Sometimes I just don’t know where to start. I mean, should I write about the Fish Fry and Game Night on Friday (turns out I’m not half bad at Flip Cup, which I didn’t know, and am a killer Mafia narrator, which I did), the gloriously lazy day followed by seeing the Celtic Tenors on Saturday (You know what’s sexier than a good looking man singing his guts out and doing it really, really well? Three good looking men singing their guts out. True story.), or Sae’s bridal shower followed by an epic Lords’ Day Supper with my CL peeps? It’s an embarrassment of riches, really. Man, I love my life right now!
As awesome as the Lord’s Day Supper was, however, I think the total highlight of the weekend (and possibly of the month) was seeing the Celtic Tenors Saturday night. I went with Sweet, Flo (who had offered me the extra ticket), and Flo’s brother. I had heard of them before, but hadn’t actually listened to any of their stuff. Still, I was pretty sure we were in for a treat. Let me say, I was totally not disappointed.
I can’t remember the last time I was so blown away by a musical group. I mean, I remember seeing Michael Bublé in concert, and that was fun, but it didn’t get me like this. The number of times I got goosebumps just from the sheer beauty, not to mention technical brilliancy, of what I was hearing… plus they had me in tears at least twice (maybe three times). It’s not just the beauty of their voices, or the charisma of their stage presence, but the way they work together, and the added depth that their harmonies bring to the music. It was incredible. For example, they sang Danny Boy, that cliché of a song that every Irish tenor is required to sing, even though it’s an English song written by an Englishman who never set foot in Ireland in his life. I don’t even like that song all that much. But when they sang it, I wept.
The high point of the concert was probably when they sang Shenandoah. They put down their microphones, came to the edge of the stage and sang it acapella. The acoustics at the Schuster Center are so good that you could hear every gorgeous note in the farthest corners of the theater. It was amazing, and brought the audience surging to their feet, the first time I’ve given someone a standing ovation before the concert was over. They did two encores, the first one being their version of Air Supply’s I’m All Out Of Love, which was amazing. The best part, however, was towards the end. Both Sweet and I were already on the edge of our seats, and then as they’re singing the final refrain, my favorite of the tenors, Daryl Simpson, just started wailing the descant over the top of everything, and it just floored me. Just… I mean… Good Lord, do you know how hard that is? And how rare it is to find someone who can do it at all, much less make it sound so beautiful? And… yeah.
When the concert was done, Flo, Sweet and I compared notes as we were walking out. All of us were rather overwhelmed in a very, very good sort of way. However, while I had a total crush on Daryl, they preferred Matthew Gilsenan, the tall, curly haired one with the clear, pure voice. We all were wondering whether they looked as good up close as they did from the balcony. All three were down in the palm court signing autographs, so we decided to stroll on down there and take a little look. The lines to buy CDs and get them signed were quite long, so we decided to perform a flanking maneuver, and see if we could get a better view of them from the side.
However, as we started sauntering over, we were suddenly intercepted by the fourth cute young Irish man in the room, Colm Rogan, the group’s musical director (aka the guy who was up on stage with them playing the piano). He just popped up in front of us, and started chatting. And it was awesome. I mean, how often do you get chatted up by a cute Irish guy? Especially one you’ve been watching on stage for a couple of hours? Plus, right about when we’d established that the main reason to pursue music as a living was for the free beer, Neil Gittelman came up behind Colm and put a beer in his hand.