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Author Topic: Lil Lambe Shepherds her Sheep in Charlottesville  (Read 1381 times)
Honorary Roadie
Posts: 3,365

carry me...on the waves

« on: February 24, 2012, 02:59PM »

Lil Lambe Shepherds her Sheep in Charlottesville Va
John Paul Jones Arena  2/22/2012

   This was my first show of the 2012 BELIEVE! Tour. Like many fans when they experience their first show of a tour, I wondered what changes would be made and how it would differ from past live shows and the recorded DVD from Atlanta. Plus the group had one member missing. What would the new girl be like? Of course I  had read all the reviews on various forums.  Plus I read reviews from newspapers, thanks to dedicated forum friends who diligently find them then post very convenient and easy to find links on Facebook and the forums. So I sort of knew what to expect, but you still never actually know until you see  and hear for yourself. 
   It all started when MrPeabody made a post on one of the forums that he had tickets to sell and they were only $100, and that included meet & greet. That’s a GREAT deal. Can‘t pass that up! Charlottesville isn‘t THAT far from Pittsburgh, well at least not as the crow flies. Those big mountains in between are a bit of an obstacle though. What are the lyrics to that one song “Lord you don’t have to move that mountain, just help me find my way around it”? Or something to that effect. The trip down there did take a bit longer than I thought it might. But I think people more familiar with travel and trip planning would expect a longer trip than I anticipated.
   A couple of interesting things about the trip down there. As we were rolling along there on the one highway, something suddenly happened on the windshield. It happened very fast. Like “SMACK!“ Then we saw a black rubber windshield wiper blade sort of flapping around by the windshield wiper. We thought it somehow came lose. Then it seemed to fly off to the side, but I could see it still flapping on the passenger side near the mirror, though one end remained attached to the wiper itself. So I opened the window and reached out and grabbed it and pulled it in, hoping not to lose a hand in the process! It wasn’t from our vehicle though! It had flown off from another and stuck near the wiper of ours! Very interesting! Our wipers worked fine. Yes we did test them to make sure, and to see if the wiper blade on our car was still even there!.
   Then we passed a spot in Virginia with a road stop made so people can view the incredible view of a valley and mountains. Thinking back I wish we stopped to take some photos. Very picturesque.
   As we got close to the venue, we spotted a sign that said “Lamb Road.” I said “Take it!” But it wasn’t long until we came to a sign that said “Dead End”. A lesson learned here. Its great to follow your heart when it comes to Celtic Woman, but on the way to a show, its better to follow a map!
   So we arrive at the venue and parking is $15. A bit steep , but I guess the Univ. of Virginia figured they had us. Where else were we going to park? The spot was very convenient and close to the front door. We started looking for MrPeabody to get our tickets and quickly found him right by the main door. We chit-chatted with him a little and he provided us with Susan buttons. Now on the subject of buttons, I used to be really into them. Then I thought it started getting a bit overdone for me. Its fine if people enjoy them. But for me, I like the one from Atlanta that had all 4 ladies on it. Just one button and you support them all. You don’t need one of those girl scout sashes with dozens of buttons pinned there. But when I saw those Susan buttons, I thought “how pretty” You designers did a GREAT job on both of them, though you did have a lot to work with. Her looks are far from being chopped liver. Plus Susan isn’t on the Atlanta button, so I guess if you wish to support her, you need hers. But in the end the buttons slipped my mind as I started thinking about the show. A few others known to attend some shows also showed up. MrPeabody shook more hands this night than Obama or Romney. You would think he was running for office.
   We head in and I head to the merchandise table for a program. I did not see anyone selling them off to the side. Later I did spot the one guy walking through the seating area selling just them. I could have saved myself a  wait in line. I had to go down some steps to the second level, then enter there and walk down more steps to the floor. Some of the steps were metal and a bit small and shaky, and I thought of the Bryce Jordan Center at Penn State. That’s how the steps were there too. Then I started looking around and noticed a few other things that reminded me of that Penn State venue. The lighted advertisement boards circling around the place on the edge of the second level, flashing away promoting various upcoming shows, including Riverdance. The way the seats on the floor were set up. The way they had big black curtains partitioning off the unused sections of the arena. Just a LOT reminded me of Penn State.
