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Author Topic: Mountain Glory – Alex in Salt Lake City – 12/17/12  (Read 3463 times)
MrPeabody
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Tack för en underbar kväll, Alex.


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« on: December 18, 2012, 12:41:33 PM »

I was heading to this show right on the heels of my two Orla shows in the Netherlands.  I had a short connecting flight to Paris and then a more than 11 hour flight to Salt Lake City.  I had memorized my itinerary so after going to bed around 1am I was up again at 5:15  for my 8:30 flight.  After making great time getting to the terminal I discovered, much to my horror, that my flight was actually at 7:10!  As Maxwell Smart would say, “I missed it by that much.”  Fortunately, a wonderful KLM ticket agent was able to get me into the last seat on an 8am flight.  That would allow me to still make my connection although it meant not having any time to enjoy being in Paris, even if it was just at the airport.  After getting a lovely Paris stamp in my passport it was time to settle in for the longest flight I've ever been on.  Since there were no electrical outlets on the plane, I had purchased an extra battery for my laptop so that I could spend most of the flight writing about my Amsterdam adventures.  It worked great and I finished days 1, 2 and most of day 3, except for pictures.  I'll have to finish the rest at home since we arrived almost 45 minutes early.

After breezing through customs I met Scott and we headed out to pick up my rental car.  The weather forecast was ominous so I upgraded my rental to a 4-wheel drive vehicle, just in case.  I entered the hotel address into my portable GPS and the lovely British lass inside soon had us leaving the interstate at exit “two-hundred and sixty-three.”  As pleasant as she is, I wish I could get an Irish voice for that thing.

After cleaning up and changing it was off to the venue.  Since the show was general admission we wanted to be there early so a quick dinner was in order and Subway did just fine.  We'll do a real dinner tonight since we'll have more time.  The show was being held at the Timberline Middle School auditorium and after initially being misdirected to the pre-show reception for season ticket holders we were soon in line.  We were not first, though, but we were second and third.  We chatted with the young ladt who was first in line and thoroughly indoctrinated her into the world of Celtic Woman fandom.  We also chatted with the head of the Timpanogos Symphony, just one of a surprising number of community-based orchestras in the Utah Valley.  While we were waiting, Steve Penrose joined us and we promised to hold a seat for him as he went to the back of the line.

Sound check was running long, we would find out why later, but the doors finally opened around 6:45 for the 7:00 show.  We, of course, made a beeline for front row center.  The entire center section was taped off and marked as reserved for season ticket holders but there was no tape across the front row so we staked our claim.  It turned that we probably did “claim jump” but there were still a few open front row seats when the show started so we didn't deprive anyone who wanted to sit up front.

The 65-person Timpanogos Symphony, along with the COPA girls choir, were hosts to two stellar performers: Grammy-nominated violinist Jenny Oaks Baker and our very own Alex Sharpe.  The program listed 6 songs in the first act and 5 in the second with Alex's name on one in each act.  In the end, though, we got double that with Alex being included in the encore and getting a surprise last-minute solo not listed in the program.

The show started with Masters in the Hall, Angels We Have Heard on High, We Three Kings and  The Holly and the Ivy, all featuring Jenny in a lovely white gown.  Finally it was time for Alex and she entered the stage positively glowing in a beautiful gold gown.  As she scanned the audience she spotted us and gave us a lovely smile of recognition; this was not a surprise, she knew I was coming tonight.  Her first song was O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, accompanied by Jenny, and the Alex that I know and love was as spectacular as always.   After that Jenny did a quick costume change while the conductor and musical director, John Pew, stalled for time.  She returned in a green dress that she told us would allow her dance as she played a rousing version of Ding, Dong, Merrily on High.

After a brief intermission, the second act started with Jenny and the chorus playing the French carol Patapan, this time in a red dress with knee-high “biker boots.”  Then came the highlight of the concert.  John said that it was a shame to have the lovely and talented Alex Sharpe in town and not have her do a solo.  He explained that he worked with a few other people and in just a day and half they had arranged and rehearsed something especially for Alex.  With that, he brought Alex and Jenny, who had changed one more time into a lovely red gown, back on stage to perform an absolutely breathtaking O, Holy Night.  The arrangement was primarily just Jenny and Alex with only a little orchestral accompaniment and our position up front made it an acoustic performance that rivals anything I've ever heard.  Alex's crystalline voice brought both tears and chills.  Scott, Steve and I stood immediately and the rest of the house quickly joined us.  Yes, it was that spectacular.

