||Once again, this family really puts on
a great show. It seems that they've gone up in the world, as they've
moved to a larger venue, and perhaps gone for an older crowd.
Donnell was, as the last time, the host of
the show, the spokesman for the family. He gave some fun and interesting
stories, explained some backgrounds to a few of the songs they were
about to sing, and introduced everybody.
He told of how this Christmas tour
really turned into the "expecting" tour, as Siobhean missed part of it
because she went into labor, then Agnes became pregnant, and was very
likely only a couple of months from delivering when we saw them perform.
Their replacement dancer, Shanda (I'm not sure if that's right), Frank
the drummer's wife, was also visibly pregnant during the performance,
but she could still dance! Doug the fiddler's wife, Jennifer, also
joined the tour as an extra vocalist, apparently having given birth a
few months ago, as well! Congratulations to everybody!
The show was a good mixture of stuff
we've heard before, some Christmas tunes, and some other Celtic stuff.
It was a good mix, because I think if they had kept to what we know of
them from their two CDs, it would have been a little disappointing.
Still, there is something exciting about hearing music that you've grown
to love on CD performed live. The energy that they gave to the
performance was great.
Jennifer, a small woman, doesn't look
like she could have such a deep and resonant voice. Together with Erin's
terrific vocals, she was amazing, though at times it looked like she
didn't know what to do with her hands.
Siobhean and Agnes looked positively
radiant, truly giving off the glow of pregnant women. They were both
swinging to the music as if they were listening to rhythmic jazz. I
loved the looks on their faces!
The fiddling was great, especially when
there were two or more doing what looks like a face-off. Donnell and
Angus would fiddle together, then be joined by Doug, giving an amazing
performance. It was nice to see Erin step out from behind the keyboard
to take up the fiddle during their encore, not to mention Siobhean. I
was a little disappointed that the drummer didn't pick it up, though.
Still, the crowd went wild when the others picked up fiddles instead of
their regular instruments.
I didn't think they did enough step
dancing. Since they do it so well, I thought we would get more. Mostly,
it was Shanda who would come on stage and give us a show, and it was
nice when she was joined by some of the other women. The final number
before the encore was their showpiece, A Call to Dance, where everybody
drops their instrument at one point and joins the others on the
tap-dance floor. It is truly an amazing sight to see, and I wonder if
they can ever do anything to top that!
The string orchestra behind them added
an unusual touch to their music. I don't know if it added much to their
fast and loud music, as the fiddles played by Donnell, Doug and Angus
drowned nearly everything else out! The slow songs, and the Christmas
songs, though, really used them, giving a soft and enchanting background
to their music.
The first half of the concert was much
slower than the second, meaning that there were many more slow tunes.
This is fine, but seemed to get a little repetitive after a few songs.
Maybe if we had had a dance floor nearby, it would have felt a little
more novel. The slow songs were very nice to listen to, though, in
their own way, but it is the energetic songs that really get our toes
These guys really give a great show.
They do the step dancing and fiddling with great pride and energy, not
to mention great talent. I hope next time they don't move up to an
arena-sized venue, but it was nice to see them in such an acoustic and
recognized theatre. If they have another concert next year around this
time, I would see them again!