But what was/is so great about it?
At it's basest... cute guys with fantastic voices and Irish/Scottish accents. What's not to like? But, it's more than that.
As they will be the quickest to insist, Celtic Thunder is not a boyband. They are five soloists who auditioned to be a part of this show. Each of them brings something very different to the table, which I've come to realize is part of the genius of the show. Five very different soloists, both in age and style. One is a melodic folk singer. Another is a classically trained Irish tenor. Another is steeped in musical theater talent, another a gifted songwriter. All topped off with an adorable young teenager with a voice too big to be coming out of such a young boy. Here's the thing... If you don't like the style of one? There are four others there to tickle your ear. When they aren't soloing, they're coming together in ensemble songs that are replete with intricate harmonies.
The Show was their first DVD, and while they have improved in many ways since their debut four years ago, it is still their debut DVD that I find to be the most fitting introduction to Celtic Thunder. It is with this DVD that I always tell new fans... "This is what you should watch first." Is it their best? I don't know. But, it is the one that most tugs at my heart, most says "you want to be a part of this," and most makes me stop all else so I can listen.
Group SongsThe ensemble songs are almost always my favorite. It's the blend, folks. The blend and the harmonies are amazing. Heartland is incredible. It's haunting and a little menacing, and the black trenchcoat wardrobe lends an air of mystery. But, it's the harmonies and the power behind them that made me wheedle my husband into handing over the remote on the first night I ever saw them. Caledonia is probably my favorite ensemble song they've ever done. Dressed in classy kilts, this song just puts my heart in my throat. Beautifully done.
Ireland's Call is a fun song that's become a big fan favorite. This performance in particular is full of smiles and fancy choreography. Ok, I lied on the fancy choreography. But they do have a routine of sorts. Of special note is Mull of Kintrye. The harmonies are not as complex on this one, but it's fun to watch George attempt to navigate his way down the stairs after the guy operating the fog machine apparently went to sleep.
Damian is so young. Just 14 years old when this DVD was filmed, the voice that comes out of him is amazing, especially given his young age. The first time I saw him, I was convinced that he was lip syncing to some other person's voice for a few songs until I finally admitted, "No. That's really him. Incredible." He is sweet and engaging and adorable. Damian sings a simply beautiful rendition of Bird Without Wings, with George. He goes on to bring a smile to everyone's face when he sings and dances (kinda) his way through Puppy Love. Adorable. Absolutely adorable. Every girl under the age of 16 just falls in love with him.
A few extra things... As with every Celtic Thunder DVD, this one includes an instrumental with Cal/Local Hero, which shows off the talent of a Mr Neil Byrne. A couple years down the road, Neil will move up to the front and become a principle singer with Celtic Thunder. But, here, he simply performs on guitar. Amazing talent that, I think, could only possibly be rivalled by Keith. I'd love to see them both in a duet that allows them both to play intricately.
This DVD also includes a substantial bonus feature section with tons of interviews with the five main guys, both as a group and individually. These are really interesting to watch, before any of them really had any taste of fame. Just sweet excited young performers. Good luck, too, with listening to Damian and George. This is before any of them spent much time in America and their accents are thick!!!