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Author Topic: Detroit, March 23 Review: Celtic Woman Rocks the Motor City!  (Read 929 times)
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« on: April 04, 2012, 01:51AM »

I'm not much into writing reviews, but I just couldn't let their stop in my (adopted) hometown pass by without a recap. This was my 4th time seeing them at the Fox Detroit and the 5th in the Metro Detroit area (my very first concert was ANJ at the Palace of Auburn Hills, further north of the Motor City). And my goodness they just keep getting better!

It's a known fact that the Fox Detroit is one of the girls' favorite venues, especially for Lisa Kelly. It's just a stunningly beautiful theater, even though the crowd isn't much to write home about. So, during the day I tweeted Lisa K saying that I would miss hearing her say how much she loved the Fox Detroit that evening. She replied back saying "I do love it! Enjoy the show. X". *squeals* My day had been made.
I headed out to the D with plenty of time to spare (bad memories from arriving late in the past), secured a parking spot and entered the theater. The staff at the Fox tonight was especially nice and courteous, from the guy checking the bags at the door to the ushers. As the usher dude walked me to my seat (front row, center, right by the aisle), he was in awe, saying I had THE best seat in the house. \o/

First Act

Awakening starts with Mairead at the top of the stairs playing her violin. Mild applause from the Detroit crowd when Chloe, Lisa and Susan show up (what can I say, my home crowd is not the liveliest). This being my first show of the tour, I'm looking all over the stage trying to take it all in. That's when Lisa Lambe catches my eye and winks at me. At another point, Chloe acknowledges me with that twinkle in her eyes. And just like that, my undivided attention is focused solely on her and the girls.

The song finishes and they leave, except for Lil Lambe. She starts moving oh so gracefully around the stage, flirting with Ray and Andy as Dulaman starts. I absolutely love the way she interprets this song, and it's always nice to see the spoons coming out. Lil Lambe interactions are a recurring topic throughout the evening. I got several meaningful glances, winks, smiles with every song she was on. I'll try to contain my gushing and only mention the ones that really stood out.

Chloe returns and talks to the audience, asking if we're enjoying ourselves, and gets a halfway mumbled response. She tries again, and gets a better response from the audience. Then she goes on to say how the Fox Detroit is one of their favorite venues to play in the US (see what I was talking about?) and introduces the next song, Nocturnal to us. Color me impressed! Nocturnal has got to be my second favorite Chloe solo to date.

Mairead stays on stage for the Foxhunter. There's little room between the stairway and the edge of the stage for her to run around, but she still does a fantastic job. My row decides to go for a standing o when she's done, which seems to surprise her, as she looks straight at us and says an audible "Thank You!" and then leaves.

Tommy Martin does his tin whistle solo before Sailing, which is just lovely. Him and the band were situated right in front of me, so as he takes his seat again, I give him an appreciative nod, which he returns in kind. Sailing is a stunningly moving song.

Chloe and Lisa remain on-stage to sing A Woman's Heart. This is one of the special Lil Lambe moments of the show, as she would look at me and smile while singing "As only a woman's heart can know".

Susan comes back to sing Follow On. I was very impressed by her voice. I also couldn't help but notice how her theatrical roots are very much visible in this song. That also means that she doesn't delve much into audience interactions… yet. (On a side note, during the subsequent Cincinnati and Akron shows I did notice that she recognized me and would glance my way every now and then).

And now comes one of the most fun, most awesome things ever conceived by David Downes. Off from the far left of the theater I hear Lil Lambe la-da-da-ing her way through the crowd. And from my right comes Chloe looking none-too-happy and la-da-da-ing her displeasure. Lisa pays her no mind and sits on a gentleman's lap somewhere around the 6th row. Watching them arguing with each other from across the theater was like watching a tennis match, my head was turning from side to side non-stop to catch what they were doing. Now, the front row was way too close to the stage, so they didn't make their way in front of us. Instead, they climbed the stairs on either side and continued their "argument" in the middle of the stage. It was then that Lisa looked at me and pointed at Chloe with a "can you believe her?" look on her face. I played along and did my best to look sympathetic to her. In walks Susan to stop the argument, and does some gibberish singing of her own, which sets the audience into more fits of laughter. Well played, ladies!

