WILKES-BARRE — They are cementing their “Legacy” in a very special way — touring more than 70 shows in 110 days.
Celtic Thunder, the Irish musical group, is visiting Northeastern Pennsylvania on their “Legacy” tour. They will visit the F.M. Kirby Center 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 30 before returning to the Sands Event Center, in Bethlehem, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10.
Celtic Thunder, formed in 2007 and took off on its way to becoming a popular Irish and Celtic music group. The group has been on Billboard’s Top World Album Artist four times and charting in the world album chart’s Top 10 annually since 2008.
“It’s been nine years since the first show,” member Neil Byrne said. “We asked what is the next step.”
The next step was two brand new CDs and DVDs, “Legacy, Volume One” released in February and “Legacy, Volume Two” released earlier this month. The new sets finds the vocal quintet highlighting both Irish classics such as “Buchaille on Eirne” and a rendition of “Falling Slowly” from the Broadway show “Once” as well as fan-favorites “Seven Drunken Nights” and “Ireland’s Call.”
The new live show features Bryne and the rest of the Celtic Thunder cast – Emmet Cahill, Ryan Kelly, Damian McGinty and Michael O’Dwyer – performing fast-paced and upbeat songs such as “A Place in The Choir,” and “Danny Boy,” to heartwarming ballads such as “Take me Home.”
“This defines what Celtic Thunder is,” Bryne said.
And he says he and the rest of the group always love coming to northeastern Pennsylvania, and they are looking forward to coming back. The group has preformed in the Wyoming Valley several times since their inception, including playing the Kirby Center in 2010 and Mohegan Sun Arena in 2008.
“It’s nice going to the places we know … the coffee shops around the corner from the venue,” Bryne joked about their time in familiar cities.
As much as going to familiar places keeps the job “fresh,” Bryne and the other vocalists enjoy interaction with their fans. Bryne said producer Sharon Browne had a poll on their website for fans to pick their top songs for the new CDs.
“People are on our side,” Bryne said.
Bryne said he remembers when Celtic Thunder first preformed in the United States and the nerves were getting to each of the singers. Even though, at the time, Bryne wasn’t part of the group, he toured in the band playing guitar and doing backup vocals. The crowd, he said, chanted for them.
“It was wonderful,” the musician said.
Bryne balances his time in Celtic Thunder with smaller-scale musical endeavors, including a “Bryne and Kelly” tour with bandmate Ryan Kelly. The duo has released two CDs of their own “Echoes” and “Live in Australio.” He also has a studio in his home in County Wicklow, Ireland, which is where you can find him during off-months.
“It’s always been music … since a teenager,” he admits.
He’s also a dedicated morning gym rat, finding a gym in the cities where they tour.
“It sets you up for the day,” he said.
Reach Melanie Mizenko at 570-991-6116 or on Twitter @TL_MMizenko
IF YOU GO:
Where: F.M. Kirby Center for the Perfoming Arts
When: Tuesday, Aug. 30
Time: 7 p.m.
Tickets: $49.50 - $65
Where: Sands Bethlehem Event Center
When: Saturday, Sept. 10
Time: 7:30 p.m. p.m.
Tickets: $60 - $172