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Author Topic: Review: Grand Prairie April 14th  (Read 1021 times)
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« on: April 17, 2012, 08:10PM »

My next show, at Dallas, would be a different show for me.  This show was to be a "get away from it all" show with just Roy and myself.  It has been a very long time since I attended a show with just one forum fan... in fact I haven't done so since my Manchester 2009 show with Mike, which predates the first Maireadfest.

My attendance at Dallas had been dictated by the Celtic Woman Tour schedule.  There were only two shows in Texas, and of course I wanted to see the girls if they were even remotely nearby.  I had passed through Dallas before, had an airport layover there, but had never actually stopped to see the place.  This would give me a chance to see yet another American city.  A traffic issue we'd have to be watchful of was the presence in Dallas that day of a major NASCAR race; when Roy told me about it I had visions of immense traffic snafus.  But traffic cooperated and we arrived in the Dallas area without mishap.  We visited the Dallas Arboretum which had many beautiful displays of flowers and trees, along with some re-creations of early Texas settlements (we made inside jokes to eachother with Celtic Woman references; for instance when we saw a pioneer covered wagon, we joked that here was the first Tour trailer LOL).  Also in the Arboretum we came upon a very pretty outdoor concert lawn; set onto a hillside, it was like Red Rocks Dallas.  But the real special moment was finding a shack that was supposedly a re-creation of Dutch painter Van Gogh's house; looking in I saw what I hoped to see: Van Gogh's "Starry Starry Night" on the wall.  Needless to say we got pictures.  Anyway after checking into our hotels we had dinner at Saltgrass and headed for the concert.

The Verizon Theater is not actually in Dallas; it's in Grand Prairie Texas, which is partway between Dallas and Fort Worth.  And "grand prairie" is an apt name for it, as the theater and the entertainment campus that it is a part of is in the middle of nowhere.  No downtown theater this, it is a modern facility.  Imagine a massive box and you have the idea exactly.  The place had the functionality of an arena as far as the lobby was concerned (including the usual arena feature - food).  The inside of the theater itself was typical of many of the newer theaters that I've seen: simple design, no visual frills, ease of access, comfortable seats with cupholders.  The place had a VERY high ceiling for a theater; there was no balcony.  The seats gradually sloped upward until you reached the doors, which had two tiers of seats rising behind.  There was a fairly wide and very deep stage, maybe three feet high, which is incredibly short as theater stages go.  The place was essentially the hybrid offspring of a theater and an arena.  Roy pointed out the massive sets of speakers that the place had, along with the arena-style video screens for people further back.  I had a feeling the sound would play out well here.

I had row B center section, aisle seat to piano side.  Roy had a separate seat over on piano side section row D aisle seat.  We met up with Laura who had front row in Roy's section.  She hadn't been to a Believe show yet and we of course told her that this show would blow her away.  In fact we found quite a few people here who were interested in us, especially people curious about our shirts; people constantly came over and said how much they loved our shirts (for the record, tonight Roy and I both wore yellow fiddler crossing shirts!)  But finally it was time to sit and take in Celtic Woman.

"Awakening" began pretty much as always although it sounds like the band has tweaked the beginning part slightly; the crowd let loose immediately when the spotlight hit Mairead and I knew right there that we were in for a lively show... "Dulaman" showed Lisa Lambe more playful and flirtatious than ever... Oh my gosh "Nocturne"!!!!!! Chloe you are amazing, how can you keep improving this beautiful song the way you do?... On "The Foxhunter" Mairead just erupted; Roy had pointed out before the show that the combination of a day off before and the huge stage was likely to make Mairead more energized than ever, basically she went berserk! (we both agreed later that ideally the girls should have two shows and then a day off, if it means this kind of performance!); also it needs to be said that the crowd was going wild clapping along almost immediately... "Sailing" began again with an extended solo from Tommy, then the rapturous harmonies; the sound in this theater is fantastic with no distortion... "Follow On!!!" Thank you again Susan!

