Monday, September 9, 2013

Celtic Thunder Mythology Tour Review

The Boys are Back in Town, and are they ever! Celtic Thunder kicked off their Fall 2013 Mythology tour in British Columbia this weekend, and I was delighted to be there for Opening Night. For those just showing up, Celtic Thunder is an Irish import musical show performed by six accomplished Irish and Scottish vocalists (George Donaldson, Neil Byrne, Ryan Kelly, Keith Harkin, Colm Keegan, and Emmet Cahill). It is filled with both ensemble and solo numbers, and backed by the fantastic Celtic Thunder Band.  They are talented, amazing, handsome, and put on a truly enjoyable show.

The ensemble numbers are fantastic this year. Rocky Road to Dublin, usually my favorite group song, kicked off the second half of the evening with amazing energy. It's fast paced, there's lots of movement, and it's just plain exciting to watch and listen to. The Boys Are Back in Town, performed by Ryan, Keith, Neil and Emmet, was really a lot of fun. The live concert experience gave it a great kick and I enjoyed it tremendously.

Brought in from a previous tour, A Song for the Mira was beautiful.  It had been performed previously with the addition of youngster Daniel Furlong, but this all-grown-up version was amazing. Perfect harmonies, gorgeous phrasing.  It was really well-done and possibly my other favorite of the night. Star of the County Down is one of my favorites to watch (they can all be my favorite, right?). Neil has the best comedic timing and never fails to make me laugh. Rounding out the foursome is George, Emmet, and Colm, and they all do a really great job of making this song cute and fun.

The newest member to the group, Colm Keegan (my crushy favorite), is truly adorable. Quick to smile with a lovely voice, he's a wonderful addition to the cast. My favorite of his solos was Katie, which he plays piano to. It's just the sweetest song and it's beautiful to listen to. Later, his duet with Keith on Sound of Silence is fantastic. They sound so great together on a song that I have loved for years.  Full disclosure... I spent a lot of time "making eyes" at Colm during this song, and possibly less time actually listening to it. (I told you he was adorable!) His sometimes partner-in-crime, Emmet Cahill, has a different but truly gorgeous voice.  Classically trained, his baritone is filled with amazing warmth that is wonderful to listen to. His Isle of Innisfree is a beautiful ballad and the silkiness of his voice just envelops you.  Wonderful.  He performs a lively Spanish Lady which is really a lot of fun to watch. He's energetic and adorably engaging.

Ryan Kelly(my actual favorite)'s Carrickfergus was a lovely poignant song. I loved seeing him sing a song with a gentler emotion. His performance of Hunter's Moon (a song written specifically for him) was passionate, mysterious and powerful, a great one to display his acting prowess. But, his House of the Rising Sun was a-maz-ing. It built steadily into an incredible jaw-dropping finish that I loved and wanted to immediately see again. Neil Byrne is probably the sweetest performer I've ever seen.  Carolina Rua and Perfect are both really peppy fun songs. My favorite of the two is probably Carolina Rua, and Neil sings it with energetic styling. What I really missed from the setlist for this show was Ryan's Dearg Doom and Neil's Summer in Dublin, which he performs with great believability and that I just love. I would have given anything to have those!

Keith Harkin performs a beautiful Tears of Hercules, from his solo album, and it's a lovely song. He sings with great tenderness and is a personal favorite of mine. But, one of the highlights of the night was his Man of Constant Sorrow. This was wonderful! It was so much fun and I tapped my foot so much and so hard that I think I may have worn a hole in the floor!  Don't miss this! George Donaldson was really good. He was so strong on Grand Affaire, both in vocals and in stage presence. He seems like he's really grown a lot as a performer in the last year and I was very happy with his performances all night. Life With You is an older song that fans are familiar with, but George gives it so much fun and energy that I was happy to see and hear it again.

When the rest of the company came out at the end of Emmet's Always There, dressed in the wardrobe that I knew went with the last song, my heart sank. How could a two-hour show be over so quickly?  And yet it was. Two hours spent with my favorite musical group, performances that still make me tremendously happy... even after six years of attending their concerts.  I can't wait to catch the closing show in Seattle at the end of the tour!

For tickets, see Celtic Thunder's website and don't miss a wonderful show!


  1. Colm's my actual & crushy favorite! I just can't help it. He's so sweet and has an amazing voice!

  2. Colm's my actual & crushy favorite! I just can't help it. He's so sweet and has an amazing voice!

  3. This is a wonderful review, so honest, thank you so much Joanne for sharing, xoxox

  4. This was great to find! I'm going to the show tonight, and I was wondering if they were going to be doing like a show that consists of the deluxe 2-CD option, and from what you wrote, I'm thinking it will be most of that. If you get this comment, and could leave a reply, could you let me know if they did Seven Drunken Nights? Once again, thanks for the review!!!

  5. They didn't on Openin night, but I've heard they've started adding it in since.


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