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Author Topic: Albany 3/14/2012  (Read 1349 times)
Cash
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« on: March 19, 2012, 09:08AM »

A little late postinf this, but here it is ...

Awesome Albany - Palace Theatre - CW - March 14, 2012

   Albany is a bit far for me to travel from Pittsburgh for just a ‘regular’ show.  If its something special, like a recording for PBS, that’s different. So, why then would I want to travel far AND pay more for a ticket, as Albany tickets with meet & greet were $250 each? It was the very first show that I spotted PBS taking pledges for. Plus the PBS lady told me I was among the first to call. There were a few others. She didn’t guarantee any seats, but she did say that I got meet & greet. She was also very nice and knowledgeable about Celtic Woman. How many times have I called only to hear “Celtic…WHO? You mean Celtic Thunder, they are on the list.” But this lady clearly talked with some other fans who attended the Believe recording down in Atlanta and seemed to actually want to chit-chat and learn all about it. PBS should give her a bonus, or a gold star, or something. But one must jump on opportunities like this. You can never count on getting meet&greets or great seats for other shows. I don’t take anything for granted.
   So then the next question becomes travel. I decided to go by Greyhound. Take the Pittsburgh to New York City Express at night, then transfer over to the Albany bus. A night bus can actually be good because if you sleep, you don’t realize how long you are actually on the bus. But interesting things can happen on buses. The first time I ever traveled to a CW show, the lady sitting next to me told me “God told me to go to Youngstown!”. She was looking to find her third husband so they could start a ministry together.  Seriously, she had some major issues. On another trip the guy in front of me said that he was ‘fresh out” and later I noticed him reading his Federal Prison Parole Papers! So things can get interesting. And it did in the bus terminal as I waited in line to board. I spotted water on the floor. I thought someone had just spilled it, no big deal, and I was careful not to put my bag in it. Then I noticed more water, but no one nearby was drinking anything. Then the young lady standing there said “Be careful there’s water” and I said “You’re leaking?” She had something in a bag that was leaking. I don’t know why she didn’t throw it out, or secure it somehow. She was in front of me on the bus and I did not notice any water, so whatever it was, she corrected.
    So the bus rolls on out and then I got worried in the Allegheny Mountain tunnel. I spotted traffic in the other lane headed the opposite way! UH-OH! That’s NOT supposed to happen in a tunnel! Could there be workers in the other side of the tunnel, and that side be closed off? Road maintenance on the turnpike delayed our arrival to CW’s show in Hershey. Yes turned out to be some type of maintenance and repair. Luckily it did not slow us down, even though all traffic diverted into the one side. We reach New York City and there’s the tunnel under the Hudson. That was a bit strange going through that. Tunnels under water! Also I had hoped to catch a good view of the NYC skyline and I did but not as good as I had hoped. Still a big city. I was surprised at the number of homeless sleeping in the bus station. I didn’t think there would be THAT many. One or two yes, but I bet there were dozens.
   Then there were the sounds of the NYC bus station. Employees seemed to like using foul language. Other employees seemed to want a tryout for American Idol. I am not sure what was worse, many  bad words repeated over and over again or very very bad  continuous singing? They had a recorded message near the escalator announce over and over “hold the handrail. Do not stop at the end” If you were near the escalator it became irritating. But then they did have a solution. They were also playing classical music over the speakers. Very calming.  I have heard that places will play classical music to chase away young kids or homeless. Well the homeless in NYC didn’t mind the music at all. Seemed to encourage them to sleep right on the floor!
   But I survived the Big Apple and soon found myself in Albany, where I would soon hear sounds a LOT more pleasant than the ones I heard at the NYC Bus Station! . The bus passed an old Navy ship tied to a dock, sort of a museum kind of thing. The bus station was very close and I had time to kill, so I thought that I would check it out. It appeared to be closed, though it should have been open according the posted hours. It was a small destroyer escort. We have an old submarine like this in Pittsburgh. But its adjacent to our science center, and the center does tours on it. But in Albany, the ship is out there all alone with nothing else near it, except for the bus station, a hotel, and some old buildings with various businesses. Just seems like a bad location for such a thing. They need a museum, science center, something like that near it to draw more activity.
   So anyway I go scout a bit and find the venue then head to the hotel. The people at the “Hotel Albany” were all very friendly. The hotel itself was about halfway between the bus station and the venue. My room’s tv didn’t work though, and the clerk typed my middle name instead of my first name in the system. But it accepted my credit card so it didn’t matter. I took a nap then it was time to get ready and go.
   As I walked toward the venue, I noticed what looked like old CB antennas on fire hydrants. At times, the venue’s big flashing boards out front had “Celtic Woman” on one and “Grease” on another. Sort of gives Susan double coverage, in a way? So I look for Don, who I sold my extra ticket to. I was a bit early though. But I get a bit paranoid about pre-show  ticket exchanges. What if the other guy doesn’t show up? Last time I sold Don a ticket in Akron a few years ago, I saw him at the pre-concert meal and we agreed to meet in front of the venue after he parked his car closer. But he got caught in traffic as people were coming to the venue and parking. They had a  mess there with traffic and parking! Another groupie, I think it was Starman, was out front with me and the same thing happened to his buyer. So we nervously waited until Don came and we went in. I never did find out what happened to the other person. But no issue this time in Albany, as before you knew it there was Don, who was early too (just my paranoia being a problem) and MrPeabody and Rick too. The groupies were arriving! We went in and soon spotted Annie, Kelly, Destiny, and Dave.
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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.
Cash
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Posts: 3,365

