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Author Topic: ChloŽ: An Irish Heart (March 17, 2018)  (Read 235 times)
CWazyTom
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CWazy Canadian, ChlovŽr for life!


« on: March 19, 2018, 12:49:18 AM »

An Irish Heart


--- Although I've kept a few details intentionally vague, this may contain some spoilers for people that haven't yet seen this show ---



On St. Patrick's Day, March 17, 2018, I saw ChloŽ Agnew perform with the Atlanta Pops Orchestra in Van Wert, Ohio!

Like most of my trips to see ChloŽ, this was a drive. This show was almost 7 hours away. But the more I see her live, the more I believe there's nowhere that's too far to see her.


The Gathering

IloveyouSarahBurke!! <3 got a few of us together for a pre-show gathering at the nearby 'Black Angus On Main' restaurant, which was just a few minutes away from the venue by car. That was fun, IloveyouSarahBurke!! <3 !! Thank you!

I was my usual shy, non-talkative self, but I was having a great time. Wink


Meeting ChloŽ

There were no Meet and Greet tickets available that I could find. So in the time leading up to the show, I was wondering if there would be a post-show Meet and Greet in the lobby or not. She was in the Lobby and Greet after the show I saw with Nathan Carter last year. But I hadn't seen one of ChloŽ's orchestra shows before, so I wasn't sure if I would be able to meet her. Someone that went to an earlier show mentioned that there wasn't any such thing organized after her shows with the Atlanta Pops. I had reminded ChloŽ on social media often in the weeks leading up to the show that we were coming. She was looking forward to having us at the show, but could she meet us?

Someone that had gone to ChloŽ's show the previous night had managed to meet her by waiting at the merchandise table after the show. When Dermot came out to retrieve any merch that was left over, they asked if he could get ChloŽ and he did. That was my plan going into the evening, but we found out before the show that she couldn't stick around after. Shocked

So things weren't looking particularly good for meeting ChloŽ this time.

Near the end of the pre-show gathering, Karsten let us know that he had a secret contact that said we could meet ChloŽ before the show if we showed up early to the venue. Shocked

So we all hurried over there. In our excitement, we got there a few minutes before the doors to the veneue opened. It was a bit chilly outside, but we took the opportunity to take some pictures outside the Niswonger Performing Arts Center before they let us in.

There was a group of people gathered near the back of the lobby that apparently were part of a Meet and Greet group. These must have been special tickets for sponsors or members or something, because there were definitely no Meet and Greet tickets for general public sale anywhere. If you've read my post on my Celtic Woman: Home for Christmas concert in Saginaw in December of 2016, you may recall that I had been a bit surprised to see a Meet and Greet group assembled before that show as well. I was having somme traumatic flashbacks at that point. The staff was saying we needed some special Meet and Greet stickers. Umm ... what? The Meet and Greet group went in. This time though, I had a feeling Karsten and his mystery contact Wink would come through.

Shortly after the M+G group went in to the back area of the venue, some other people from the staff came out and asked if we were the group of fans there to see ChloŽ. We were. After some confused dialog between some members of the staff and them calling back to the uh, surprise contact, they took us to the front of the Meet and Greet line. The mistro of the Atlanta Pops was outside the room where the M+G was taking place. Some of the others in the group got photos with him. Just as I was about to, the staff told us to go in quick and see ChloŽ because there were a bunch of people waiting behind us and they were a bit short on time.

So we peeked into the room and there was ChloŽ!!! I got to go first! She recognized me and welcomed me over with her brilliant smile. She just seems to get more and more beautiful every time I see her. As usual, I got really giddy and rushed over her like an excited child running over to hug Elsa at a Disney theme park. I gave her a great big hug. She loved the cheap, oversized St. Patrick's Day novelty hat I was wearing. Cheesy She also loved the ChloŽ forum buttons ( thanks Jim Wink ). I asked her if she wanted one and she did, so I put one in her gift bag.

I had her sign some things, offering her a selection of pens with various colours and tip sizes to choose from. She said she liked how I came prepared and organized for these. I had a flashback to my first Meet and Greet with her, where I hadn't remembered to bring anything to sign at all. I smiled at her and said this wasn't my first Meet and Greet anymore. Cheesy I had come a long way since the first time I met her, but I was still shy and practically speechless in her presence. She thanked me for coming and said she was so glad I had come all this way to see her again. Like my first Meet and Greet with her and every subsequent Meet and Greet I've been too, I couldn't do much but smile and thank her repeatedly. I got to hug her again and take some photos with her. I must say, when I first met her, I was really bad at taking photos. I was not photogenic at all and my smile was pretty awkward. She has been such a positive influence in my life in so many ways. But one of the most important ways is that, over the years, I have finally learned how to smile, for her. Smiley <3

In the excitement of meeting ChloŽ, I actually left the room the gift bag still in my hands. Woops! I rushed back in after a couple of people had met her and left it for her at the back of the room.


