On Saturday last, my birthday, I was lucky enough to go to see Emmylou Harris in concert at the Grand Canal Theatre in Dublin. It was a wonderful experience for many reasons.
Number one is that I WON the tickets!! The theatre had a competition on their Facebook page (just goes to show how good social media can be!)
I usually never win things so thought this was amazing!
Number two is that I got to go with my lovely friend, Anne McCallion. Anne is a dog lover and has three gorgeous Bichon Frises. It turns out Emmylou is also a dog lover and takes her dogs on tour with her in the US and she runs a dog rescue at her home in Nashville called Bonaparte's Retreat. We both thought this was so inspiring.
Number three is that the Grand Canal theatre is gorgeous and a wonderful addition to the Dublin landscape. It's in a great location, right beside Grand Canal Dock and is part of a big square with restaurants and apartments.
Number four is that we had dinner in Ely Wine Bar across the square (my birthday present from Anne!) and had a wonderful meal, the best steak I've had in ages. It was great to eat and then walk across the square to the show as well as being able to park underneath the theatre. Finally, convenience for the customers was taken into consideration in a venue in Dublin!
Number five, the show was amazing. Emmylou has been a favourite of mine since I was 17 and that's going back into the mists of time! She has an extraordinary voice and gets me in the heartstrings every time I hear her. Her band was wonderful and created an enormous sound in the theatre. She played some of my all time favourite songs too, like Together Again, which always makes me cry.
There was only one downside: the audience seemed dead, for the most part. There were pockets of enthusiasm dotted about the auditorium but, for the most part, it seemed like nothing was going to get them going. When I saw Emmylou at the National Stadium 2 years ago, the place was alive with noise and excitement. People shouted comments and requests up to Emmylou on the stage and there was a good bit of banter back and forth. There was riotous response to almost every song and she got three encores a continuous standing ovation at the end.
Not so in The Grand Canal Theatre. I can't understand why only that perhaps the theatre was a more sedate place to be and people felt constrained. I don't know if that was the reason but I was very disappointed in the response. She only got a smattering of people on their feet at the end (Anne and I included) and only one encore. What's up,Dublin? Was the the venue or the act? I can't imagine it was the act and the venue is lovely. I just don't get it.
Another thing that came out of the evening for me was that Emmylou is looking for help to support the dog rescue centre, Bonaparte's Retreat and has joined forces with another group in Nashville who help get homeless people off the street. The idea is to get the people who've been rescued to take care of the rescue dogs! What a great idea. If you want to help out, contact them on their Facebook page here: Bonaparte's Retreat