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Ravinia in Highland Park, IL 8/10/13

sweetsong34's picture
on August 11, 2013 - 1:56am

What an amazing show! No one wanted it to end.

It was my first time to Ravinia, and the place is beautiful and historic. Everyone brings a picnic and sits on the lawn before the show. It looked like a sea of people. As the sun started to set, it reminded me of George Seurat's painting. It was nice to meet so many people I've seen on this board. (Hi to Lauren, Christa, Lisa, Tara, Margie, Chrissy, Pam, Vanna, Belle, and Bill :) It made my going alone so much better just to get to know other fans. Thanks!

Just when you think a show can't get any better, it does. This concert had a more relaxed feel, but with lots of energy from the performers onstage. They gave it there all, and then some. There wasn't an opening act, so the guys came out on stage, then Josh came out, singing Brave. His voice is as strong as ever, deeper and more mature than years ago. Love it! The instruments really added so much to the concert. Each one had a part, and they're all superb musicians in their own right. (Imo, all of them could do the opening act by themselves, just rotate.) They all play so well, and each solo part gave them a moment to shine. I especially wanted to hear Ruslan play (as good in person as he is on his album) and with hair moving to the beat, like Animal from the Muppets. (Animal is one of my favorites.) Anyway, they performed one great song after another, and we loved it! The Ravinia Festival Orchestra was incredible! For the first time, I could hear every string instrument clearly. What a sound! I want to go back to Ravinia just to hear them again. (Not sure, but I think I saw Ruslan turn to look at Tariqh and smile as the string bass was playing.) The Apollo Chorus was equally good.

Josh gave a girl a hug, after her big sister held up a sign. He ran outside the pavilion with Darren not far behind. Josh took questions from the audience, random as usual with every word association he could think of in a few seconds. He had everyone laughing and having a great time. The Q&A makes the show feel so personal--he's not an idol to worship, but just a fun guy with a great sense of humor and a powerhouse voice.

Most people in the Midwest know that cicadas can be very noisy at dusk, in late summer. However, Josh didn't. He asked, "what is that sound?" when he heard the cicadas begin to make what actually is a mating call. Love was in the air, even for bugs! We thought it was funny that the city kid called them crickets. So until it was dark, Josh had a bit of competition. Not to worry, Josh and company were louder.

I think this was the set list: Brave, False Alarms, February Song, The Moon's a Harsh Mistress, Vincent, Un Alma Mas, Voce Existe Me, Alle Luce, Hollow Talk, I Believe, with encore Awake and YRMU. Each one was very good, more power than ever.

Seth Goldberg doing sign language to Vincent and YRMU was touching. Everyone gave him a standing ovation after Vincent. It brought us all to tears, especially at the end of YRMU when he just couldn't hold back the emotions. He put his face in his hands after Josh sang the last phrase, "You raise me up...to more than I can be." It was the perfect way to end an absolutely beautiful night.

ps I'm glad to see that Josh and company don't have to work quite as late for these shows. It's summertime, and I hope they can enjoy some rest after a long European tour. I'm just glad they decided to do these outdoor shows. Josh couldn't have picked a better place to have a show. Next stop, Interlochen! (I'm taking the big boat tomorrow to cross Lake Michigan, making it a bit of a vacation plus the concert).

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