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Author Topic: My Home for Christmas Story (2016)  (Read 4559 times)
CWazyTom
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« on: December 15, 2016, 12:54AM »

On December 13th, 2016, I saw the Home for Christmas tour live at the Dow Event Center in Saginaw, Michigan.

My memory is poor to begin with and I was pretty overwhelmed by the whole show, so instead of posting a formal review song by song, I'll give an overall impression and some notes about some special things that stood out. This will be more a story than a formal review.


Quest to Meet the Girls

My plan was to try to meet the girls, but I wasn't going in with high expectations about that because I knew it was a long shot, especially with it being so cold outside.

There were a couple of spots I thought they might go if they ventured out, but none of those panned out. I'm pretty sure they stayed at the venue as it was not pleasant outdoors (cold to begin with and brutal windchill) ... as well as poorly shoveled (un-shoveled) and icy sidewalks. Walking through almost a foot of snow in certain places in dress shoes wasn't particularly pleasant. After close to a couple of hours of walking around the venue and around the river (the frozen Saginaw river was actually quite pretty), I had to call it quits and go check in at the hotel and warm up.

I did see the tour buses behind the venue, but they were really close to the back of the building. I hung around briefly after the show, but ultimately decided that trying to talk to them wasn't practical this time. To get close enough to be able to stop the girls between the stage door and the bus, I would have had to pretty much get right up to the bus and there wasn't any other fans hanging around there waiting for them that I could see. But more importantly, it was really cold and I decided it would be inappropriate for me to force the ladies to stop in the cold. As badly as I wanted to meet them, I wasn't willing to risk their health / voices.

I wasn't really holding out much hope to meet the girls outside the venue this time, so I wasn't too disappointed relative to my expectations.

What was disappointing is that once I got into the theater for the show, I saw a group of people with Meet and Greet stickers on (and someone who I assume was the PBS rep). Well...that was a bit of a surprise. I thought I had a pretty good look for Meet and Greets for this show, but I guess I either missed it or they were sold before I started looking right after they posted the tour dates. I asked what PBS station it was, but honestly I don't remember because my brain was in shock and wasn't processing things. It was something obscure though. I was pretty upset with myself, but if they sold the tickets on PBS before I knew about the show, it's not entirely my fault.

I pleaded for anyone that wanted to sell me their tickets and asked if anyone had extras (ie. if they had other people in their party that couldn't make it) and if I could go in their place. That didn't work, but at least I tried (not sure what I was thinking asking to buy tickets honestly since I didn't have $500 cash on me ... in case you were wondering).

Oh well. I was upset but brushed that negativity aside pretty quickly so I could enjoy the show. It wasn't the first potential Meet and Greet that's passed me by.

Anyways, to prevent this sort of thing from happening to me yet again, I will begin making a list of ALL the PBS stations in my driving range or anywhere I might want to fly and I'll start checking them 1-2 times a week for as long as it takes until I get my M+G tickets. Somewhere, some time, I'm going to meet them. I don't think I've ever wanted anything so badly in my life.


The Show

Might have some spoilers below...



This was only the second Celtic Woman concert I've seen live. My first Celtic Woman concert was Destiny back in March of this year.

The dresses look even better live than in pictures. My gosh the girls looked so stunning!

Eabha had a new upstyle hairdo courtesy of Amy Murphy. It was unexpected but really pretty. I'm normally prefer longer hair rather than having it all scrunched up in a bun. But this style did suit Eabha very well.

Mairead Carlin ... WOW! One thing about Destiny is that it didn't let her really let lose in a solo. She sounded fantastic in Destiny, but her performance in Home for Christmas blew me away! Ave Maria was of course fantastic. But what REALLY astounded me was We Three Kings (with Anto). She did that thing where her voice transcended into "Opera Mode" and oh my goodness was it ever spectacular!!!

The girls took a moment to announce Voices of Angels debuted at #1 on the Billboard World Album and Classical charts and that they Destiny had been nominated for a Grammy! They thanked the audience and all their fans for the wonderful support that allows them to do what they love.

Mairead Carlin (I think it was her, it's kind of a blur), dedicated My Heart Will Go On to all the people who had lost a friend or loved one over the past year. I have to say, I wasn't the biggest fan of the song before Celtic Woman sang it. Sure, it was a great song, but I always found it a bit too sappy to fully enjoy it (I know some people won't understand why I didn't love it before, but it's the truth). I very much enjoyed the Celtic Woman version from Voices of Angels. After hearing the dedication and then hearing them sing it to perfection live ... this song has taken on a whole new depth of meaning for me.

