of me eye and it's goodbye to care
Laughter and love are a welcoming there
Pride of my heart my own love

Now I'm at home and at home I do lay
Dreaming of riches that come from Cathay
I'll hop a good ship and be on my way
And
bring back my fortune to Islay

And it's westering home with a song in the air
Light
of me eye and it's goodbye to care
Laughter and love are a welcoming there
Pride of my heart my own love announced that we would be moving on to an Italian song. Somehow the audience was asked if there were any Irishman married to Italians and the line "and how do you get along with your mother-in-law?"-Much laughter. Anyway he proceeds to tell the Sarah Brightman story and her persistence to have words put to "Gabriel's Oboe". Someone commented that the composer gave in when he saw Sarah in person with her scary permanent waved hair. Of course a jab was pointed at Matthew who has let his hair go a tad longish. All the gags have been pulled out tonight and they worked! The prayer for peace, "Nella Fantasia" was now introduced to the audience with their expected participation. Following immediately with out introduction was "Finiculi Finicula".

All but Daryl left the stage and his comment was "I thought they'd never leave" and then admitted that they were all a bunch of practical jokers. He went to sit down on the piano bench and it must have been softer than he anticipated, he got a surprised look on his face and said, "Thought I was on the Titanic"! He dedicated the Belfast born Van Morrison song "Browned Eye Girl" to all the ladies. Daryl is an excellent pianist. This was a nice change of pace for Daryl. (By the way, Gary hummed along and rocked to and fro against my shoulder). I bet you could never guess I have brown eyes.

Matthew came out to introduce one of the North American songs from the CD. He said that a lot of their time was spent over here and that his children thought Daddy lived on a bus in North America. We then heard "Hard Times" which is one of my favorites (but then I have soooo many!) At eh end of the song James said that this concert was a fundraiser for their government-laughter.

Next Matthew told the story of playing around with different versions of a rock song and how after much Tequila the Eric Clapton song was slowed down and the words are really heard. He explained it is the story of a man who has had a "bit of the creature". Each tenor is assigned a stage of drunkenness. Daryl on guitar starts, followed by Matthew and the sot James (in rare form) guardedly walks down the stairs and approaches and unsuspecting woman in the audience. It so happens that a young lady behind us has an empty chair next to her. You guessed it-a target. He walks up to her and says "How you doing?" He sings to her and very purposefully maneuvers the five stairs back on stage. As they sing he continues to look at her and makes additional comments; "That's you baby", "Looking good this evening" and "Who's your Daddy?" As the song is coming to a close he turns his back on her and sways and as the song ends her turns around and winks at her. This is a must act to see, he portrays inebriation to the nth degree. After the applause he comments that they are all really clean living Irish boys. Someone laughs and he said, " That wasn't a joke lady".

"Danny Boy" was sung and ended with extra applause. James talked about all servicemen and women and the people of Japan and dedicated the final song of the first act to them- "A Time to Remember".

At intermission Gary went to the gift job and found a "Hard Times" CD for our friends. I believe all of their CD's were available this evening.

A voice announced the musical director Colm Rogan and the second half commenced. The Tenors bounced out to "Spanish Lady/Marie's Wedding" displayed they dancing expertise (??). I believe at one point James feet were crossed and almost stuck?-it was planned right my friend? Daryl slid backwards with his Moon Walk and encouraged the audience for applause to the dismay of the others. With the song over Daryl looked at James and said, "Michael Flatley is shaking in his boots". To which James replied, "I was short listed for Dancing With the Stars, but sadly Bristol Palin won.

A change of pace-Daryl talks of lost love and introduces "Dimming of the Day". I found myself still, letting the beauty of the song fill me up.

James announced that their newest album would be released in August under the Telarc/Concord label. He then told the Regina Airport/Canadian National News story of the freak October blizzard. Of course we were blessed with the performance of "You Ain't Going' Nowhere". At the conclusion, Daryl leaned over with his guitar strumming fast and furiously, hopping up and holding the instrument in the air. Of course he received a lot of applause and James said, "Please don't encourage him".

James headed for the piano as the others left the stage. James dedicated his solo, "Come What May" to all the fans here this evening and especially to the Tully's who have celebrated a huge anniversary recently.

Matthew talked about Jimmy McCarthy and his weird but interesting music. James broke in saying that Jimmy reminded him of a leprechaun in leather trousers. After some laughter Matthew said' "He's not a very tall man". We were treated to "The Mad Lady and Me" including a sneeze from Daryl and blessings from the others.

Matthew and Colm stayed on stage. Matthew talked about how to make a marriage work and how blessed he was. He also mentioned his children the 8, 4 and 2 year olds. Gary and I again got to hear "You'll Never Be the Sun". It is more beautiful the second time. I caught myself holding my breath not wanting to miss one note, word or nuance. WOW is the only thing I can say.
Daryl and James came back and "Phil the Fluter's Ball" was sung without introduction. At the end James held a note for a long time as he looked at his watch. I guess he was trying to get as much attention as Daryl solicited. He did get his applause. He then promised no more dancing.

Daryl commented that they travel 7-8 months of the year and they like to sing about home. Well in true Irish fashion they decided to sing and American song of home. We then experienced "Feels Like Home" which ended with double extra applause.

Daryl complimented the very good acoustics of this vaudeville theater so the next song would be sung without microphones. James mentioned that this song was very important to Shannon. We heard "Shenandoah". Once again long applause.

Oh, the announcement of the last official song, with a hint of you might be able to twist our arms. Also a plug for the variety of CD's available for sale and Daryl teasing about taking a tenor home. Peter was complimented on his fine sound mixing. Daryl hinted that he could use a ride to O'Hare tomorrow. Now just fun bantering before "Nesum Dorma" and the Italian word ah was introduced. They did ask if there were any Canadians in the crowd and if there were they would sing heh. Don't' kill the messenger! After the audience practice James look down and said, "There is no need to raise your shoulders so high when you breathe". A typical and well-deserved standing ovation was forthcoming.

Last but not least the rose producing "All Out of Love". Each of the guys went into the audience. James went for the young lady he had teased with "Lady Down Sally' and was very surprised to see her seat empty. She was standing in the alcove answering a phone call. She was urged by audience members to sit back down. James gave her the rose but didn't linger. He said he was apologizing for being so slimy earlier.

There was a long line at the meet and greet and several CD's sold. The fan club members hung around and chatted until we were all asked to leave. All but the Tully's went to Ballydoyles Irish Pub for dinner and fun. Diane we are so happy you were able to make it and pray you will be feeling better soon.

To our surprise the owner had asked the lads to join him there. They were asked to sing "Danny Boy" and afterwards a lady from the marketing department of the Chicago Bulls asked Matthew if they sang professionally. The guys took turns popping out of the private party to come chat with us. We had a lovely meal and a drink. I will admit that the "creature" was flowing in the private party. I tried my best to trick James into revealing his solo on the album but to no avail, in fact none of us could break the guys down. So what we have already guessed is what we know, but we do know that in August we are going to be very pleased.

I can't tell you how special it is to spend time with other fan club members. We bond that will endure for ages and the more we get to know each other the closer we become. Thanks to the O'Donnell sisters for panning our after concert evening. You picked the perfect place!

Hugs to all,

Linda (disclaimer-I'm very tired, ignore any mistakes). We arrived home in time for lunch with 13 family members and then at 4:30 went to Griffin's 3rd birthday party with about 30 or so.