Jenny and the orchestra then performed Ave Maria, and a celtic-inspired rendition of Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring.  Alex then sang a beautiful arrangement of the Wexford Carol, showcasing one again her ability to connect with the music.  The final song was a very lively Carol of the Bells although Jenny hinted that if we were good there just might be one more.  We were very good, and true to her word she and Alex both returned to sing Silent Night in Gaelic.

The after-show meet and greet was setup outside the auditorium and the line was huge.  It looked like the entire audience of 850 people decided to get in line so we hung back and chatted while we waited.  Jenny and Alex were both being very gracious, signing and posing for pictures.  It took over an hour for line to dwindle so we decided to bring up the rear.  Jenny had a table with her CDs, including the new Christmas one with Alex, and even though I already have one I bought another to be autographed.  We left Steve go first since he had never met Alex and it was great to watch him.  Alex then introduced us to Jenny and we talked for quite a while.  Even though Alex knew I was coming she didn't know that I had flown in from Amsterdam that morning and she was concerned that I hadn't gotten any sleep yet.  That was the mom in her coming through but I assured her that I was OK.

We were privileged to spend almost 20 minutes with Alex and she was absolutely delightful.  She hinted that we may be hearing more from her in the not to distant future and we assured her that her fans are waiting and ready.  After the the obligatory pictures were taken we finally had to say goodbye.  It had been a fabulous evening and was well worth the long flight.  Scott and I kept the post-concert tradition alive as we adjourned to a local restaurant for a late-night snack.  Back at the hotel, I posted a few pistures until I just couldn't keep my eyes open any longer.  Midnight in Salt Lake City is 8am in Amsterdam and my body was saying, “Enough!”  Scott posted his review last night here while I slept.

Here are a few pictures taken during and after the show:

The stage:


Jenny Oaks Baker in her four costumes and with Alex:
 

 

Me with Alex and Jenny:
 

Alex:


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Mike

BeckyW
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« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2012, 02:18:58 PM »

Wonderful review Mike  as always.  Thank you.  Awesome pictures.   Smiley
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Apollomoon
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« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2012, 03:56:14 PM »

Thanks Mike.. Smiley
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Celtic Fiddle Chick
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« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2012, 10:38:58 AM »

Lovely review Mike. And what a trip to get there, wow! Surprised you didn't fall asleep during the show Cheesy Love the pics too. Wish I was able to see Alex again.
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Starman
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« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2012, 08:36:19 PM »

  Great review and pics, Mike!  You've been a great boon to all of us who would have loved to have gone to see Alex!  A wonderful time and we were there, of sorts, through your fine efforts!  Cool Cool Cool
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Moscapoet
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« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2012, 06:53:32 PM »

Wonderful review, and thanks for being transportation and a great fan companion for this special night.
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MrPeabody
Ohhh.. I'm so hot, Brrr
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Posts: 136


Tack för en underbar kväll, Alex.


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« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2013, 07:35:41 PM »

I debated whether to start a new thread, but since it's from this show I'll just add it to this one.  Here is a Youtube video of Alex singing O Holy Night at this show.  A small correction to my review: this was not Alex and Jenny, just Alex.  You can see Scott and I are the first two standing and watch as we bring the whole house to its feet.  Thanks to Danielle Oostland for finding this and sending it to me.  I am teary eyed and in heaven right now!   Cry
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Mike

quantummechanic
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« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2013, 01:28:01 AM »

Wonderful stuff - it does a heart good. Thanks for 'taking us along' Mike.
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Moscapoet
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I'm a Sharpie!


« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2013, 01:51:32 PM »

Such a great find! Thanks, Mike! We had Jenny's dad behind us that night and he is high up in the Mormon church. Steve aka Redheadlad was with us and we did drive more than one standing ovation for Alex and Jenny. If they do this again in December we should try to get more familiar faces up front! The price of the ticket was VERY low, open seating, and a high quality performance.
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