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Author Topic: 2017, a Celtic trifecta!  (Read 5387 times)
moscapoet
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« on: April 29, 2017, 02:46:30 PM »

    2017 is an important year for me. It was ten years ago on May 1st that I attended my first CW show. It was in Albuquerque, a place I had just moved away from earlier that year. I was taking my then nine year old niece with me. I wanted her to see and hear women in entertainment she could aspire to be like and not the slimy pop divas and rap rubbish. We were twenty rows back but at the time I knew nothing of how to get better seats and meetings through PBS. Just a few weeks earlier I had been awakened from a sound sleep with a poem in my head. It was  3am April 18th and I had just listened to Lisa on the original CW CD singing Send Me A Song before I went to bed. I did not know until many weeks later that April 18th was a certain fiddler's birthday. But that song, attached to a vivid dream that night, set me on a creative streak like I had never known. It injected music into me like I had not felt in decades back when I too did a bit of performing. The rush of poems lasted many years only tailing off in the past couple to a trickle. Eight would up being songs with a girl from Australia, and I went on to write a fantasy novel. All because Lisa sang Send Me A Song. It is the top of my bucket list some day to sing that song with her. No, not on stage, people wouldn't pay to hear that, but off stage and recorded. Fast forward now to 2017.

   As soon as the show was announced the familiar faces pounced on table seating. It is not as big as the first show in terms of numbers, but still the largest gathering of CW-related fans since the Atlanta 2011 DVD recording. No CW gathering since has surpassed that recording, and no CW gathering since has surpassed the gatherings for the LK events. Having Chloe in the show helps that as well. There are no shortage of Kellyites and Chlovers out there! Wink So, Tony picked up a couple tables and we were set. But he did not book the airfare right away. Thank The Lord he didn't! That is because we learned that Mairead was joining up with another touring ensemble called Rocktopia and they would be in Atlanta just a couple days before the show at The Fred. Perfect! But the better seats for Rocktopia were gone by the time we found out. So we picked up second row balcony because there was a promised full cast meet & greet after the show. The Fosters and Karsten joined us in that row and Mike later grabbed a seat in the wings. So, it was set.

     Tony drove in from Valdez on Wednesday and I got off work that afternoon. We both napped until evening. It was then a matter of a drive into Anchorage for our flights. It was 10pm and still dusk. The flight to Seattle is about four hours and the one from Seattle to Atlanta about five plus a couple hours layover. I was fighting gout so sleep was only cat naps. Major walking was coming up. We arrived in Atlanta mid-afternoon and waited for Karsten to arrive. The Fosters and Mike would meet us at the airport where we would all take MARTA (the urban rail) into the city. Faster, cheaper, and less hassle than driving. We ate at the airport because Mike said there was little near the  venue which was only a couple blocks from the MARTA stop. The Rocktopia show is excellent. It's a fusion of classical and classic rock with a little Celtic thrown in. It is well worth seeing. We had a nice meeting after the official one with our favorite fiddler. So back we went on the train where the Fosters and Mike went back to the car and left and Tony and I picked up his rental car. That did not go smoothly but he, I, and Karsten made it to PTC and promptly went to bed.