carry me...on the waves


« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2012, 09:10AM »


   
   I noticed something  there in the lobby. Very few people at the merchandise table. This was my third show of the tour, and the second time that I observed what appeared to be weak merchandise demand. I am wondering if this holds true at other shows as well.
   So I head on in and my seat is dead center front row. Only one seat better and that’s on my right, which was exact center. The guy sitting there was really enthusiastic all night. He waved his arms a bit like he was conducting, almost like he was trying out to be the Maestro! On Follow ON, he extended his hand up toward Susan when she extended her hand up at that certain part of the song. He also liked to sing along on certain parts, which usually annoys me. But for some reason it didn’t tonight. This guy also had a bag with gifts for the ladies. A younger lady sat to his right, then the next 4 seats had Kelly, Annie, Destiny, and Dave, on the end seat. Behind them sat MrPeabody and Rick. So a good groupie presence there. Also, Don was next to me on my left. We also had a very enthusiastic Chloe fan sitting in the second row  right in back of me. At the start of the show, she was screaming VERY loud. But she seemed to tone it back a bit after the start, which may have saved my hearing, but still showed a LOT of enthusiasm and made a lot of noise. The front row was located almost right up against the stage, and the stage was a bit lower than at other venues. The ladies were also able to come right up to the edge as they performed. This meant that at times I was very close, maybe, 10 feet, from a performer.
   The Awakening went very well. Dulaman went great. I had a great view of Lil Lambe right up in front of me. A great image of her in that spotlight. After Susan did Follow On I thought “WOW she sounds GREAT tonight!” She also sounded great after Water is Wide, and on other songs as well. I thought it might be one of those nights when one performer, for whatever reason, just sort of steals the show, well in my opinion. Like Lil Lambe took Charlottesville. But then I thought “They ALL sound great tonight”. They all were “ON” for this show. Not that they are ever “OFF” but you know what I mean. Something about this show was just “RIGHT!”
   On TAR and Ray’s drum solo we only got very limited interaction on floor level. Just wasn’t enough room down there for any of that. Lil Lambe and Chloe did come down but were sort of stuck at the bottom of side steps. TAR still had all the energy, and the big spin move that seemed to go well. Anthony started Amazing Grace on the far right next to the steps, and did not do his usual long walk down an aisle.,  then went up the steps. Once again I loved the position of my seat, because he was very close and right in front of me at the song’s end, with the spotlight on him in the middle of the stage. That would have been such a great picture.
   I noticed something different and a bit interesting on Mo Ghile Mear. On the part that the drummers duet and  go “da da da DA” and the lights are on them, but not on the ladies standing down at the bottom of the steps in the dark. Remember back in the past, how the vocalists would be up on the top in the center and between the drummers and be lit, and move their shoulders back and forth on the da-da-da-DA part, then quickly snap their heads and look at the drummer playing at the time? Well now Lil Lambe and Susan stand still, but in Albany I noticed Chloe wiggle her hips in time with the da-da-da-DA part, like a kind of habit she got used to back in earlier shows, but must express her moves differently now. I don’t know, I thought it was cute. Very subtle.
   Danny Boy, Never Walk Alone,  and Sailing went very well. Chloe once again excelled on Ave Maria. Spaceman once again went well. Mairead really put her heart and soul into the first part of Mna Na Heireann. VERY inspiring! It might have been her best performance yet on that part. The whole show was off the chart in terms of quality.
   A couple things to note about the second half. First, it seemed the girls looked a LOT at Tommy during the medley number. I had never noticed that much interaction between them and him before. Second, on the Tribute to Broadway, I turned around just to see if people were clapping, standing, etc. I noticed someone, maybe 10 rows behind me but sitting on the aisle toward the left, using what appeared to be a bright flashlight as a means of applauding. The person would wave and twist it, making a circular kind of motion, I guess to get attention. At first I thought it was a camera flash and thought someone was going to have ushers rain down on them. But it clearly was not camera flash.    Then I thought maybe it was just a “Circle of Life” kind of gimmick. But I saw it again later. I don’t like it. I didn’t like light sticks at Celtic Thunder either. That can be distracting, and I would also think not great for the performers either, seeing a bright light pointed at them. I hope that their eyes adjust quicker to extreme changes in light than mine do. But they are young so they probably do.
   The crowd gave a very nice standing ovation at the end. The performers were pleased with it. The crowd did well tonight.
   So then its off to the meet & greet. They had it in the back part of the theatre. Not an ideal way to have it, but it worked. Don said something to me like “If Chloe shows up, that one woman is going to go SCREAM!” Then what happened, in walk Chloe and Lil Lambe! But she didn’t scream, she seemed calm. I thought it might be similar to Philadelphia when Kimberly got Chloe at the meet & greet. But this woman seemed to go quick through the line and didn’t make much noise, or even talk much. Then I see the guy who I referred to as “The Maestro” earlier in this review. He gave the ladies binders with a bunch of photos of each of them. I thought “oh man, he just stole my thunder!” I have started making collages, I guess you would call them, for meet & greet autographs. Hey there are just too many cool photos out there to get everything autographed. And even if they would sit down and sign 100 photos, how would one display them? Might look kind of creepy having that many on display too!  But I had good stuff (in my opinion) for Chloe to sign. I thought the collage was a cool and original idea, but I guess not. I have noticed some others have such things on Facebook now too. But I now have them for Lil Lambe and Mairead as well. Susan is a bit more difficult to do, since we don’t have years of cool internet photos to choose from. I also talked to both ladies more than I usually do. Maybe something in the air tonight. I even had more to say, but figured I better move along. On the bright side, I have good stuff to discuss with both Lil Lambe and Chloe at future m&gs. So I am guessing that I will get Mairead and Susan for my remaining 3 m&gs on this tour! hahaha
   Time to head for home the following day. I bumped into Rick at the bus station, but we took different buses home. They also did not make an announcement for my bus, which worries me when that happens. I was at the Knoxville bus station once when that happened and it was a good thing I paid attention to what was going on, or I would have been stuck there until the next bus! My trip home from Albany included a number of transfers and they were very tight. Only like 20 minutes for some, so I was lucky no traffic delays held the bus up. But all went well, just kind of rushed at the stations. Something interesting at the Harrisburg bus station. They had St Patricks Day decorations up on the counter and also taped to the lower section of glass that enclosed the counter.  But above them, maybe 7 feet up off the floor, they had snowflakes taped to the glass that enclosed the counter. I would expect to see that around Christmas, but not in March! Also on the way from Harrisburg to Pittsburgh, one guy fell asleep and snored VERY loud! He also talked in his sleep! Didn’t say anything … interesting … though. I hope I don’t snore or talk in my sleep on the bus!
   A final note. Don paid me for his ticket by check, and wrote “Cash” as my last name. That’s not my real last name. he did ask me a question at one point and I must have misheard him. Maybe that’s where the confusion occurred. Plus I think that I will soon have to change my “stage” name from “Cash” to “Debt” anyway! Celtic concert-going can be an addicting, expensive, budget busting habit!
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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.
John910
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« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2012, 10:05PM »