Teir Arbhaile Riu starts and it's every bit as fun as I expected it to be. Lil Lambe once again looks at me for support against Susan and Chloe during the song, and at this point I'm Team Lambe all the way. This was the first time I saw Craig dancing, and I was absolutely enthralled by his footwork. The crowd really loved this one, but then again, how couldn't they? The one down side of this song is that the stage at the Fox doesn't have enough room for the fancy airborne spin. (I chatted with Anthony in Cinci about it and he mentioned that all Fox theaters are like that and they had to build an extra section of the stage for the Atlanta taping).

Next is Mairead with one of my all time faves, Granuaile's Dance. I'm SO glad they kept this one on the setlist. The audience joined in the clapping and she gets a standing O (at least from the front row).

Lisa, Chloe and Susan come back and introduce Danny Boy, saying that no Celtic Woman concert would be complete without it. Okay, for this one I may have gotten a bit emotional and had to look away, otherwise I'd start crying, which is something I try to avoid when I'm that close to the stage so to not distract them. One time I did venture a glance at the stage, Lil Lambe is staring at me. They sounded heavenly. Another standing O. Could it be that the crowd was finally warming up? One can wish…

First act ends with Mo Ghile Mear, which is another one that I'm grateful they kept. I like swaying my head during the "Suan gan séan ní bhfuair mé féin" stanza and Chloe noticed that and gave me one of her fab smiles when I did it. Then Chloe looks right at me when she sings "Know that I will sing to you". Ahhh, heaven! To top it off, Lil Lambe turns and smiles at me when she says "Mo Ghile Mear". Ray and Andy ROCKED those drums! The song ends and my side of the front row gets up right away for a standing O, but the rest of the theater is a bit hesitant. Then, something really cool happens. The guy sitting across the aisle from me gathers the courage to stand up as well, and so I turn to him to applaud his gesture. Lisa catches that, and blows a kiss towards me.  Cheesy

At this point I'm somewhat disappointed at my home crowd. I think they were a bit livelier last year. But hey, it could be much worse (memories of a dead crowd in East Lansing come to mind). Still, this Michigan resident has to give it up to the Ohio crowd in Cincinnati and Akron, who had us beat in the enthusiasm department.

Second Act

It's back to the show with Antho playing the bagpipes from the back of the theater for Amazing Grace. Another excellent rendition from the girls.

Lil Lambe stays on the stage for A Spaceman Came Travelling. Wow, her arm movements are so fluid and graceful, it's beautiful to watch. However, every time she skips down the stairs in those high heels I hold my breath, thinking 'Please don't trip!'.

Next come Walking the Night/The World Falls Away. They seemed to be having a lot of fun with this one. Then Susan sang The Water Is Wide, again proving what a powerful voice she has. I was half expecting Antho and Tommy to join in with the bagpipes on this one, so it was surprising to see Mairead taking over that part of the song with her violin.

Ray steps down from his drums to dazzle us with his bodhran skills. He got lots of laughs and cheers from the audience, such a showman!

Chloe steps out and explains that she needs our help singing Green Grow the Rushes. Then she asks if we can help and the audience's response is lukewarm, to which she said "That's not exactly the reaction I was hoping for…" and encourages us to not be shy. After the first round, my section has got it down. Then she says "I have good news and bad news. The good news is that some of you did your homework as expected," she looks at us. "The bad news is that the rest of you have a lot of work to do." We try it again, and the audience is still a bit hesitant. Then she says she's stubborn and will stand there until we all get it. That got them singing! Lisa walks out to help along and Green Grow the Rushes begins. It was such a sweet, feel good song! Lots of smiles and approving nods from Lisa and Chloe. There was a moment when Lisa and I were practically singing "The sweetest hours that e'er I spent are spent among the lassies oh" to each other.