     Next morning we awoke for breakfast and I met up with Ron to rehearse the songs we would do for the fan gathering at Mellow Mushroom. Margo would join us the next morning. But first Mike wanted to go to Steak N Shake for lunch which four of us did. The afternoon was now for Ron and I to work up the songs before the traditional night before dinner at Longhorn's. I'm NOT a soloist. But we had to work these songs up as best we could. It went OK but I did not intend to memorize all the songs. I knew I would be sleep deprived. The music ensemble I was with in Colorado sang with music and words in front of us and no one was paying to hear us at MM so I figured it was fine. Dinner that night was thirty people. One of our biggest ones yet with many new faces. Some of us later went back to our room and chatted until 3am! Sigh.  Tongue But those are so rare now as we seldom see each other so the time cannot be missed. I was up early and heard that Margo was in the lobby. I told Ron to pick us up at 10am but it was 9. She said she was sick with a cough. But Ron and I encouraged her to try rehearsing anyway even if only for the instrumentals. So we practiced in his room for a couple hours. Margo sounded fine. She planned to do I Courted A Sailor, and I joined her in the chorus. We left it that she would do that and help on instrumental and I would tackle the rest. Not exactly what I wanted. But Ron and I did not want to tax her after her long drive. Ron and I then began loading up his car with gear and headed for Mellow Mushroom. He had a small sound unit, mics, stands, and instruments. This was a real gig. We set up as folks gathered on the patio. More and more joined. The place was stuffed. Perhaps the biggest one of these yet. Far too big for the space and for comfort or sound. We had outgrown Georgia Shrimp Company and now we had outgrown Mellow Mushroom. Margo arrived and made it clear to both Ron and I she would do nothing. Zero. And very firmly at that. Sad So he and I were on our own. Not at all what I planned or wanted. But we decided to go forward anyway. Last year John was late and did not rehearse so we bagged it altogether.  I had planned the songs Sweet Carnlough Bay, Her Mantle So Green, Galway To Graceland, and Auld Triangle. The latter would be audience participation. I ate nothing. I never do before performing. Most artists don't. I just had hot water with lemon to keep the voice clear. It was very warm and humid with little breeze but the patio is covered. I told Linda we would start at 2 in order to allow every one to get there. And so we began with Sweet Carnlough Bay. It went as well as we had rehearsed it, and we got nice applause from everyone. Whew. Yeah, I'm no pro and you get what you pay for. But it went well enough and I was hopeful. Well, it then fell apart. Just as we began Her Mantle So Green there was a major commotion to our left. The noise was deafening. It was already a bit noisy but bearable. It seems American Hope had arrived with their new album and were autographing and having photo ops. No one knew they were coming and it was very nice of them to do that on performance day. But Ron and I were now upstaged. I could not hear his guitar with all the background noise and even Margo yelled at one point to pony up and support AH with dollars. That bothered me a lot. We could not do the song. Should we wait? How long would they be there? Who knew. So, I went ahead and did the solo of Galway To Graceland. Few were paying attention and it did not go as well as rehearsal. Auld Triangle was next and went better vocally and about 1/4 of the crowd did their part. But it was still too noisy.  Embarrassed I just wanted out of there. Ron asked me a couple times if I wanted to stay. No. We began tearing down and loading out. Not one person there bothered to say anything to us except Steph, not even Margo. We said no goodbyes and just left. We went back to his room and he drank a beer or two while I had cranberry juice. We came away determined that if the Pixiedusters ever performed at this event again it was going to be a proper band with committed people. He knows at least one who may be able to help. But we also need a bigger room. Even Tony said later it was so noisy he could barely have conversation at his own table let alone hear Ron and I. We need to rent an actual room unless some other restaurant has something in the area. MM can certainly cater but this situation was not good. So we waited and then the Fosters and I as well as Karsten headed for the venue. The REAL show was on now.

    We arrived and waited for others to arrive with tickets. Fosters had lawn seating but later upgraded to tables. I had little to say but stayed away from any conversation about MM. Later on another fan friend had very kind things to say as did another couple. They understood and were not at all happy with the way things went. They appreciated our efforts and felt badly for us. It was nice. In the end four people did that. Mike had recorded it but he will deal with Ron on that and I expect nothing to come from it. I was still in a bad mood.
But it was a nice evening and the weather behaved as it has always seemed to do for these shows. Luck of the Irish it seems. We had a  second row table a couple house right of center. It was another glorious night at The Fred and everyone was ready. opening act was a local trio of two girls and a guy who played instruments and sang Celtic music. Sinsear (sorry about no fadas) is what they are called and later the fiddler would back Lisa in the big show. They're good. American Hope was up next and I was just not in the mood for it. They get better every year and are quite good. But the events earlier just dampened my enthusiasm even though they did nothing overtly wrong. Can't blame them for promoting and being with fans. After all isn't that what many of us have always wanted from the CW girls? But now the main course was served. Lisa, Chloe, and now Dermot, and a new local guy named Cole. And we were off.

      Lisa opened with The Water Is wide. I first head that song from Orla Fallon and liked it. I next heard it with CW, including a recorded version in France with French bagpipers. Lisa does this one very well. Next up is Fields Of Gold. Another nicely done song many a fan associates with her. Funny, I always used to think it was among the fields of Bali and not barley!  Roll Eyes Next she seats herself on the steps and sings No Frontiers. I first heard this song on Eabha McMahon's solo EP. Her alto voice is very different from Lisa's soprano. Lisa seems to have dialed it back a bit on power and has a sweeter quality this night. Guess she is leaving the power work to her pal Chloe who now joins her for a duet. It is For Good from the stage show Wicked. This seems to be an anthem for the two of them and it always brings a smile. Even to me on this night. But it was Chloe who would break through my dark cloud with comedy. She went into a routine that had the place in stitches. My dark cloud was gone. She blew it away with laughter and then launched into my personal theme song from 2009, When You Believe. She always knocks this one out of the park. Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey both did this song but neither better than Chloe in my opinion. Next up we get the fine Danny Boy by Chloe's beau, Dermot. I have always liked him. Tonight he too had some comedy that made me even more cheerful. When I heard him last year on Paddy's Day in Portland with just he and Chloe I knew he had the gift. And the two of them together are pure gold. She may like Eamonn McCrytsal but I'd take Dermot any day. He just seems more down to earth and there is that personal connection. Lisa and her students now give us a delightful Bridge Over Troubled Water. My favorite version, though, is the rather gospel sounding one with Lisa Lambe. This is one they did at the 2011 Believe recording. New local guy Cole is now up and doing Beyond The Sea. He is very Bobby Darin or Sinatra. He is pure rat pack Vegas. He's slick and refined and does a regular Saturday night gig at a place up the road in Senoia. He and Dermot are next up joined by some students singing and some dancing with Galway Girl. The singers are all seated on the steps while the dancing goes on behind them on the stage. It's a real party. Lisa is back with Over The Rainbow which she always does so well. First act ends with everyone doing Amazing Grace along with a local bagpiper off stage to our right. Lights go up and we take a break. I don't mingle much and just wait for act two.

