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Author Topic: Review: Manchester March 16th  (Read 1090 times)
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« on: March 17, 2012, 01:20AM »

More so than ever before, this trip was going to be a journey back in time for me.  I would be going back to where it all began for me as far as CW shows were concerned: The Northeast.

I had already had two shows at Nashville at the beginning of the tour.  I had made a decision that this year I was going to get myself to New Hampshire for the tour.  I had lived all of my life there until the past 2 years and  I still had family there and I hadn't seen them since the middle of 2010.  I also decided that since I was going to be in the area anyway that I would add the Wallingford show to my itinerary; I had been at the very first Wallingford get-together of forum members way back in 2007 and hadn't been there at all since '09.  This would give me two Northeast shows.  So I intended to arrive on Tuesday night which would give me a couple days to visit everyone before joining the forum members for Friday's Manchester show. 

I was picked up promptly by SuperShuttle and worked through a very long security line to get to my flight.  I was travelling from Houston to Newark to Manchester.  I spent two full days with family in my old hometown of Nashua New Hampshire, just south of Manchester.  Early on Saturday Mike arrived to get me and we picked up Roy at the airport and headed over to check in at the Radisson.  We then went to the Longhorn's Steakhouse for dinner.  We had 8 people in all... Mike, Roy, Bob from Maine (Penguin Laminating Device), BobH, Kelly and her husband Chris, BigDave, and myself.  I hadn't seen Bob from Maine since the Manchester show in 2008 and had been eager to see him.  After dinner we went to the venue to get ourselves set.

Manchester's Verizon Wireless Arena is, as the name implies, an arena.  Lighting and sound here had always been good in times past, at least as arenas go.  We were expecting the crowd to be above average also.   I had attended shows here at the Verizon in '07, '08, and '09 so this was first appearance here in 3 years.  We settled into our seats... for me row AA center section; in fact I was at the exact center in front of the steps that decend into the orchestra.  We had all 8 of us forum people in the front row; 6 of us in center section  around me, and the two Bobs over on the far band side.  I had Dave on my right and Roy on my left; by incredible coincidence this was a New Hampshire native on my right and a Texas native on my left, representing the two states I have called home.  In this spirit the Manchester show began.

"Awakening" started as it always does, with the haunting violin of Mairead; it was clear from the beginning that the girls noticed that we were there!!!... "Dulaman"!!!!  Lisa you are sooo amazing!!... Tommy did a VERY extended solo just before "Sailing", and that song hit me as never before... maybe I'm wrong but I would swear that the harmonies in "A Woman's Heart" have been changed from what they had at the beginning of the tour... one little thing happened in "Danny Boy" that both Mike and I clearly noticed about one of the girls; lets just say that it IS the day before St.Patrick's Day and "Danny Boy" is the true anthem of the Irish... "TAR" has been changed from what I saw at Nashville; now Lisa starts down IN the audience on the piano-side and Chloe on the floor band-side and each one takes a quick seat on some lucky patron's lap; in this case, Mike and BobH!!

The crowd was... ugh, they were a bunch of wooden statues.  The forum people and a very small sampling of the rest were the only ones who seemed awake through the first act.  The good side of this was that the girls were giving us forum people all the attention we could have ever wanted.  The show was essentially for the eight of us; the rest were along for the ride at this point.  One disappointment was that the spot lighting is STILL not right; poor Lisa was completely unlit when she began her little speech before "A Woman's Heart".  On the other hand the sound was fantastic; this is one constant characteristic of Manchester since my first Manchester show in 2007.

"Amazing Grace" was, as always, extraordinary and uplifting... I had been thinking a lot more of late about "The World Falls Away" and tonight I was overwhelmed by it; thank you Chloe and Susan for bringing this song to life... another new feature since my last show is a solo for Ray on bodhran... thank you again Susan for "The Water Is Wide" you have made this song one of my absolute favorites... another song I had been dearly anticipating was "Circle of Life" with it's line "through despair and hope/through faith and love" as the song represented to me the "circle of life" of my life coming around full circle by my return to Manchester after so long away... "AVE MARIA!!!!!!" There is no one on this earth who can speak to your heart with clarity and feeling the way Chloe does... in the past "Walking the Night" has just not done enough for me, but tonight Chloe raised her hand and looked right at me as she sang her part of the second chorus, something I won't soon forget... after the conclusion of "The Parting Glass" there came the loudest calls for encore that I have ever heard at a Celtic Woman show; the crowd had only shortly before come out of it's comatose state and probably did deserve the "Encore Medley" with the enthusiam that they showed; Mairead could have sawed away her violin strings she was playing so sharply; we were all hoarse when we were done.

This would be a near full-circle meet and greet for me too; over these five years I had never had a meet and greet in the same place twice; finally now I would be getting my second Manchester M&G.  It was held in the same room as it had been five years earlier when I had done the M&G with Tony; this time was I was second to last, with Mike bringing up the rear.  We had Lisa and Susan; Lisa proceeded to hug me before I thanked her for "Circle of Life".  I introduced myself to Susan for the first time and she was very sweet and nice.  I also introduced myself to James who is now working the back end of the meet and greet table.  This was the most smoothly run meet and greet I have ever attended; James has an excellent manner and Bubba has always been great; we got a picture of the "guys" (Mike, Roy, and myself) with Bubba before we were done.  Several of us headed over the to Murphy's Diner across from the venue to have an after-show dinner before walking the half-block back to the hotel. 

Special thanks today to Lisa Lambe.  I was fortunate to have an unexpected encounter with her and she is an amazingly sweet person.  I dare say now that I have only met one person who is sweeter than Lisa L; that would be Cindy.  It was fitting tonight that Lisa asked me if I knew if Cindy would be at the Houston show.

Then again this had been a day of befitting events.  We have another big day coming up for Wallingford tomorrow.  My own circle of life had brought me home in one sense for Manchester, and tomorrow would bring me home in another sense for Wallingford.  The Manchester show had brought me back to the State I used to live in (New Hampshire) before I discovered Celtic Woman.  The Wallingford show tomorrow would bring me back to where my very first show had been, in what feels like lifetimes ago yet is merely years ago.  Wallingford will be my first St. Patrick's Day show ever.

Farewell until we meet again, New Hampshire.  Thanks for a very fond parting memory.


barb kantartzis
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Posts: 1,534

« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2012, 10:57AM »

Great review! Just curious what exactly happened w/ one of the girls on stage that it was close to st. Patty's day??!!

I I I I hear your voice on the wind, and I I I I hear you call out my name, listen my child you say to me I am the voice of your history be not afraid come follow me answer my call and i'll set you frrreeeee!!!!!!!
penguin laminating device
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Posts: 452

« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2012, 03:39PM »

Another great review, Scott! It was good seeing you again and meeting Mike, Roy, BobH, Kelly, Chris and BigDave, too!
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