   So I get down there on the floor and start walking to the front. An usher sort of stepped up and asked if he could help me. I said “Like Bob Uecker, I must be in the front ROOOOOOW!” He looked at me like “Yeah right, you’re an idiot!” though he didn’t actually say that. Then he read my seat location, his face expression changed, and he then said “HEY! You ARE in the front row!”. Hashanah So I got up there and I am front row  with Annie, MrPeabody, Rob, and a couple others. A couple other groupies were in seats behind us. They had steps set up dead center coming down from the stage, and the first row of seats were back a bit from the stage, providing a relatively large amount of room there. That turned out to be good, but that’s jumping ahead. The stage set up looked like Atlanta, though the decorations seemed to be a bit smaller and not as regal looking. Plus it was all smaller, I guess so they could adapt to smaller stage areas. The center steps up on stage, coming down from the ’arch’ to center stage, seemed to be steeper and narrower than Atlanta too. But  I am jumping ahead again.
   The show started with The Awakening, as one might expect. A small issue with the spotlights right off the bat. The first one came on Chloe at the correct time, but the other 2 seemed slightly delayed for Lil Lambe and Susan. But the rest of the song went well. I got my first look at Susan and thought that she looked slightly different from the pictures and from what I watched of her via YouTube. Perhaps the hairstyle, or the lighting, I don’t know. But that wasn’t a bad thing. She is a very beautiful and talented young lady.
   Second song was Dulaman. (I think, if I make a mistake on set list or song order, and I will, its because I didn’t take notes during the show, I waited until intermission and the end to quickly write a few down. I find it too tough to write in the dark and my writing is chicken scratch anyway, so it ends up illegible.) Lil Lambe was ON FIRE tonight! WOW! Not that the other ladies weren’t doing well, but it was just one of those nights when one of the performers LEAP out at you, (Lil Lambe Leap!) and just stand out. I am glad Dulaman is back. And on the topic of Lil Lambe, this is a great place to discuss TAR., also done first half.
   On TAR, Lil Lambe comes out from the left, on the floor section, and sings a bunch of la-la-la kind of stuff. She makes her way across the front, so people front row on the left get a very close and personal performance from her on this song. Chloe then la-la-las out from the right side, and people on that end get a great up close performance from her for a minute.  Its VERY cool and effective. Once again CW comes up with something great. Then Susan starts la-la-laing from up on top of the main steps by the arch as she walks down to center stage, then Lil Lambe and Chloe head on up the steps leading from the floor to center stage, were they all unite for the rest of the song. But when she was there at floor level, Lil Lambe seemed esp. interactive with a certain groupie. Maybe she is forgetting those sailors in Galway in favor of computer experts from Pennsylvania? I thought they might need to call paramedics to resuscitate him! But even beyond this song, Lil Lambe was very interactive with the crowd all night, esp. us ‘regulars’ in the front row. Annie got a lot of Lil Lambe Love all night. Also on TAR Lil Lambe sat down in either an empty front row seat or next to the person sitting in it (I couldn’t see, but someone told me a little kid was there) and sang. Some pretty cool quick thinking and interaction!
   Sadly, other than us groupies, or ‘regulars’ or whatever we should be called, the crowd was not very interactive with the performers. Mairead did 2 solos first half, She got some mild clapping on the first, but on the second the crowd seemed asleep. And I mean out cold. Like knocked out by Mike Tyson. Or as someone joked to me, like they were given valium. I spotted a lot of empty seats as well. Very sad from that perspective. By the way, Mairead was her usual self, as Star Trek’s Mr Spock might say “Pure Energy”. Its funny because in the past, I have seen some shows with dead crowds, but then Mairead comes on and sparks the fire. Almost like lightning striking dry kindle. But not in Charlottesville on Feb 22, 2012. And while on the subject of Mairead, she starts her spin time slow now, then accelerates until she hits light speed. Its tougher to count them. Maybe she is having some fun with people who try?
   The group did well with Danny Boy. Always a favorite to see in the show. They again use stools to sit on as they sing it, sort of like they did for the Christmas show. They ended the first half with Mo Ghile Mear. And that’s always fun to see their juiced up version with light s flashing. They didn’t do the shoulder wiggle and head turn  though as the drums ‘battled’. I could have sworn they did so in past shows. (or was that the jazzed up Orinoco Flow?)  But not a big deal. Still a great performance.

