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Author Topic: David's tour reports  (Read 213 times)
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« on: May 06, 2019, 11:55:33 PM »

I saw my first Ancient Land tour show on Saturday, May 4th at the Terrace Theater in Long Beach, California.  It is part of the Long Beach Convention Center, a complex of large buildings that were hosting many other events that weekend (like a SCUBA conference, basketball game, and women's health expo).

Almost everything about this two-night vacation was better than I expected!  On Friday night, I found out that the neighborhood across the street from the theater is a trendy, walkable area called the "Promenade" with live music venues and great restaurants.  The sunny, breezy, 68°F weather was perfect for the 6-mile walk I took on the beach on Saturday.  The Queen Mary is a pretty impressive ship from the 1930s that I got to see on Sunday.  Flying to Long Beach from Las Vegas (via LAX) was cheap and simple thanks to Alaska Airlines.  The Ancient Land show itself also exceeded my expectations...

A surprise in the set list

Early in the second act, Megan sang Faith's Song!  She introduced it by saying something like "This song is from our latest album, and it is the first time I have sung it on this tour".  From everyone else's reports, I was expecting her solo in the second act to instead be Shenandoah.  This was great news for me because Faith's Song is my favorite song on this tour, and I was also favor Fields of Gold over Shenandoah.  (From the commemorative Ancient Land program, it seems like Megan likes Shenandoah a lot though, because that is the only Celtic Woman song she mentions on her page.)

Other than Megan's surprise solo change, I think they did all the same songs that Tom reported in his set list.  I did not keep careful track of the order of the songs until after I heard Faith's Song.  It seems like they reordered many of the songs in the second act but the first act was probably the same as before.  Here is what I heard:

Act 1:
Ancient Land
Moorlough Shore
Follow Me
(more songs, including Fields of Gold...)

Act 2:
(more songs...)
Faith's song
Siul a ruin
Ae fond kiss
Garden of Eden
Over the rainbow
Tip tap toe
Tara's tunes
Bean Phadin
Going Home
Kesh Inn
The Parting Glass

Meeting the dancers/singers:

Before the show, I met all of the dancers as they were handing out Ancient Land souvenir programs.  It was my first time meeting each of them.

First, I met Colm Farrell and bought a program from him.  He asked if we had met and I said no but I was in Wexford and saw him perform there.  He asked if this was my first show in the tour.  We got a picture together.

I met Carl Maguire, and complimented him on dancing with Susan in Homecoming, and made some small talk.  We got a picture together and he specifically asked me to tag him on Instagram so I did.

I also met James Greenan for the first time.  I asked how he is enjoying Long Beach.  He was a very friendly guy who asked me a lot of stuff: where I was from, how long I am staying in Long Beach, what I do, and if I have seen the show a bunch of times.

Meeting other fans

I got to meet Rachel, a super fan in California who has been following the group much longer than I.  We were both sitting in the second row and she overheard that I was at Wexford, mentioned Tom's name, and then I realized I had heard of her a few minutes earlier.

Between Rachel and me were two elderly ladies who had an interesting story.  It turns out they inherited the tickets from one of their friends who had an unfortunate, untimely death.  They found the tickets on the keyboard of his computer.  I only place something on a computer keyboard when I want to guarantee that someone else will see it.  I wonder if this man's dying wish was for his friends to find his Ancient Land tickets.  He used to take one of the ladies to Celtic Woman shows in the past, so he probably would have wanted her to find them.

After the show, Rachel invited me to join her at the stage door, where I also met Kenny and Craig.

Stage door

We were basically standing on the balcony to the west of the theater lobby.  The stage door was below us to the south, connected to a curved, raised, sloping driveway.  The balcony and the raised driveway each had walls to prevent people from falling to the ground that was maybe 15 feet below, so it was a pretty formidable barrier.  However, we could still see everyone departing from the door very clearly and exchange brief words with them as they walked down the curved, sloping driveway around us to reach the three buses.

When we saw Megan, I said "We are so happy you sang Faith's song, it's the best!".  She looked at me with recognition and said "I knew you would like Faith's Song because I saw your tweets."  So I joked, "Oh, thanks for changing it up for me!"

Máiréad was right in front of Megan and she didn't stop, so there was no time to say anything to her.

I didn't say anything to Éabha; I think I just let the other fans compliment her instead.

I said generic nice things to a few other performers, like Kieran Leonard, John Hunt, and Tommy Buckley.  I always made sure to say their names.

The last people we saw were Tara and Louisa Parsons.  Tara was so sweet; she asked if there was a way to get to our balcony, and then walked back through the stage door, through the door to the lobby, and through the balcony door to join us.  Louisa and I chatted briefly while Tara was talking to the other fans.  Then Tara turned to me and said "Hi, David".  I shook her hand and expressed surprise that she knew who I was already, because we had never met before.  She said something like "We remember you from Wexford and social media." but with a few more words.   I complimented her performance of Tara's Tunes.  She asked about my next Ancient Land show.  I should have gotten a picture with her, but didn't because I'm awkward like that.

This experience sends a signal to me that Tara genuinely likes talking to fans, while maybe the others just do it to be polite.  Everyone but Tara just kept walking when they saw us.  This was my first stage door and I'll be refining my impressions of them over time.

Other special moments

Éabha, gave a special introduction for Garden of Eden: she said she went to Long Beach the summer after college to do writing work.

After The Kesh Inn, the whole theater gave a standing ovation so long and so loud that Mairéad had to wipe away a tear.

I took a picture of the venue before the concert at sunset.  I also took a picture of the stage.  These pictures weren't that interesting by themselves, but I'm glad I took them so I could post each of them to Instagram and tell a special story alongside them.
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« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2019, 08:04:02 AM »

Great write-up David! I'm intrigued to find out if Megan continues to perform Faith's Song on the remainder of the tour. Not too long until you, me and Gregg find out at the Minneapolis show! That's such a neat story of the people sitting next to you who found the tickets in their friend's house after he passed. I'm glad you did get to go out to the stage door after the show. It's so cool that Tara and Megan both knew who you were, having never met you. These ladies blow me away like that, I absolutely love the way they connect to their fans. And Tara back-tracking to find a way to your balcony is so sweet. Gregg and I have had great experiences with each of the ladies at various stage doors, but of the five ladies we have met (the current four plus Susan) we have definitely spent  the most time talking with Tara. She's such a sweetheart and will just hang around and shoot the breeze with people. Love her!

Can't wait to see you in a week and a half for Minneapolis!
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« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2019, 07:21:00 PM »

Ooo, Faith's Song is my favorite Megan solo, so I'm glad they decided to include it in the show. ;D
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« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2019, 03:30:23 PM »

The one thing that AMAZES me about these reviews is how you guys can remember so many details.......I can`t remember what I did 5 minutes ago.  :D
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« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2019, 05:25:03 PM »

The one thing that AMAZES me about these reviews is how you guys can remember so many details.......I can`t remember what I did 5 minutes ago.  :D
:D :D :D
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« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2019, 05:43:10 AM »

The one thing that AMAZES me about these reviews is how you guys can remember so many details.......I can`t remember what I did 5 minutes ago.  :D

Nor can I. But Celtic Woman has my full attention and everything they do is memorable.
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