Up next is Susan, introducing the Tribute to Broadway (how appropriate). I Dreamed a Dream is a stirring performance, but my favorite part in this is The Circle of Life. Having seen both the performances at The Festival of the Lion King at Disney's Animal Kingdom and the Broadway musical, I'm glad to see that Lisa sets herself apart from those versions. She doesn't go for the deep, powerful vocalization, instead opting for a lighter, sweeter, dreamy tone. I particularly love how she sings "There's more to see than can ever be seen". It just makes me smile. Then when the whole crew joins in on the song, it becomes this dazzling, feel-good spectacle.

Chloe gets ready for her show-stopper, Ave Maria. Remember how I said Nocturnal was my second favorite Chloe solo? That's because this one is my favorite. She gets a well-deserved standing O for that.

Now for the song I had been dreading: You'll Never Walk Alone. Why did I dread it? I knew this song would put me in the verge of tears. Whenever I hear this song, I think of the people in Japan that I met during my volunteering in September. People that had their homes, hopes and dreams washed away and destroyed and yet keep going, inspiring me with their kindness and gratitude. When they sing "Though your dreams be tossed and blown" I try my darned hardest to hold it in. There's just so much meaning in that song. I got teary, but at least I didn't start bawling like I feared I would. Phew!

Mairead starts talking to the audience. One of the first things she said was that from the stage she could see that "You are all very, very, very… close." For a moment I thought she was going to say we were very, very quiet, and quite honestly I wouldn't blame her for that. She plays Women of Ireland, then Craig comes out to join her in a blazing performance.

Susan, Lisa and Chloe appear and Lil Lambe wishes us good night, God bless and may the road rise to meet you. And so The Parting Glass begins. Very stirring, but sad performance, because it indicates the end is near. The audience finally wakes up and gives them a standing O and keep cheering when they leave.

They come back for the Finale. Can this part please be included in the next DVD? Or maybe an Amazon download? We're all on our feet cheering and they do the At the Ceili encore. At this point Lil Lambe blows tons of kisses my way. Boy she knows how to make a girl feel special.

The M&G

We're taken upstairs to the mezzanine level, and I can help but stop a little to admire the theater from above. We're very lucky to have such an incredible theater in Detroit. The ladies tonight are Susan and Lisa. I'm over the moon, I was really hoping Lisa would be there, because it was at this very same venue that I first met her last year.
Ok, this is a bit of a blur, but I'll try to post what I remember happening.
Lisa looks at me, stands up and pulls me into a hug, saying "It's been far too long! How are you?". Then she holds my hands and notices my Japan volunteering wristbands and takes special interest on them. I mention that I was there last year, and she says she remembers me tweeting about it. We chat a bit how it's already been a year since it all happened, and she notices that I'm getting a bit overwhelmed, so we change the subject and she signs my program and leaves a very special message full of xx's all over. I hand her a gift I brought, some Easter inspired goodies. She looks delighted and gives me another hug and a kiss. We chat a bit more and before I head over to Susan, she hugs me again and asks "Will I see you again soon?" to which I reply "You'll see me tomorrow." Somewhere in between, she says something to the effects of "It was so nice having you sitting right there in front so I could sing to you."  Cheesy
I head over to Susan, saying it's nice to meet her and that she's doing a great job, which she seems appreciative. I give her gift as well, we talk a little bit, and then she gets up and gives me a hug! Wow, that was unexpected. As I'm grabbing my stuff to leave, Lisa calls me out and we chat a bit more, sharing our experiences in Japan, until it's time for them to leave.

I practically glide my way o the parking lot. At that point I was in cloud 9. This tour is absolutely fan-freaking-tabulous and the girls are as lovely and attentive as always.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2012, 07:23AM by Wind » Logged
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