Home is behind, The world ahead, And there are many paths to tread, Through shadow, To the edge of night, Until the stars are all alight.
Honorary Roadie
Posts: 3,365

carry me...on the waves

« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2012, 03:01PM »

   First song after intermission starts with Anthony the bag piper leading off into Amazing Grace. He enters from the top of the steps in the seating area on the left, walks through part of the crowd on the left, and up the center steps from the floor to center stage. Just like in past shows. I am glad that’s back. Amazing Grace is always very well done and a big hit.
   And speaking of songs that always awe the crowd. Chloe once again aced Ave Maria. Its great how its done. The choir holding the candles, Chloe using a mic but its on a stand, the light fog in the background. The one guy sitting in back of me said “That was F’ing Awesome!” Not loud enough for many to hear, just those very close surrounding him. Although I am not the etiquette  police, I would have preferred more family oriented language used, but one can understand and  forgive such an excited utterance by someone awed by Chloe doing this song.
   On Never Walk Alone, they again had a very minor spot light issue at the start. All three vocalists were center stage, and it was dark, then one came on, then a second later another, then a second later a third, thus then having all 3 vocalists lit.  Sort of like someone flipping a switch, then another, then the third, all consecutively. Looked kind of odd.
   And on the topic of lights, on Green Grow, Chloe kidded and threatened that the lighting guy would shine a spotlight on anyone who didn’t sing along. Lisa K used that joke on the Christmas sing along of Green the Whole Year Round. Lil Lambe gave the crowd a big thumbs up after Green Grow, like good job, but she was just being polite. I didn’t think the crowd scored well on participation , but Lil Lambe is a better judge than I am.    I think this was also the song where Chloe mentioned her friend that goes to the Univ. of Virginia. So she was able to bond with the locals in that way .and attempted to win some added attention and energy. Chloe also mentioned something like “I need a man’s help now as she turned to the one musician to start the song, but she also added something that the song was more about ‘Girl Power”. Hmmmm Spice Girl ‘gurl poweh”? I thought if she ended up at the m&g I would ask her if she was a Spice Girl fan. If I recall they were at their height of popularity when Chloe was just a kid.
   Ray did a drum solo during the second Act. He made good use of the area between the front row and the stage as he ran by. I had an ideas long ago about a possible Ray solo. Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac did one using a special vest. He would touch certain areas of the vest and different sounds would be generated. But that was some time ago, and the vest had wires attached. But today with wireless technology, a performer would not be tethered as Fleetwood was back then. It would be an interesting modern day solo and gimmick for some percussionist. But then again, Ray just using the Irish drum seems very appropriate and fun.
   Other second act songs included Walking the Night, Tribute to Broadway, and Spaceman. Lil Lambe once again ROCKED on Circle of Life and Spaceman.  As for Susan, she did very well too. But I didn’t think that she reached out and grabbed the crowd. She didn’t seem to pull them in either, like say Lynn or Orla would do. But the thing is, she has the ability to reach out and grab a crowd. I thought of how I watched her YouTube version of One Moment in Time and thought how she just took over the place with such magnetism. But with CW now she is still the rookie, plus she is filling in for Lisa K, so maybe I just feel a certain loyalty to her and my mind is conditioned to Lisa’s versions of songs. Plus the solos, Water is Wide and Follow On, aren’t ‘reach out and grab’ type songs, but The Voice is such a song. I remember first seeing Alex when she subbed for Lisa and when Alex sang The Voice she did reach out and grab you. So the type of song may be of import here as well. Plus with Lil Lambe having such an awesome night, maybe its just not fair to comment on anyone in comparison.
