Monday, June 08, 2009

My Night At Yanni Voices

It's such a rare thing that I get to go out to a special event in the evening without the kids, but last night was one of those nights. One2One Network provided me with two passes to see Yanni Voices in concert, along with backstage passes to meet the "Voices" in person.

I've enjoyed the Yanni Voices recorded concert on PBS, and I was expecting a similar show in Columbus. I can tell you that there was no comparison between the two. In person, the show takes on a life of its own! I was stunned at the amazing depth and range of the music, and the incredible talent of the musicians and singers.

While the vocalists were a strong focus of the concert, several of the musicians were given their moments in the limelight. Two violinists battled it out in a "dueling fiddles" type performance that gave me goosebumps. The Brazillian guitarist strummed out a haunting tune. A Hawaiian harp (I didn't even know those existed!) was played masterfully. And the drummer who has been with Yanni since the beginning showed off a percussion set that made me want to pick up my drumsticks again.

But for me, the four vocalists were the best part of the show. These four young, newly-discovered talents have beautiful voices that can bring out waves of emotion from the listener. Even with many songs being in Italian or Spanish, the emotion of the song could still be felt, even if you couldn't understand the words. Nathan made me think he could easily replace Pavarotti in The Three Tenors. Ender's voice was poetic in its strength and ease. Leslie was powerful and pure. And Chloe had a tenderness to her voice that could melt the hardest heart.

After the show, we had the chance to meet three of the four vocalists. We = myself, FireMom and Ellen, along with our guests. We talked at length with Ender and Nathan, and they told us how the stars aligned to get them to where they are now. All four have solo albums they are working on, and they hope to release the albums at some point after the tour. Nathan told me they're planning a new leg of the tour, choosing to restructure the show into more cozy theatres instead of arenas.

And of course, I was thrilled to see Nathan and Ender again, after meeting them at Blissdom. When I asked Ender for a photo, this is how he chose to pose:

He's a hugger. I can tell.

When we mentioned it was Ellen's birthday, she was treated to a rendition of Happy Birthday I could only wish to get:

Yanni Voices is still on tour, and tickets are still available for many locations. If the show is coming near you anytime soon, I highly recommend taking a night for yourself to enjoy some amazing music.

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