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Author Topic: The Fitzgeralds: Report from Laughlin, NV  (Read 653 times)
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« on: March 20, 2019, 12:06:31 AM »

I drove down to Laughlin, NV to see The Fitzgeralds perform at Don Laughlin's Riverside Resort Hotel and Casino on Saturday, 2019-03-16.  It was super worthwhile!  Each of them is very talented in multiple areas, and they put on a great show.  Here are my notes about what happened during and after the show.

Many thanks to CWazyTom for posting here about the Fitzgeralds; otherwise I would not have known about them.



There were four primary performers: Kerry Fitzgerald, Julie Fitzgerald, Tom Fitzgerald, and Kyle Waymouth.  Kerry, Julie, and Tom were usually on fiddle.  Tom seemed to be the star fiddle player and vocalist but he didn't play the keyboard, while Kerry and Julie both had turns on the keyboard.  Their friend Kyle Waymouth mainly played guitar.

Set list

As the curtain came up, they played a traditional tune called Red Haired Boy, which transitioned into a tune written by their dad.

Kerry Fitzgerald introduced herself and the group.

They played It's all your fault by Bob Wills, featuring Kerry on the bass ukulele.

They did a step-dancing battle routine.  Kerry and Julie were battling, and the crowd was encouraged to cheer.

They did an instrumental song with Julie on keyboard and Kerry dancing.

Julie introduced the next two tunes, which are from the family album: Danny Boy and The Dwyers.

Tom introduced a bluegrass song called Dark Hollow, which again featured Kerry on the bass ukulele.

Julie introduced the next two tunes: When Irish Eyes are Smiling (Kerry on keyboard) and The Irish Washerwoman Jig.

Kerry talks about their brother Pat (who left the group) and his drumsticks to introduce the next song.  I don't know it's name but it involved three Fitzgeralds, three chairs, and six drumsticks.  It was totally percussive, using none of the usual instruments.

They kept the chairs out on stage and played a fiddle song.  The chairs were not essential to this song, so it must just be their way of resting without an intermission.

They played some fiddle song featuring Tom as the main fiddler.

Tom introduced a fiddle song where he plays all strings at once by releasing the strings on his bow!  That was a neat trick and I had not seen it before.

I think Tom played solo fiddle in "The Parting Glass" next (but there were others playing too).

They did an awesome four-persion dance routine, where Tom and Kyle start it, then Kerry and Julie join in.  They were all wearing green flair for St. Patricks day.  (This was the first song where Kyle danced, so it was a pleasant surprise.)

Tom sang a bluegrass song based on a tune called Temperance Reel, with lyrics added by someone else.

Julie mentioned that their mom (Pam) put together this tour and travels with them.  Pam played keyboard for What a Wonderful World.

Kerry thanked the technical people running the show and talked about the merchandise table outside the hall.

For the very last song, whose name I didn't catch, they did the violin tricks I was looking forward to: Kerry played a violin upside down, Julie played a violin with her non-dominant hand (left), and Julie held two violins while Kerry and Tom played them.

I posted two concert pictures on Instagram:


Merchandise table

After the show ended, I waited at my seat for a few minutes before heading to the merchandise table.  By the time I got there, all of the main members and Pam were standing at the table.  They were selling Kerry's solo album, Fiddle-Beatz, and the family album that is just named The Fitzgeralds.  They also had a step-dancing instructional video by Julie, and the Everything Fitz DVD that CWazyTom described.

I bought the Everything Fitz DVD from Pam, and she threw in a mini frisbee that says "Fritz-bee" on it.  I usually want my frisbees to be regulation weight and size, so I don't really know what will become of this one.  I asked Kerry to sign the DVD, and I would have been OK with just getting her signature, but she passed it around to Julie, Tom, and Kyle to get them to sign it too.  At the table, I was able to introduce myself and have conversations with all the members.

A little later, Julie and Kerry were hanging out near the table with some fans so I joined to listen.  Someone mentioned to Julie that I was there, and so she turned and engaged me in conversation for what seemed like a really long time, maybe like 5 minutes.  In response to my questions, she talked a bit about her childhood and the stuff she is working on.

It was a pretty relaxed atmosphere, and I can't help but compare it to the meeting that Tom and I experienced with Máiréad in Ohio one week prior, which was both very delayed and very rushed.  Some of the Fitzgeralds and their friends were still standing around talking about what to do next when I finally walked away (to drive back to Las Vegas).


Next Saturday will feel very weird for me: I don't have any violin concerts to attend!
« Last Edit: March 20, 2019, 12:21:34 AM by VegasDavid » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2020, 02:12:32 AM »

I saw The Fitzgeralds again at the same venue on 2020-03-15.  This was a Sunday night show and it was the final show out of 5 that they did in Laughlin this year.  It was so much fun and I'm glad I went again, for the second year in a row!

The concert this year had a different set list, but many of the songs were the same as last year.  I didn't keep careful notes.  I liked a song they played called "Jutland" and the two songs that came after it.  During the show, they said Julie has turned 30 and she is the oldest sibling, and so they are worried about how long her knees can do step-dancing, but I'm not sure how serious that all was.  They did a swing song (It's All Your Fault) and Tom pointed out there there was a little bit of room in the aisles for swing dancing, so that might be fun for me to do next time if I bring a follow.

After the show, I bought Julie Fitzgerald's instructional DVD on step-dancing, and I had a great time talking to the family.   I asked most of them how they were doing.  Pamela asked me how my year was and said I might like "Cherish the Ladies", another band.  Tom remembered me from last year and wanted to shake my hand.  Julie remembered seeing me in the front row and said "eh" at the end of a question to me in that very stereotypical Canadian way.

Kerry was very friendly, perhaps because I had just recently purchased her single Beauty and the Beatz for about $10 CAD.  She asked if I was a musician, and then later as I was leaving she encouraged me to bring my fiddle next year, saying that I'm a fiddler deep down (even though I've never even tried to play one).  I'd like to think she likes my spirit and wants to collaborate with me on some level... maybe if I learn to play fiddle a little bit by next year, we could have a jam or she could give me a lesson or something.

Don Celebrity Theatre has been remodeled nicely; the seats and tables are arranged better now so that all the seats are actually facing the stage.
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