   And another point on both Lil Lambe and Susan. At one point in the second half, I noticed both ladies being VERY careful on those center steps. You know, the ‘Diana Ross” steps that are supposed to be easy to walk down. Someone told me that Susan started to slip at one point , then caught herself. I missed that, but again I did notice what seemed to be a LOT of extra caution on those steps.
   So the show ends on Mo Ghile Mear as the encore song, after Parting Glass. Once again no You raise me Up, which seemed strange. Its sort of like Lynyrd Skynyrd not doing Freebird, or Larry the Cable Guy not saying ‘Get-r-DONE”. But its not that big a deal. I realize that time is limited. They can’t do ALL their hit songs, that would take 6 hours. And I am very happy with the songs they do and the show. I can’t wait to see it again! They did get applause at the end. One guy yelled out Erin Go Braugh loud enough for them to hear. Guess the crowd started to wake up a bit at the end. Still though an overall  weak ending ovation.
   So now time to head for the meet & greet. As always I had prepared various photos for each of the ladies, not knowing who we would get. I was hoping for Susan. Hey she is the new one and I don’t have anything autographed by her. And who knows, if the stars line up in the wrong way, and I don’t get a m&g with her this tour, I may never get her autograph. At least with others, we can be reasonably sure that they will be back in the future, and even if not, I got their’s in the past anyway. And although odds are that I will get Susan at least once, keep in mind that it took me 10, yes 10, to get Mairead at a m&g. Strange things, against the odds, can occur with these things! But then again its all good. I still only have a couple of Mairead and I have now found an excellent photo of her to get autographed. That would be my best of her yet. Plus I have several of Chloe & Lil Lambe that I want autographed. So its all good.
   An interesting thing though about my Chloe and Lil Lambe photos. I took screen captures of Chloe on Ave Maria and of Lil Lambe on TAR. Even though Chloe was basically stationary, the photo looked a little bit fuzzy, like as if she had been in rapid motion at the time. But my screen capture of Lil Lambe during TAR, as she leaped off the steps away from Chloe and Lisa K, is one of her in rapid motion (doing the Lil Lambe Leap?) yet it looks mostly clear. Strange how the photos contrast. Part of me was hoping that we didn’t get Chloe, as I was thinking of scrapping that pic in favor of another. I wasn’t sure about it, but its still a good pic though. Esp. when you look at it from a little distance. The large yellow part of the dress, fairly centered, was also great for autograph purposes and for black sharpies. I figured it would look great from that perspective.  I had to make a quick decision because….
   In walk Chloe and Lil Lambe! So I used both those pics that I just described, in addition to getting a few group photos signed. They do look great with the autographs though, and I even got a bonus on the Lil Lambe Leap pic, as Chloe also signed it (she is bottom left on it). So that worked out very well. Lil Lambe wrote something a bit more than usual on my one group pic, so she was being very nice and cool about all of that too. Like I said before, it was a Lil Lambe kind of night! She was happy, and full of energy, even exceeding the usually high levels we have all come to expect from her and the others. I forgot much of what I wanted to talk to them about though. That always happens to me. So if I get them again at a m&g, I hope I remember my questions.
   Overall a great show, a great meet & greet, and a great night. We all missed Lisa K though. It did feel like something was missing. 

Home is behind, The world ahead, And there are many paths to tread, Through shadow, To the edge of night, Until the stars are all alight.
Choir Member
Posts: 19,373

« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2012, 03:54PM »

thanks for the review.... can't hardly wait for our turn.....

=)  yes!! We got to go ! 
Then there was Atlanta !
Full Member
Posts: 192

« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2012, 05:08PM »

Your review was honest and thorough.  Thank you!
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2012, 10:27PM »

Thanks for another great review Cash!  Cheesy

I really enjoyed your tie-ins to CW historical context.  Cool
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