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Author Topic: Cincinnati: River-City Rocked Again by Emerald, May 13 2014  (Read 3522 times)
Honorary Roadie
Posts: 2,644

« on: May 20, 2014, 12:38PM »

            Cincinnati, Ohio was blessed with the return of Celtic Woman after a year’s absence in 2013, to the Aronoff Center for the Arts. If the idea was to increase flagging attendance by skipping a year, it worked.  The show was nearly sold-out.

      I was joined in my trip up from Lexington by Daniel, who drove up from Knoxville to ride on to the show with me.  In December, we had engaged in some risky driving coming back from the Symphony tour show in Newport News, VA in order to get home in time to pledge for tickets to the Cincinnati show.  I was further plagued by not being able to find the call-in number when we did arrive right at call-in time. A combination of frantic calls and emails to CET thankfully enabled us to enter a timely pledge in order to get M&G tickets as well.

            Arriving at the venue, which had not yet opened the doors, we took to the seats out front, only to shortly thereafter being treated by the appearance of choir members Edel, Sarah and Craig.  I called out to them, getting their attention with a perfectly-rendered Johnny Weissmuller-type Tarzan call. Not. I waved and they came over and graciously posed with us for a couple of shots with Dan and me.  I did wish Nick had been there also.

             I was pleasantly surprised that Neil from Toronto was attending, as he had two years ago. Then, he had told me of plans to go to Europe for the European tour and asked if I wanted to go.  I had to decline-- but he went, going down in Celtic Woman fan history with a M&G in Germany in which he was the ONLY participant---he had a solo M&G with all the girls!  Sounds like a dream that could never really happen.  Tonight, he would have a M&G, but would have to share with the rest of us.  Grin

             We picked up our M&G passes and then cooled our heels until the others gathered.  Out the window, we saw first Sarah & Edel and then Craig return to the building. Not much time to change, it looked to me.  Meanwhile, we got a call from Mr., Peabody (Mike), who did not have M&G and had been delayed by traffic.  He would be there shortly, in time for the start of the show.

               Then we were led into the room where about two dozen people were there for the M&G.  We were told a shot would be taken by CET photographers which would then be displayed on the station’s Face Book page and would also be allowed to take one with our own cameras.  With me, that meant one good one and one crummy one, as is usually the case with my camera and skills.

              It was my first M&G with Lynn Hilary since October 2010 at Rupp Arena in Lexington.  After returning from the Australian tour that year, we got the word that Lynn had left the group and I assumed it would be the last time that I would see her.  The sad news that Lisa Lambe would be leaving part of the tour was mellowed somewhat by the fact that Lynn would be her replacement.  I had spoken to Lynn the previous week by the buses at the Evansville show, but this would be the first formal M &G and photo with her for me.

              While waiting, we regaled the assembled M&G crowd with tales of M&Gs past and of Neil’s M&G coup in Germany. Then the soloists arrived to our applause, looking gorgeous in their Synan O’Mahoney gowns, as usual.

              When it was my turn, I showed the girls my blue polo Lisa Kelly Fan forum shirt produced for the Voice of Ireland show which had been held the previous weekend in Peachtree, GA and in which we were adorned for the occasion. They were most interested to hear about the show in which Lisa Kelly had been joined by Chloe Agnew.  They were pleased that it was so well attended and had gone well.  I told Lynn it was so nice to see her at a M&G again at long last and that was enjoying her new album I had which I had purchased from the merchandize table the Evansville show.

              The gift bags containing vocal spray which I customarily give the vocalists were distributed, this time to Lynn for the first time. I noticed she was a bit hoarse the next night in Akron, so I hope the vocal spray didn’t disagree with her. The M&G  photos came out about as good as they could  with me in them.

                 The M&G ended, we went in to take our seats.  Daniel and I were on the front row center, courtesy of tickets he had wisely purchased, as the CET tickets were in row EE.  Daniel is known as “the ovator”, as he gives an SO for every number---and I’ll darned if I won’t support him in it!  A quick SO never hurt anyone. ?

                 The Cincinnati crowd was the liveliest I had seen after Nashville.  Many long-time fans there, obviously.  Mairead N has them going quite early in the show—which is always nice to see!

               Lynn  Hilary appears  a bit more at ease than I had seen her in Evansville, IN the previous week.  Really into the swing of things, I would say. Si Do Mhaimeo, a former lead Meav number, now  a duet taken by  enchanting Mairead Carlin and Lynn Hilary is particularly delightful. The choir role in this one has been enhanced both vocally and visually with finely performed choreography from the choir. I have come to appreciate it more with every show and am so glad it was introduced. I could say the same for New Grange, which beautiful new-addition Mairead Carlin has made into a major piece in the show.

