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Concert - January 16 2015 Palm Desert, California McCallum Theatre 7:00 PM

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Willyiam

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01/16/2015 - First 2015 Awakening Concert
Conductor: Peter Kiesewalter
Orchestra: Pickup

McCallum Theatre Palm Desert California Set List:
1.  Take Me There
2.  Made To Dream
3.  Memories
4.  Orchestra: Musée
5.  Lovers
6.  Je T'aime
7.  With Or Without You
Intermission
8.  Orchestra: Nessun Dorma (Classical Rock Version)
9.  Ombre Mei Fu
10. Ave Maria
11. The Impossible Dream
12. Your Love
13. My Immortal
14. Vocalise
15. Think Of Me
16. Encore: The Lords Prayer

Reviews:

This from miketigfan on Proboards:
 "This concert was great fun and the person that seemed to have the most fun of all was Jackie.  She was fired up.  I've seen Jackie this ebullient before; but the main difference is that she would formerly express her enthusiasm non-verbally, with expressions and gestures, whereas tonight she was more verbal.  Most of her talking seemed off-the-cuff, not prepared, except for the usual things like imagining a tree when she sang Ombra Mai Fu.  She talked about how she was glad to be in the Palm Springs area because it was so warm, whereas at her home it was minus temperatures.  More giggling than I'd seen in a while and it was not at all nervous giggling.  She just seemed to be getting a kick out of the whole thing.  She had a few words to say toward the end of the concert, thanking her dad, who was backstage, even though she said he pushes her buttons sometimes, but admitted that she does the same to him.  When she introduced With Or Without You she mentioned that her dad would sing that, but not well.  Jackie said he's musical, just not with singing. She thanked the audience and said that because of our support of her, she was comfortable trying new things. 

The orchestra consisted of 12 string players and Peter Kiesewalter on piano and keyboards.  No winds or percussion. Those types of sounds were done electronically by Kiesewalter.  Jackie opened with Take Me There.  During this, helicopter video of landscapes such as Bryce Canyon and The Mittens in Monument Valley were shown on the screen at the back of the stage.  I found this distracting.  In my opinion the screen was best when the images were static and/or abstract.  Let Jackie tell the story with her song.  She doesn't need any help. 

The first song that had people on their feet was Your Love.  Impossible Dream was when I first started feeling The Effect, but my actual Tissue Time at this concert was during Your Love. It had to be the best version I've heard, better than the cd, PBS special and Queen Latifah.  It was simply magical.  Jackie was telling me, "You will not make it through one of my concerts without crying.  So, let's settle that here and now."  She made that point again several other times during the concert, most notably during Ave Maria, which was absolutely perfect, if not the very best version in itself, then equal to the cd and the Longwood versions.  The high notes in the middle of the song were simply unreal, the most otherworldly experience of the whole concert.  Je t'aime was also the best version I've heard.  Jackie's Awakening cd version was flawless, but I thought it didn't distinguish itself enough from Lara Fabian's.  Then the Longwood version turned out to be more inspired. With the version Jackie sang tonight she has truly put her stamp to it. This is going to be one of those songs that Jackie continually makes better.  Memories was ok.  I still prefer the cd version of this one, same goes for With Or Without You.  Jackie did sort of dance to that one.  Lovers opened the second half.  I like earlier versions better.  The smaller orchestra is limited. 

Here was the moment that I found simply the most thrilling.  Jackie approaches the piano...you get it.  I had been hoping she would sing My Immortal.  I've been watching that over and over again ever since I got the dvd.  She said something like, "I'm going to do something now that I'm not very good at."   When she finished her piano part and Peter took over, she walked to center stage and blurted out, "He saved me!" and laughed.  As the song ended, we didn't get a chance to applaud her for it because it segued into Vocalise, which carried us all into dreamland.  Think of Me was yet another song that I think was done better than ever.  The ornamental passage at the end was smoother than I've ever heard it.  I heard no breaths.  She hit the last two big notes powerfully.  In fact, Jackie's voice seems stronger than ever, without having lost any of the purity of tone. Jackie did one encore, The Lord's Prayer."