I need to add that at the beginning of the show Roy and I examined the tickets we had and he gave me choice of seats.  Once inside we looked at the layout.  The row B seat I chose was near the center, but Roy's seat was also very close to the piano-side exit door.  This door is often used by Lisa when she enters for the beginning of "TAR."  I had told Roy that he shouldn't be surprised if Lisa plops down on his lap when she comes by, but even knowing that I was fully satisfied with my choice of seat.  But then when "TAR" began Lisa and Chloe did come down the edges, they doubled back and took station almost directly back of center.  I looked over quickly at Roy and all I could do was shrug; I knew in my heart what would happen next.  Sure enough Lisa came down the aisle behind me and... well... I'll never forget it, and thank you Lisa for making me a part of the show.  Oh yeah, and the rest of "TAR" was fantastic too! LOL

Again heavy-duty audience participation during "Granuaile's Dance"; this crowd didn't need us forum fans (at least not yet!); the elderly lady next to me whispered to me after the song: "She IS amazing", to which I almost whispered back "YA THINK?!?"... this is the first time that the new version of "Danny Boy" sounded comparable to me to the 4-vocalist a-capella from the old days; maybe it was the superior sound, I'm not sure... standing O's were a little late in coming at the end of "Mo Ghile Mear" but not terribly so.

At intermission I asked several of the people who hadn't seen the shows how much they liked it.  I was especially curious to hear Laura's reaction and she loved it, which didn't surprise me.

Second Act... Anthony came down my aisle and received a nice hand from the crowd during "Amazing Grace"... "Spaceman!!!!!" Thank you, absolutely fantastic as always... At the beginning of "The Water Is Wide" I made a glance over to Laura who looked back at me; I knew this was Susan's supreme test with Laura; but at the end as I jumped up to give a much-earnest standing ovation, Laura leaped up too: I knew then that Susan had snared Laura in... Chloe is soooo hilarious with "Green Grow the Rushes" and she and Lisa gave the sweetest embrace at the end of the song... "The World Falls Away!!!!!"  This song has been entwining itself into my heart more and more each time I hear it; it's such a joy to hear the girls sing it... At the beginning of "Tribute To Broadway" the crowd howled with recognition as "I Dreamed A Dream" began; and with the incredible sound in our venue "Circle of Life" just washed through me... "Ave Maria" was just spectacular, I led the cheering and standing ovation but I looked around and the ENTIRE place was on it's feet for Chloe; she blew me a kiss and the expression on her face is something I'll never forget... I finally got "You'll Never Walk Alone" tonight, after many months of dear friends raving about it, thank you ladies it was perfect... "Women Of Ireland" was unbelieveable as Mairead created an absolute plume of broken bowstrings on the end of her bow, and kudos to Craig for an even more animated performance than ever... yet again it was time for "The Parting Glass" and the girls gave us an inspired lustrous display as the crowd went wild; I blew a couple kisses at Chloe; those were from a couple of her fans who couldn't be with us tonight... AND the crowd clapped along vigorously to "Encore Finale" which I love, I was the first one to stand as Mairead ran out onto the stage, but the ovation was wonderful for all the girls.

Roy and I talked for a bit with Laura and her guests and with several of the bystanders until the venue people ejected us from the stage area.  We caught a little of the ending of Anthony's lobby performance, and made our way out into a very windy overcast evening.  Roy and I headed over to the local Steak n' Shake, thanks to Mike for introducing Steak n' Shake to me back in '09, Roy had never tried it and thought it was great.  When we got back to our rooms I didn't even try to write my review, I was exhausted and new I'd have time to compose my review on the long drive back to Houston the next day.

If you asked me back at the beginning of the tour which show was the most "disposable," or which one I'd dump if I had no other alternative, it would have been this one.  It had seemed to be in the shadow of the upcoming forum summit at Houston, and Roy and I expected to just sit back and absorb the music.  We were dead wrong.   This had not been the "day off" I had expected at all.  I was as rabid at this show as I've ever been, and I am so very glad that I came.  As I finish this report Roy and I are en route back to Houston, and shortly we will be joining a mass of forum fans for a BBQ at Cindy's.  Is there such a thing as having too much fun?   


Bodhrán Player
Posts: 6,486

« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2012, 09:21AM »

Thanks for the great review.  I saw Celtic Woman in Grand Prairie in 2009 so I am familiar with the venue.  That was my best year as I saw the girls three times.  I was able to only go to one show this year at Little Rock.  That is my nearest venue.  I met Roy at Bossier City, LA last year.

There is no Lambe like our Lil' Lambe.  Mairead Carlin is the real deal.
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