Saturday, November 22, 2008

Something Completely Different

Mr. Fry and I have apparently been living under a large rock for quite some time. His folks (thanks, B&B!) sent us the gift of tickets to something called Celtic Thunder (Nov. 21, 2008, Nokia Theater, Grand Prairie, TX), our response to which was, "Huh?" We both just assumed it was yet another incarnation of the once-ubiquitous Riverdance.

I had planned on posting about it whether I liked it or not. It was only upon Googling to find a photo yesterday afternoon that I learned what it's all about. Upon our arrival at the theater and their entrance to the stage, I suddenly felt as if we were the only ones who had no idea who these guys were. It was like the rock concerts of my misspent youth! Well, except that nobody passed me a doobie.

We had 7th row center seats. The front few rows were filled with screaming, jumping girls and young women. The girl behind us kept squealing and shouting, "I love you, Damian!" These guys have groupies! There were drums, strings, bagpipes, some sort of flute, electric and acoustic guitars and bass. The music ran the gamut from traditional Gaelic folk music to 1950s pop (Paul Anka's [and later, Donny Osmond] "Puppy Love") to Foreigner's "I Want to Know What Love Is." The latter was sung by the blonde guy — I thought the green-shirted groupies would storm the stage! Hey, I like good looking men as much as the next woman, but then there's men in kilts. OH. HONEY. Now THAT'S what I'm talkin' about. There is something about men in kilts that so does it for me.

If you ever have the opportunity to see them, do. It is refreshingly different.


Anonymous said...

I don't have any advice for you on horses, however if you would like any advice on kilts, since you are such an avid fan, then please visit my site at

Glad you enjoyed the concert, I'm off now to google Celtic Thunder and find a video.

Thanks for the post.

Kind Regards,


Mark Regan said...

One reason you didn't hear about Celtic Thunder beforehand is because of the lack of diversity in our radio station airplay due to consolidation of ownership. But that is another subject for another day.

The rest of the world KNOWS who Celtic Thunder is: They have been at the TOP of the Billboard Top World Albums chart since their FIRST CD was released this past spring, and that CD dropped to number TWO when their second CD supplanted it in the NUMBER ONE slot.

As you found out, this was NO ordinary "concert" you attended. If you noticed, the age range of the attendees was from 7 years old to 70 years old. Children, Parents, Grandparents. (I didn't check the grandparents for doobies, but the kids and their moms, as you noticed, were too busy screaming and crying.)

And the MUSIC: It was a synergistic combination of Las Vegas glitz, mixed with the glamor of a Broadway musical, and the professional vocals and styles of an Italian opera, plus the lyrical quality found in Shakespearian theaters.

Put together in a blender with a mix of American "pop", Irish standards, and a few "world" popular traditional songs, topped with authentic Gaelic language and other Irish anthems, with, no surprise, a few requisite kilts and bagpipes and whistles and a bodhran thrown in for Celtic authenticity.

If you had a demographic checklist with you, you would also have noticed the compulsory teen heart-throb, the blond "surfer dude" straight off the beach, the "devil incarnate" out to steal the wife or girlfriend of "everyman", the suave, sophisticate, loyal, faithful man who is constantly losing the girl to..., well, you get the picture. Then there is the sincere, loving, honest father figure singling ballads about his wonderful marriage in the guise of singing a sailor's song, and giving the sad news of the breakup of that marriage to his sleeping son, and another tear-jerker about not having had the opportunity to say goodbye to his father before he died.

I sat in row eleven and couldn't even see the stage because of my profuse tears. And I'm a 60 year old guy.

I've worked over the years for James Brown (The Godfather of Soul) both during the years when he and his Rhythm and Blues band was jest getting started in SC and Georgia, to the time when he added the majesty of his "Las Vegas" act show-style. I've seen the Beatles and Elvis and many in between, big and small acts, but NO performance had the emotional and psychological punch as Celtic Thunder.

Put together by Sharon Browne, with 20 years of star-making experience, and Phil Coulter, with a track record of over a hundred silver, gold and platinum discs, Celtic Thunder is taking America by storm, and you and I had the privilege of being here to witness what our grandchildren will be talking about after we are gone.

Check out my Google Knol for more info about the members, along with lyrics and YouTube links to each of their songs:

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