Celtic Nights, the new piece from the creators Gaelforce Dance, performed at the Long Center Sunday night for a one night engagement. This is one of their first stops on the U.S. tour, and next they will continue to Missouri. The show combines singing and step dancing with Irish musicians who play everything from fiddle to Uilleann pipes. First to capture the audience, were the singers with a number of traditional songs that bring the Ireland of centuries past to mind.
The night also included a few modern songs like “Brown Eyed Girl” and selections from the band U2. All of the vocal performers were excellent and the men were especially superb. They all interacted with the audience and allowed us a glimpse into each of their lives across the pond.
In addition to the amazing vocal talent, the instrumentalists were great as well. One of the highlights was the fiddler who came forward to speak with the audience and claimed he was nervous because he was a “fiddler in fiddle country.” He had nothing to fear, however, as he wowed everyone present and was a joy to watch playing some truly extraordinary pieces. The instrumentalists were so good, I would have liked to see more of them in action as opposed to the pre-recorded music used for most songs.
Some of the highlights of the first half were “Danny Boy,” the “Spanish Lady,” and a song from “On Eagle’s Wings” sung by the whole cast. After the intermission, the team came together and performed pieces that combined singing with the stepping seen earlier. While the choreography was lackluster, the steppers themselves were extremely talented. By the finale, the band of 16 members had hit their stride, and the audience was brought to their feet. They finished with a huge inclusive number featuring all the participants – dancers, singers and musicians – as they sung together some well-known classics. For one song, the audience even joined in. After only one night, they are moving on to other cities across the country but look for some new projects from this team.