Monday, June 1, 2009

Celtic Thunder Spring 2009 Take Me Home Tour

Disclaimer:  This was written in the height of my crazyhead fandom.  I apologize for the over-exuberance that lies within.

My experience, my moments. This is really not meant to be indicative of the actual performance… it’s not a review, not really even a recap of the show… but rather my experience of it.

Act I

Heartland! Ok, I’m just going to admit right now that this song is a little bit of a blur. LOVED IT. Beautiful. Powerful. Feel it right down to your gut, as usual. Everybody’s all studly and stoic. But really, I’m pretty sure what I was thinking through most of it was “Holy crap, we are SO CLOSE! We could totally chuck pink marshmallows at Keith’s head!!!”

Castles In The Air… Lovely, lovely, lovely. I ALWAYS love listening to Keith sing live. He’s just really GOOD. For me, it’s really his inflection that is so pleasing to the ear… just sort of tinkles through your head.

I love Yesterday’s Men!! I’ve liked it ever since the DVD came out and have really wanted to see George sing it live. Well, wait, let’s back up. Let me just say that George freaking rocks my socks. I don’t think I enjoyed watching ANYONE as much as I did watching George. The whole night, not just this song.

Oh what do you SAY about Ride On?? I love this song from beginning to end. Ryan Kelly, you are so entertaining! All those crouchy moves fill me with delight! The moments I love to watch the most are JUST before Ryan dips into some move or line that he knows is going to get a huge reaction. Just something about the flash in his eyes is soooo fun to watch.

Come by the Hills was beautiful… We had a long line of older folks sitting behind us… and APPARENTLY are not as insane as we are, and had not seen every single moment of promo footage available, and were unprepared for Damian’s “new voice.” It was enjoyable for me to listen to their exclamations of surprise and awe as he sang.

Love Thee Dearest… oh Paul. We so love Paul. Oh really, anything Paul sings is beautiful. But I am particularly enamored with this one. Every time I’ve heard it live, all I’ve been able to think is “That’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard in my life.” And Vancouver was no exception. *sighs*

Raggle Taggle Gypsy… oh what do I remember of this one… all the things we know and love… Damian’s very deliberate clapping, Paul’s hips… I was so busy making eyes at George when he was standing right in front of us that I missed half of Ryan’s part. But I’m so glad I focused! Holy mack. And then the drum battle… I really love this part. I am a huge huge Declan fan. He is soooo fun to watch.

Desperado…. Do you really need me to say what I thought of the song itself? I mean, really. It’s Ryan. He’s singing. And there’s a chair. Three feet away. Is there anything I can say that describes it better than the facts??

Working Man… I really liked this. I think this might possibly be the first time I saw a CT song in concert that I was not previously familiar with. So it was completely brand-new to me. George was wonderful… sigh… I so love George. He is such a delight to watch. I probably said that already, but it’s true. His face is so expressive, I really love to see him. And then everyone… and it was just wonderful. Two thumbs up!

Danny Boy… simply beautiful. I am so in love with this arrangement. I have to remind myself that I am actually at a WATCHABLE concert… I really just want to sit there, close my eyes, and just listen. The blend here is breathtaking. The short review is not meant as an indication of how much I liked it… I just can say nothing to do it justice.

The Island… I CANNOT remember what line it is… and it must be in the chorus, because I remember hearing it more than once. But Keith puts a certain inflection on one of the words that makes me smile every time… it’s just very pretty. You can hear so much of Keith’s accent when he sings live and I love that!

Bird Without Wings… another beautiful piece. I’ve always loved this song… it’s consistently been my favorite “Damian song.” And it did not disappoint. The simple melodies, countered by George… really touching… thank you.

Remember Me… YAY, Paul again. Sigh, Faint, Thud, Swoon. All appropriate. Paul’s power makes me quiver. Like… I soooo want him to fall in love with me, but I’m not sure I’d want to meet him in a dark alley.

And… TAKE ME HOME. Oh my, how I love this song. Thank you for introducing it to us. If I could isolate one section (when everyone comes in just after George’s solo), I would just listen to it over and over and over again and not tire of it..

Act II

For me, the spell is totally and completely cast with Heartbreaker. To steal a phrase from one of my best friends, Ryan Kelly “owns this song!!!!!” Have you ever seen someone have SO MUCH FUN becoming someone else?? There isn’t a single MOMENT of this song that I don’t revel in. Every prowl, every note, every wink, every growl. I am totally and completely enamored from start to finish. When he performs this song, Ryan DEFINES animal magnetism. How anyone can NOT be drawn to that, I don’t know.

