Well Folks, Another Celtic Thunder concert and this time in Reno Nevada. We had 31 humans from all over northern California converge with us in Reno for an absolute amazing concert. Just thought I would take some time and share with all of you what you missed this weekend.
Friday November, 11th. Downieville participated in the Veteran’s Day celebration and parade. Was such a moving event and I thought of my father many times throughout the ceremony. A Veterans parade went from the bell tower to the community hall for a catered lunch. Well attended with Veteran’s from western Sierra County along with Veteran’s from Loyalton and the eastside of the county.
Everyone loaded into the vans and began our trek to Reno. Arriving at 3 pm at the Nugget Resort in Sparks. Met with a line that extended about 100 to 150 yards to registration. I decided quickly that we would never make registration by the time we had to head to the Silver Legacy. So, we loaded everyone back into the vans a drove to the Legacy where we met with others in the line for Flavors Buffet. Now, before we continue let me remind all of you this is a Celtic Thunder concert. Therefore everyone must “Put Your Irish On”. Betty Jo Murphy (Lang), you would be proud. We represented Ireland in the very best way. In that regard, let me share with all of the players of this celebration. Attendee’s were as follows:
Donna and Dan McNamera, Joyce “Frontseat Joyce” McWhite, Barbara McSeley
Gail O’Clemo, Marci and Mike McMatulich, Carol McMarshall, Barbara and Brian Jamison – Direct descendant of Jamison’s distillery – Dublin, IE, Linda and Jack McMarshall
Joyce “Honeybuns” O’Felix, Susie McWilliams, John McFunk, Doris O’Carpenter, Arlene McMonjor, Mary and Charles McErvin and son David, Autumn, Ayla and Avery O’Foxworthy, Sam McWhite, Petra O’Hallman, Joyce “Backseat Joyce” O’Decheccio
So, as you can see, Sierra County represented Ireland well. So, on to dinner. Some said it was better than expected. I thought it was fine, fine, fine. Now, As some of you were aware, an extra ticket to the “Meet and Greet” and the show was purchased. One lucky person in the group would have chance to win the ticket. During dinner I put tickets into a hat and asked one of the Buffet staff to draw a ticket. Sam McWhite’s name was drawn however, he was too modest to accept the prize and asked another ticket to be drawn. So we did. The second ticket drawn was Joyce O’Decheccio. Her excitement was overwhelming and she had to be restrained. (she didn’t even realize she had won). So, off we went to a room near the showroom for our Meet and Greet event. 50 seats were reserved and about 45 humans showed up. David Munro, Musical Director for Celtic Thunder greet us and explained how the time in the meet and greet would go. He introduced the oldest member and the newest member of Celtic Thunder……Ryan Kelly and Michael O’Dwyer. Many questions by the audience including one person asking, would there be another Celtic Thunder Cruise. The Director of Celtic Thunder Events was present in the room. David direct the question to her and here is what she said. It takes 18 to 24 months to organize a cruise. Therefore, there won’t be a cruise in the first part of 2017. Hummmm. What is this? a tease? Could there be a cruise in 2017. Guess we will have to wait. Stay tuned. Her smile while she was telling this was telling. Again, stay tuned.
Another question was, have they considered doing a concert with Celtic Women? They all looked at each other like, “hum, why didn’t we think of that?” Could it be something in the future? Stay tuned. There was a lot of conversation with the boys about their career and background. All in all, it was fun being a part of this. After the questions, Joyce and I had our photos taken with Ryan and Michael and they signed our show tickets. Again, Joyce was beside herself with excitement. I handed her both tickets to keep. She cried. I couldn’t keep her quiet from that time on. I think she enjoyed the meet and greet. I have attached the photo of the meet and greet. Can you see the excitement?
We met with everyone else in the lobby of the showroom. I handed out the show tickets along with an Irish flag with instructions to waive the flag when the boys begin to sing “Ireland’s Call”. Time to head for our seats. Joyce and I are escorted to our second row seats. We turn around and look at the rest of the gang and think, Geez, their seats are better than ours. Our seats were behind a bunch of electrical equipment and we could hardly see the stage. Since we had extra seats, we chose to join the gang and abandoned our pricey ticket seats. The announcement is said to keep all cell phones off and not to photograph or record any of the show. The crowd goes wild and the show begins. As some of you know, Keith Harkin (Petra’s unofficial husband) left the group and Michael has stepped in. I could tell Petra was eyeing him with a very critical eye. I could tell she was thinking He had better be good. By the time he got to “Now we are free”, she was a blubbering idiot. When he began “Hallelujah” she had a puddle of tears below her seat and they had to call for a “wet/dry” vac for cleanup. I guess Michael passed the “Petra Test”. Whew!