Celtic Woman is one of the few things that can actually make me cry. There were several times during this show when I just couldn't help myself. It was just too beautiful.


Tara

This concert was the first time I got to see Tara live! She looked stunning of course and my gosh was she ever good. "What Child Is This" was incredibly beautiful. Across the World was really impressive! Like we saw in the Facebook live video recently, Tara can really move around the stage! She plays energetically, runs back and forth, and spins around, all while playing at a frenetic pace.

I was a little surprised at the audience reaction. I mean they seemed to enjoy it and appreciate it, but I was literally the only person in the audience (that I know of or that I could hear) that was clapping along. I get it if people wanted to just enjoy the music and I was probably irritating some people around me by clapping, but come on! Tara wants you to clap along! Show her some support! If you don't clap along, she might think she's doing something wrong.

Tara appreciated me getting into it though (more on that in a bit).

If you're reading this Tara, some audiences are just like that I guess, a bit on the reserved side when it comes to things like clapping along and standing ovations and that sort of thing, as I'm sure you've realized by now. They love you, just have a more reserved way of showing it.

Honestly, what I found most endearing about Tara was her adorable and genuine joy at performing as part of Celtic Woman. I know all the girls love it, but Tara REALLY shows it. They introduced Tara near the start of the show and she said a few words about how she had dreamed of being up on stage performing as part of Celtic Woman and how thrilled she is to be living that dream now. She thanked the fans for being so supportive and welcoming right from the start. It's nothing we haven't already heard her say, but what struck me this time is that she was legitimately holding back tears when she was saying this stuff ... and so was I.

After the show, I Tweeted the girls telling them how much I loved the show. Tara replied saying she was glad I enjoyed it. Since I didn't get to meet Tara and tell her in person, I Tweeted a bit of what I wanted to say to her: that they couldn't have picked a better person in the world to join Celtic Woman and that my only regret from the evening was not getting to meet her. I think she was genuinely touched by that. She let me know that she wished she could have met met too, but that she noticed me in the audience. That let me know that she appreciated how much I was enjoying the show and that. While she made my day, I'm glad and flattered that I helped make her day too.

It seems like such a simple Tweet, but what she Tweeted (and more importantly the way she did it), meant everything in the world to me. I thought a couple of times during the show she was looking at me (like when she was talking about living her dream and being grateful for all the love and support, and when I was apparently the only one in the audience audibly clapping along to Across the World). I was in the third row from stage so I was close enough to see. I figured she was just looking out into the audience, but I guess she really noticed. I don't know for sure but I think she noticed how much some of the songs were moving me. She gave me that kind of adorable "aww, thank you" look a few times. What really struck me is how thoughtful and sweet she is, not just with me obviously, but with all her fans.

Thank you soooo much Tara! You're such a talented performer and wonderful person!


Some Favourite Moments

- Mairead Carlin's voice in We Three Kings ... WOW!!!!!!!!
- Across the World
- Mo Ghile Mear
- My Heart Will Go On (dedication and song)
- Tara


Overall Impression

The orchestration, the girls, the harmony ... it was all spectacular! Like I Tweeted the girls (at intermission actually), this was the best concert I have ever seen in my life! Now granted, this is only my second Celtic Woman concert, but still ... I'm in my 30s and this is legitimately my favourite concert ever. I enjoyed every song.

The first part of the show had more "energy" songs than the second half. I thoroughly enjoyed the first half. The back half of the show took it to another level. Almost every song was so beautiful and was arranged / performed so flawlessly, they had me fending off tears for almost the whole second half of the show.

Of the Voices of Angels songs, I seemed to enjoy the live versions even more than the album versions, if that's possible. For those out there reading this that haven't seen them live, please go see them! They're the best in the world. The girls sound amazing live like you wouldn't believe and seeing their emotion and feeling their energy when they're performing is an experience like no other.

Even though I didn't get to meet the girls, this was definitely the best concert I've ever had and one of the best experiences of my life.

Thank you Celtic Woman, from the bottom of my heart.

- Tom
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Jim M.
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« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2016, 09:23AM »

I'm glad you had a good time. Smiley
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CWazyTom
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« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2016, 07:05PM »

I'm glad you had a good time. Smiley

Thank you!  Smiley
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CWazyTom
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« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2016, 03:15PM »

I think I forgot to mention that before the show, my venue was playing Mairead Nesbitt songs (mostly from Raining Up) in the theatre before the show over the speakers. They played There Is No Night, my favourite Mairead Nesbitt indy song.

It was a nice touch.  Wink
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