Nights in White Satin… the teenagers running to their seats a song and a half late after Intermission and Paul’s reaction has been mentioned several times in other reviews. And my amusement with it is no different… But I think what impressed me the most was that it was totally seamless. Funny, oh yes. But, if you had your eyes shut, and were just listening? Except for the laughter from the audience, you wouldn’t have a clue that anything had happened. Impressive!

Happy Birthday Sweet 16… This was so cute!!! I loved it… and particularly loved to glance down at my teenaged friends and watch their reactions as well. Watching Damian is a little like watching your nephew or something. He’s adorable, and you’re caught up and so proud of him. Well done!

My Boy… quite possibly my favorite moment of the night. George comes out and sits in his chair… and we’re treated to all the wonderful that is George. This is where it’s all about personal experience for me. George is literally RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME… He raised an eyebrow at me… I raised mine back… eh, impossible to describe the whole interaction accurately, I’m not even going to try. For many reasons, it was one of the most special moments of the night for me. My heart was touched.

Lauren and I… This was really very beautiful! I love to see Keith smile… and it feels a special treat when we get one.

Every Breath You Take… LOVED THIS. As has been said often before, very well suited for Ryan’s voice, and I expected that. I loved the hat and sunglasses on the band… very nice touch. I’m sitting here with my eyes closed right now, replaying it in my head, trying to think of what to say about it… but really, I’m just smiling and grinning at the memory, struck a bit dumb by my admiration of the vocalist. The addition of Zara’s dancing to this song was breathtaking!

Oh Steal Away… Bravo!!! Who knew you could take a song we’ve all come to know and love, switch it up completely, and leave us more in love with it than before?? It seemed fresh, brand-new, and Damian was incredible!!!!

500 Miles!!! Oh my gosh, I have been waiting and waiting and waiting for Vancouver to get here JUST so I could see George do this song, and I was so NOT disappointed!!!! It was FANTASTIC!!!! I love this song anyway, always have… and George freaking rocked. It was SO MUCH FUN!!!! George, you are a master! The whole thing was just brilliant and exciting and a total delight!!!!

I Wanna Know What Love is…. Another beautiful performance! Keith had the girls screaming through the whole thing.

Breaking Up is Hard to Do… aw, this was so cute too!!!! I loooooved watching it. Damian’s turning into such a showman! Both of the new Damian songs, the ‘doo wop’ girls were a great touch! I loved all of it… the choreography was adorable, Damian’s performance perfect! Loved the box step with Neil. *much applause*

That’s a Woman… ok, truly. The two guys I like to swoon over the best. On stage at the same time. How can I go wrong? I love the storyline that meanders through the show. I seized on it from the very beginning, and it is perhaps the part of the show I love the most. This song just gets better and better and better as the tours go forward. I always enjoy Paul’s posturing when Ryan’s going off about how much women suck. And I think my favorite parts with Ryan are his “What a woman!’s toward the end, and how he makes each one mean something just a little bit different. Brilliant.

You Raise Me Up… Home. Run. I was touched listening to him sing the beginning, really just so beautiful, I could hardly breathe. And then BOOM. And Paul kicked it into Overdrive. Holy mack. There’s nothing I could say that would do it justice. Beautiful, powerful, AMAZING.

Ireland’s Call… Oh how I love this song. I think there is no other number in this show that embodies the FUN of being a Celtic Thunder fan more than this one does. EVERYTHING… the audience participation, the pure joy that flies across the guys’ facial expressions. Everyone just looks like they are having such a good time on that stage. And there is just no way you could watch it and NOT be caught up in it!!

Wrapping both the instrumental numbers into this review of Appalachian Roundup… I LOVED both numbers… the band is sooo enjoyable to watch and so talented. It was great fun to listen, watch, clap along. The girls are beautiful, the dresses stunning. The guys handsome and a delight to watch. Actually, throughout the whole show… it’s fun to watch their reaction to the audience.

And we’ve made it to the end! Caledonia is always great fun… but bittersweet, since we all know it’s the end. And there is never a moment I do not enjoy… the guys making eyes at people in the audience, Paul hamming up his Chippendales moves, the guys trying to lift up Damian’s kilt… We had an arena full of signs that said “We love you too! See you in the Fall!” that were brought out for when the guys spun back around after the kilt twirl. I happened to glance back just before the guys turned back around… and truly. The entire arena was covered with them.

They stayed on the stage for a long time, basking in the applause and cheering… it was a true joy to watch that.
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