We just got home yesterday evening from the Monday concert at the Birchmere in Alexandria, VA. I have never been this far north in Virginia, so we took advantage of being so close to DC and drove up early to visit some sites and museums.
When tickets first went on sale in the Spring for the Alexandria concerts, I knew the venue was a little different. Tickets were for general seating; you buy a ticket, day of event you wait in line for a seating number, then you get to go in when your number is called to sit down. Also, you can buy and eat food in the music hall during the performance. The tables were mostly long rectangular dinner tables, some seats didn't have the best vantage point. They did decorate the music hall stage, with an emerald green backdrop and some candelabra with LED flickering lights.
Overall, I was not a fan of the venue and the process to get a seat. To buy an expensive ticket to a performance during pre-sale, back in the spring, drive over 7 hours, it would have been nice to know my specific seat was waiting for me. Instead, people who didn't even have a ticket but were in line in front of me, got to pick a seat first.
…okay enough ranting. (sorry, I just had to vent I guess)
The concert was fantastic. Loreena, Caroline Lavelle, and Brian Hughes played in such harmony with one another! Watching Loreena play the harp is extra special to me at this stage in my life and I just savor the memory. I enjoyed the mix of music, stories of her travels, the research she is interested in, and sharing excerpts from her journal about her research into the Celts.
As always, Loreena personally requested no photography and amazingly in our age of cell phones being glued to our faces, it seems most everyone respected that request. She hilariously told the audience to get the need to take pictures out of our system and she allowed everyone to snap photos while she pretended to play!
The trio truly wove a spell over the captive audience. With the dim lights, and low and close stage, it was a very intimate performance. You felt like you were sitting at home in the living room with the three playing like the bards of old. It was magical.
After the concert, she graciously signed autographs and took pictures with people. I have an autograph from the 2007 tour, but couldn’t resist the opportunity to greet her again. I was so excited to be able to tell Loreena that because of her music, I started playing the harp a few years ago. I was just so happy to share that with her!
Despite my frustration with the venue details, I am so glad we made the trip!