     Lisa opens the second act with Caledonia. I have always associated that song with her. Susan has taken it over in CW but for me it will always be a Lisa song. Lisa then does Summerfly which is one she said she always wanted to do with CW but David always shot down. It's a happy song and she does it nicely as always. She is now joined by Chloe and we get to do our part in a classic Irish song, Wild Rover. Lots of fun and everyone seems to be helping. I've heard this many times in pubs over in Ireland. Chloe is up now and Dermot joins her doing a song they do on their own tour, Grace. It is a song about The Rising which was commemorated last year with the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising against British rule. Dermot is on guitar as she sings this heart wrenching song. This is followed by the two of them doing what I consider to be the highlight of the night, The Prayer. This includes the Italian parts as well. His fine Tenor voice and her soprano blend wonderfully and it soars into a lofty symphony. This was my only standing ovation of the night. Many of the other familiar faces had already given several of those. Lisa is up next with students doing True Colors. Of course many of us remember Alex Sharpe doing that song with CW. Lisa remains on stage and, as one would expect, Cole joins her in Moondance. I knew they were going to do that! And he is perfectly suited to it while she remains the flirty one complete with leg peering out of a lovely silver dress. Yeah she may have had four kids but she's still gorgeous. Next up is the always fun dance off between Scott Porter and Aaron Tolson. They do this every show but this time there is a twist. Scott brings in reinforcements, his sons Jack and Cian. Now THAT was very special. So many of us remember them as little kids. And yes, they can dance and dance well! I would have imagined nothing less. Very cool. I'm glad they keep asking Aaron back. Of course, daughter Ellie is ever present when the singing students are up there. She is as emotive as anyone you can see on stage. Every bit the LK mini-me. Lisa does a song I've always liked, Fields Of Athenry. It is another protest song of the independence era. She does another song with students that she did last year, Hallelujah. Now she goes back to power. Seems during the course of the night she had some bugs that wanted to be part of her digestive tract.  Tongue She had mentioned that earlier. No bugs here. We then get the traditional closing song for so many years of CW as all are now on stage for You Raise Me Up. Of course, that brings all to their feet at the end and we stand and clap along to the encore of Dance, Dance, Dance. And so the happy throng dances off and another Lisa Kelly show is done at The Fred. We are all then off to IHOP which was caught flat-footed by so many so late. We should have called ahead and the wait was long. But it gave us all more time to chat which we would have done anyway. It's a post-show tradition.

      From the very first show in 2014 to this latest one all of these have been winners. She did May and December 2014, May and December 2015, May 2016, and now April 2017. I have been blessed to have attended all of them. Chloe has been at all of them as has Scott and Aaron. Many a familiar face has been to all of them. It really is now the only time many of us from the CW days see each other. It is a family. Of course, this show for Lisa and Scott is not about them. They are the drawing power along with Chloe and their guest stars. But the show is really about the students and giving them the experience and the exposure. it also is a fine promotional vehicle for her schools. My guess is if she does a December show this year it will be to support her Florida school near Jacksonville. The journey is always worth it for these for the fans. No matter what may go wrong there are no regrets in attending these and being with fan friends. And for the past couple years the Sterlings have been doing a fund raiser for scholarships to help those who cannot afford it to attend classes at the academy. This year they raised from fans over $3000!!!  Shocked Amazing. But that is the power of the artists past and present of Celtic Woman. They inspire. And the fan family is a very special one. And for me it brings me full circle from ten years ago and events that would change my life forever, in most ways for the better. Lisa will always be special for me. Girls named Lisa always have. I dated a Lisa. And then there is the ever loving and delightful Lisa Lambe. There is just something about a girl named Lisa.
 
« Last Edit: April 29, 2017, 06:55:04 PM by moscapoet » Logged

Lisa you will always be the voice
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