This from pinoyfan who shared a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/wenson.fung
"The Jackie Evancho Awakening concert tonight at the McCullum Theater in Palm Desert was AWESOME!!! Incredibly beautiful performances. I got chills. I got goose bumps. And there were tears. Yes, it was that good.

Her voice is even more amazing than I imagined. She just had to be heard live. My home stereo system is good, but not that good. I got goose bumps in every song. Jackie was funny and spoke like an usual 14-year-old, but as soon as she sings that first note, you could close your eyes and see a very experienced artist on that stage. Her dresses were beautiful. It's the blue one, and the gold/silver one in the 3rd pic of the booklet.

The acoustics at the McCullum Theater is really good. My seat was in the second level, so the speakers were just at the ear level. My row was right behind the lights, and so close to the control board too!

The orchestra is great (6 violins, 4 violas, 2 cellos, 1 grand piano, 1 electric keyboard, and 2 laptops). During breaks, the orchestra continued playing, so that was fun.

The stage is nice. The string sections formed a half circle around the piano, and Jackie was in front of the piano. There was a screen behind the orchestra showing graphics that matched the songs. The lighting was colorful. Overall, the stage was not big, and was simple, but very nicely done.

The audiences were really nice and quiet. Most of them were older people; when I looked around, most of them had gray hair. I might be one of the younger people there. There were only a handful of kids that I saw. There were none of that dancing and moving limbs in strange motions like in a Maroon 5 concert. And best of all, no screaming teenagers like in a Taylor Swift concert. Everyone sat quietly during the performances. And guess what, I did not notice a single cell phone during performances! (The entire place was dark except the stage, like a movie theater, so it would have been easy to see a cell phone screen.)

People dressed very nice too. Not formal, but more than casual. Some of the men wore suits and ties. In valet parking area, I saw a few Rolls Royce, Bentley, and very nice Mercedes.

There were two bars at the lobby serving free wine, coffee, and hot chocolate.

I got some merch before the show. A booklet and a small poster. Pics below.

Everything just fit together so nicely, creating a really magical 1 hour 45 minutes. The time went by so quickly because I was focused (it's hard not to be drawn in by Jackie voice) and in-the-moment. One of the best Friday nights...ever. Worth more than the $125 ticket; I would gladly pay twice the price for a night like this."

From Chas at Amazon: "I may have the order wrong on a couple:

Take Me There
Made To Dream
Memories
Musée (Orchestra)
Lovers
Je T'aime
With Or Without You
Nessum Dorma (Orchestra - Classical Rock version)
*This version is from when Peter Kiesewalter was a member of the "East Village Opera" - a classical rock group. He introduced it (intentionally, methinks) with the English title of "No One Sleeps". It didn't take long for some of us to catch-on what it was.
Ombra Mai Fu
Ave Maria (Vavilov)
The Impossible Dream
Your Love
My Immortal
Vocalise
Think Of Me
The Lord's Prayer ( encore)

The performance consisted of Jackie, Peter K on Steinway & Sons grand piano and Yamaha Motif synthesizer, 12 strings (mic'd, and playing the string portions), and selected instrumental backing tracks (from laptop) for percussion, guitar, and the special instruments for "Lovers". This wasn't nearly as impressive as it was with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra literally packing the huge stage with musicians to the edge of the apron, but as a relatively inexpensive touring package, effective.

The strings were from a local orchestra (I missed the name ??), and did quite well. They were all animated as they played, and looked to be really enjoying themselves. Jackie made a special point of thanking them, her sound guy, and the McCallum lighting tech, who used their impressive house hang of moving lights to good effect. I wish that I could have taken a picture of Jackie with twelve of these in brilliant white concentrated on her with her golden hair aglow. Ethereal is the only word to describe it. But photography and recording were strictly prohibited (by signs and pre-concert announcement).

Edit: Jackie was also given a necklace (worn for the concert) by the McCallum concert sponsor JoAnn McGrath (I remembered!), whom she thanked as she held it for us to see."

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