Sunday, April 22, 2012

Celtic Woman Believe Tour Concert Review

Last night I "Believe" I was in the presence of angels. Celtic Woman came to Portland for their new Believe Tour to the Keller Auditorium at the Portland Center for the Performing Arts. My husband and I got to go free for reviewing their CD and DVD on my blog previously. We don't usually get these opportunities to go out on dates as just the two of us anymore since having children, so this was quite the treat! This was an awesome early birthday present for me too (My birthday is May 10th).

We arrived there right on time to will call to pick up our tickets and be escorted to our seats. Little did we know that I would be right in the front row! I could touch the stage! Unfortunately the two seats weren't right next to each other they were one in front of the other. Even though we didn't get to hold hands and snuggle as much as we wanted to we both enjoyed the show thoroughly and we clapped til our hands hurt and gave a whole lot of standing ovations. Celtic Woman definitely deserved all of the applause and standing ovations made by the audience that night. They were spectacular! We also picked up a $20 program during intermission because I wanted something besides the tickets to take home with me as memorabilia.

If you have seen the Believe DVD you know how fantastically decorated and ornate the set on stage and gowns the Celtic Woman wear are. Well they brought all of that to Portland. From the drapery in the background of the scrolling archway to the chandeliers, it was all very lovely. I really enjoyed being so close that I could even see the stagehands up in the scaffolding doing the theatrical lighting. The lighting was grand and there was a scrolling pattern on the raised parts of the stage on either side where the drummers were that when ever was hit by the light it changed that color. They also projected patterns of things on the ceiling of the theater sometimes. The wardrobe of the women was embroidered and ornate as well and made the foursome look very elegant and princess-like.

For the DVD and CD the group is made up of 4 women: vocalists Chloë Agnew, Lisa Kelly, Lisa Lambe and Celtic violinist Máiréad Nesbitt. For this Believe 2012 tour a new member Susan McFadden joined the group while Lisa Kelly takes pregnancy leave. Even though this was Susan's first tour with Celtic Woman she was awesome and the whole group seemed like they had warmed up to her nicely. Lisa Lambe said this was her very first time in Portland and she was enjoying herself. Chloë Agnew, the veteran member of the group mentioned that usually when they come to Portland it is rainy like Ireland and it reminds them of home because of all the green, but this time they had some sun and it was a nice change. Chloë has been with the group since 2004 when she was age 14. She and Máiréad have been the constants while the rest of the group has changed over time. All these changes to the group really hasn't broken any bonds between all these wonderful woman and you can see how well they get along with each other on stage. They also feature dancers, including champion Irish dancer Craig Ashurst, bagpipers, a six-piece band and the Aontas Choir.

The most memorable song I think for me for this concert was Ave Maria sung by Chloë. She was so breathtaking! I loved her gorgeous voice to this well known song. They also, like they did on the DVD, invited the audience to sing "Green Grow The Rushes" and I sang my heart out :) I absolutely loved seeing Celtic violinist Máiréad Nesbitt leap around the stage like a deer while in heals and playing her violin as she danced, her long flowing dress whipping around her like billowing clouds. Once again my heart ached to play the violin again. My husband joked that if I get another violin that he would expect me to dance with so much high energy while I play like she did. I also loved the bagpipes, even though there was not 16 like on the DVD, they were wonderful. Being so close to the stage makes you wonder if the performers are actually making eye contact and smiling at you some of the time. I thought I caught a glimpse of Máiréad winking at me and smiling as she danced and played, but who knows, it could have been my husband she was winking at, LOL!

After all  the fabulous performances by the Celtic Woman were done we stayed after a bit, as people were clearing out, to see the stagehands take the set apart. We also saw people line up for the VIP tour. I would love it if maybe next time we could get VIP passes to see them backstage or have a VIP tour of everything and maybe get to meet them. All in all we had a fantastic time at the concert and definitely would love to see Celtic Woman again when they are back in town.

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: Thanks to the rep and Celtic Woman for sending me tickets for free for the concert to review on my blog. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for doing this review.

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