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Author Topic: Valentines Day  (Read 988 times)
dbbii
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« on: February 15, 2012, 02:17PM »

My wonderful wife not only got tickets to last nights show in Tampa, she got M&G tickets!

This is kind of a tough review to write.  I am not as eloquent as others; I am just as passionate.  While I’m sure most of us would be happy to listen to any of the girls just read, say the instructions for assembling an IKEA bookcase, this was supposed to be a “professional” concert.  I know it is maybe the 10th show of the tour, but there were some issues that I would not have expected.

Please note that, in spite of the comments herein, I loved the show.  I’m going to at least 5 more on the tour.

This Valentine’s Day show was at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center.  OK, it has been renamed after somebody, but I don’t remember (or care).  This is a true performing arts center; very nice venue, acoustically great, about 3,000 seats.  I would guess about 85% full.  Back rows of each level (4 total) were empty.

This is a predominately older crowd.  My PBS seats were in row 6.  I think the only way you can get close in the Tampa area is to be some kind of a premium member of the various facilities.  With the exception of the Lakeland (Florida) opening night last year, I have not had what I consider to be “great” seats from PBS. 

The stage looked very crowded.  The venue hosts Broadway tours, orchestra, etc., so I don’t think it’s as small as it looked.  As in a lot of PACs, the stage can be extended at the cost of some rows of seats.  Maybe they should have taken advantage of this.  The 3 sets of stairs seemed to take up a lot of room.  I kept waiting for someone to trip on one of the lights sitting on the stairs.  There is a lot of back-and-forth movement on the stage; everyone looked cautious.

This was my first show of the tour.  I agree with others that Susan has a very powerful voice.  She seemed comfortable on stage and really hit a couple of songs.  I’m becoming a big fan of her in Follow On.

Mairead.  What can you say that has not already been said?  How can someone put so much energy in a show every night, even when, as was the case here, the audience is not giving her a lot of feedback.  That’s something I have noticed more and more – audiences are sitting back and listening.  They are not expecting interaction with the performers.

My biggest disappointment was with the sound and lighting.  As I said earlier, this is a true performing arts facility.  Loud may be the answer in an arena, but not here.  While I won’t say the sound was distorted, it was almost there.  When you can clearly hear someone taking a breath, there’s a problem.   Turn it down.  This is not a rock concert.

The mix was way off.  Especially in some of the group numbers, the sound did not blend.  I was sitting slightly to the left side. I could easily pick up left side sounds – not so much right side. 

I thought whoever did the lighting on SFTH was a genius.  The Believe lighting must have been done, and operated, by a first year apprentice.  The moving lights seemed to spend more time shining out onto the audience that trying to accent the show.  There were several times the girls started singing without a light on them.  The staging seemed to come as a surprise to the operators.

Some other little quirks.  After Chloe taught us Green Grow the Rushes, she said something like I think this is the best audience choir so far.  It will be interesting to see what she says on Friday night in Orlando.

During the first half, Anthony was dressed in a jacket, coat and tie, not his traditional kilt.  I also noticed that the rest of the band (drummers excluded) was also dressed the same way.  I don’t remember this from previous shows.

I always loved LL’s intro to Dulaman.  It was entertaining, especially for those people who had never seen the show before.  Sorry to see it go.  She still nails this and Spaceman.  They just seem to fit her and her personality.

I really miss Galway Bay and When You Believe.  Those songs just seemed to fit Chloe. 

YRMU was always the song I associated with CW.  I’m sorry it’s gone.  You’ll Never Walk Alone has some memories for me.  Back in high school, our choir used it as our senior song at the last concert.  By the end of the song, you only heard the guys singing since all the girls were crying.  Somewhere I may even have a cassette tape of this (Anyone remember them?).  Going back to sound, cut back on the “enhanced” choir!!

The Meet and Greet was Chloe and Mairead!!!  This was something that the PBS station did pretty well.  They took us up to the 3rd level lobby where they had coffee/drinks and cookies out for us while we were waiting.  The girls were seated at a table (still wearing their 2nd half dresses) down the hall slightly, so there wasn’t a mad rush or crowd.  I think I was the only one there (maybe 25) who had ever been to a M&G.  Both Chloe and Mairead recognized me (or put on a good act!!) and seemed to appreciate seeing a familiar face.  I wish/hope that they know how much joy they bring into people’s lives.

1 down. 5 more to go.
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MikeyK
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Posts: 3,119


Proud Chloëver


« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2012, 10:30PM »

Sorry to hear you had a rough show, dbbii, but hopefully they'll have worked out those issues for your remaining ones, and I'm to hear you enjoyed it, nonetheless. Thanks for sharing. Smiley
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