The Venue

The merch stand was set up in the lobby. The Atlanta Pops had some merch there. ChloŽ had her typical assortment of signed photos, CDs (not her new EP which should be out later this year), and pretty much all the merch a ChlovŽr would desire. By that point, I pretty much had everything on the table already. There was signed photo I didn't have yet, but I have quite an overwhelming amount of her signed photos back home at this point, so I decided to pass this time. She did however, had a nice little clear, signed glass I didn't have yet, so I got one of those.

The show was in what I would call a normal-sized auditorium, the size in which one might see a Celtic Woman show. It was larger than the typical venue for her solo shows. I suspect quite a bit of the crowd was a local crowd there to see the visiting Atlanta Pops Orchestra.

The stage was fairly simple in design, with a white background, lit with green for St. Patrick's Day. There was what I'd call a medium-sized orchestra. I didn't count the number of pieces, but if I had to guess, I'd say maybe 30-40. The orchestra was pretty far back from the front of the stage, leaving lots of room for the performers in front of them. We were about 3 rows back, just to the left of center stage, the best seats I could get. I thought the seats turned out great!


The Show

Before the show, someone came out on stage, thanked everyone for coming, thanked the sponsors, and mentioned that they would be recording the show Shocked

I believe it was being recorded for a promotional video, rather than something one might see on PBS or a DVD one day. They had a few cameras set up partway up the aisles and microphones set up for the members of the orchestra.

The lights went down and it was finally show time!

I've seen ChloŽ a few times now, including a few of her solo shows, a show with Nathan Carter, and one with Lisa Kelly in Peachtree City. While every time was special, this show was quite possibly the best. ChloŽ sounded fantastic! She sounds great at her solo shows, with Dermy as accompaniment. But with an orchestra behind her, she sounded better than ever! ChloŽ performed some songs from her regular set list, including some arrangements of fan favourites from Celtic Woman. The Atlanta Pops arrangements were a bit different than David Downes's arrangements. Although I did prefer some of the CW orchetral arrangements, I thought the Pops arrangements were great overall. ChloŽ also performed some songs she I hadn't yet heard her perform live before.

ChlovŽrs, I have heard her sing some pretty impressive stuff. She has reduced me to tears on multiple occassions with her passionate performances and beautiful voice. But with that powerful orchestra behind her, it was on a different level. I was fighting back tears (often unsuccessfully) for almost every song in her set list! Her duets with Dermy were incredible!

Dermot, who usually plays guitar and piano in ChloŽ's solo shows, was only singing this time. He performed a solo for St. Patrick's Day. I've heard him perform it at ChloŽ's shows before. It was quite impressive.

Another treat during the show was Scott Porter, who danced a few times during the show. This time, I got to fully appreciate his performance, since I wasn't getting blasted repeatedly in the eyes with strobe lights the whole time. Cheesy

The Atlanta Pops orchestra had some standout pieces as well, while ChloŽ was getting a breather backstage. They did some good medleys, but my favourite pieces were Shenandoah and The Ashokan Farewell. Those were both deeply moving and very well done! The conductor was quite funny and was very complimentary of ChloŽ. While ChloŽ was in Celtic Woman, he had dreamed of one day performing with her. Dreams really do come true.

ChloŽ gave us shout-outs during the show shared her engaging smile with us several times. There are people who can sing. There are people who can interact with the audience. But there is nobody else like her. <3


Post-Show

After saying goodbye to Sarah, Karsten, and Eric (hopefully I get to see them again for Lisa's show in August), I headed back to the hotel. From past experience, I knew I wasn't going to be doing much sleeping any time soon, so I posted pictures until after 2:00 AM, when I couldn't keep my eyes open any more.

The drive home was pretty long (including a extremely slow border crossing, likely on account of March Break), but at least I didn't have to do this one alone.

On the way back, I played Homecoming ( the signed Target-exclusive version Wink ) to get ready for my two Celtic Woman concerts coming up in less than a month. Then, I listened to a mix of former Celtic Woman guests and former Celtic Woman choir members (including Amy Rivard, in honour of passing through her hometown on the way back).


Closing Thoughts

ChloŽ refers to their touring group (her, Dermy, Scott Porter, and the Atlanta Pops conductor) as The Wolf Pack, I believe. They make a great team and treated us all to a wonderful show. There were quite a few standing ovations during the show and ChloŽ seemed genuinely flattered by all the love and support. If you're reading this ChloŽ, you deserved every bit of it. You were so wonderful! Thank you sooooo much, from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to meet with your ChlovŽrs and for one of the most memorable shows I've seen in my life. <3
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