Now, there is Damian. As you all know, Damian is quite handsome and as I have heard Mrs. O’Clemo say, “He has the most beautiful blue eyes” as drool dribbles down her chin. He come out and sings “Falling Slowly” which gets little Avery O’Foxworthy (6 years old) attention. she watches intently as he sings and leans over to tell her mother, “He is so handsome, I would kiss him”. Autumn tells me during the intermission that “Galway Girl” is the families favorite song. I guess that is why Ayla was jumping like a rabbit dancing all over during that song. It is a good one! However, that was nothing. You should have seen those girls go crazy during “A place in the choir”. I guess they like that one too.
Emmet comes on stage and sings “Danny Boy”. They had to call for the wet/dry vac for Donna McNamera’s area. Her entire front was wet with tears. I have to say, Emmet can really sing that one. Even brought a tear to my eye. That young man can sing. What a voice! It’s okay Donna, I think everyone in the room shed more than a tear or two.
During intermission I discover that the entire row in front of us was empty. I checked out the view and discover those seats are even better than ours. Arlene, Petra and I relocate to that row just in front of the McMarshall’s, Mrs. O’Clemo and Mrs. McSeley. The The show begins again. The boys begin to do “Seven Drunken Nights”. They have put a variation on this one that brought the house down. That Neil can really act. He can play the best drunk ever. Anyway, a real nice job on this one.
It’s time for Damian to do “Breaking up is Hard to Do”. He runs on to the stage as Neil and Ryan are leaving and asks them to stay to assist with background vocals for the song. Now, The background vocals are usually done by the girls. No girls in the band to do the job. Neil and Ryan try to explain that they are guys and can’t do the job. Damian hands them a blond and brunette wig and talks them into doing the vocals. He starts the song and the guys/girls do their vocals. Perfectly I might add. Again, brought the house down! What a bunch of nuts.
“Ireland’s Call” begins, I give the signal and we are off and running. We are all waiving our flags throughout the song. Emmet see’s us and acknowledges us. We become the attention of the others in the audience and they ALL raise their hands and began waiving to the song too! The crowd goes wild. And then it’s over. What a great night and it appears everyone in the group had a good time. It was a relief to see that no one was throwing undergarments onto the stage. An awesome end to an awesome evening!
Everyone off to enjoy the rest of the day and get ready for Saturday’s events. What a day.
Saturday morning I gather those who want to join in on a trivia game. Several came and participated. It was all Celtic Thunder trivia. There were three prizes so the top three winners would choose a prize. First place was Barbara McSeely. She chose a thermal Celtic Thunder mug. Second place was Suzie McWilliams. She chose a Celtic Thunder calendar. And third place was Gail O’Clemo. She got a Celtic Thunder Ball cap. Game over.
Time to head to Virginia City. Arriving at about 1pm. Met up with Charles and David McErvin at the Bucket of Blood saloon to partake in a Comstock Cowboy show. It starts at about 2pm and enjoy a wide variety of traditional western music. While there our friend Pam Brandon comes to join us. Pam is from Downieville and her mother is Marian Lavezzola Kinzler and her sister is Jan Hamilton. Pam has lived in Virginia City with her family for about 16 years. Joyce O’Dechiccio was last in Virginia City when she was about 9 years old and Sam McWhite has never been there. So, Pam offered to play tour guide and showed all of us the sights. What an enjoyable afternoon. Thanks Pam! Time to return to Reno.
Arriving back at the Nugget and off the to Gilley’s for dinner. “It’s all about the food”. Had a really good meal. Everything from Hamburgers to Prime Rib, Shrimp to Brisket. After dinner we tried to get Joyce “Honeybuns” O’Felix to ride the mechanical bull. She said she was afraid she would put all the youngsters to shame, so she would prefer to hit the Keno machine. There you have it.
Sunday everyone is on their own for breakfast then time to checkout an head home. I thinks it was another successful trip/event and no one ended up in jail. Until our next trip/event. Tah Dah.
Lou The Celtic Thunder Maniac