                The “unnamed” (as best I can determine) percussion number which keeps the audience guessing what is going to happen was also noteworthy:  beginning as a dancing duel of sorts between Craig and Nicholas, both of whom the audience learns, can really dance!  The two of them together is spectacular. They are soon joined by Anthony, Ray and Andy who set up on boxes behind them. Having seen this song performed a half-dozen times this tour, I can unqualifiedly attest is choreographed and not ad-libbed. The audiences applauds many times thinking it is over, when it isn’t.

                The sound of “Da, da la deeda”—Teir Abhaile Riu (TAR)!  Front-row center, neither Dan or I have a chance at being “selected” by either Lynn or Mairead C.  Sad  It was a great performance, nonetheless!

                I Know My Love with its calypso beat is a gorgeous Mairead Carlin’s solo number. She does it flawless, with many facial inflections and gestures which make it all the more entertaining.  The choir is fabulous in their dancing, backup vocals and clapping.  Each of them has something to add to the atmosphere of this marvelous song.

                  Post-intermission starts with The Call, in a different, less bombastic arrangement is sung by knock-out Susan McFadden.  I’ve not been a fan of the new arrangement of this David Downes song, but it sounds great tonight (and at later shows). The tempo has been picked up and Susan has added more energy to it.  I withdraw my complaints about this new arrangement.

                   Ray’s number is well-received and the crowd responds reciprocally. He gets quite a few laughs.  Our section won the cheering contest (if somebody disagrees with that, let them write their own review).   Tongue

              The new introduction of Nil Se’ N La’ begins off music being performed by Mairead N and Ray.  There is much going on in the  audience interest, they learn as the choir and dancers suddenly appear among them.  Exactly how, seems to vary from show-to-show, probably based upon the layout of the particular venue.  To catch all the action, you have to turn repeatedly to either side.  It is worth the effort: some fancy footwork and entertaining antics going on there which ought not  be missed!

               The choir (and Andy) slinks in under the withering eye of Lynn and the other soloists. They don’t seem overly repentant though.  Even Ray, innocent of any wrongdoing, gets a slap from Máiréad N.  Cheesy  Then the number starts in earnest.

              Loud drum beats and choir harmony signify the start of Mo Ghile Mear. No performance of it is complete without someone in the crowd jumping, startled out of his/her skin!
              You Raise Me Up—as it is introduced by Mairead N a murmur of recognition goes through the crowd, some people remarking at hearing her speak—a pleasant surprise to those who have not previously heard it.  This is followed by the a cappella strains of Máiréad C starting that traditional evening-ender, The Parting Glass.

                The bagpipes don’t end with what is ostensibly the last number, The Parting Glass. Instead, they herald a lively encore featuring solos by the instrumentalists as Mairead N, bow raised, enthusiastically introduces each to audience applause. And now we have—Tommy Martin on drums, er, a little miscue there,  as Máiréad turns to Tommy rather than Ray. As all the instrumentalists are introduced and strut their stuff in solos, they are joined by dancers Craig and Nick.  Everyone is on their feet by this time, so Daniel and I are no longer the Lone Ranger and Tonto in standing.   Cool

                As the show ends, Mike, Neal, Daniel and I, along with several others, gathered outside near the buses.  A  maroon-velvet rope had been set up for us to stand behind, a burly matron daring us to cross.  A young lady to our rear asks how she might join the choir.  I venture there is some precedent for a member outside Ireland, as Amy Rivard, of Canada, was once a member.  I suggest she contact David Downes.  About that time Craig Ashurst came over to see us and so I tossed her question over to him.  He dodged it with a “good to see you” and took off, without the company of the would-be choir member, who was thereupon led off by a very angry brother who had by then come to get her, impatient to leave.

                  Lynn Hilary came out and headed for the bus. By the time my camera snapped, only her arm was visible outside the bus. Ray came by and spoke to us briefly.  We got waves from Anthony and Andy.  Then the highlight making the wait worthwhile:  Máiréad N came out,  coming over to talk brief and exchange hugs with each of us.  She thanked me for the gift of premium rosin I had given her.  She bid us a fond farewell and got on the bus.

                     We disbanded with the  next night’s show in Akron beckoning.

Here I am with choir members Sarah, Edel and Craig, prior to the show.

My M&G photo with the soloists:

Neil with the soloists:

Daniel with the lovely ladies:

« Last Edit: May 21, 2014, 05:08AM by Starman » Logged

Bodhrán Player
Posts: 6,486

« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2014, 10:56AM »

Thanks, John.  I enjoyed the review and pictures as always.

There is no Lambe like our Lil' Lambe.  Mairead Carlin is the real deal.
Honorary Roadie
Posts: 2,644

« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2014, 03:39PM »

  Thank you Hubert!  Smiley

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