Good review. I liked hearing about the bus ride as that is something that I have thought about doing if I felt like it would be too far for me to drive. So far I've only gone to shows within my "comfortable" driving distance.

Just curious did you have to take a cab from the bus station to the hotel to the Palace Theatre or was it within walking distance?

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Cash
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Posts: 3,365

carry me...on the waves


« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2012, 06:06AM »

Just curious did you have to take a cab from the bus station to the hotel to the Palace Theatre or was it within walking distance?
It wasnt too far. Maybe 15 minute walk to the hotel, then another 15 minute walk from the hotel  to the venue. There was a hotel close to the venue, and also one close to the bus station. But I stayed at the one more in the middle. Weather was good though so that helped. I was glad I didnt have to walk on snow or ice, which of course would change things a lot. And it might be far for an older person to walk.
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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.
dbbii
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Posts: 337



« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2012, 10:52AM »

Interesting comment about the interaction with Tommy.  I've noticed a lot more interaction with the band in general.  Going back a couple years, it seems as if the band played and the ladies sang and never the two shall meet.  Now the various band members get a chance to shine.  Obviously, you have two "big" songs with Anthony on the bagpipes.  Ewan has some songs he is featured on and Tommy steps out (or sits out) on a couple also.  It seems as if everyone is much more comfortable with the songs and the rest of the group.

 
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