Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles — these were the “boy bands” of my day. In fact, there was really not such a thing until the term defined it, in the 1990’s, with the likes of Boyz II Men, ‘N Sync, and The Backstreet Boys. Wikipedia places it earlier, and there are some evolutions referred to, but I still give it to the ’90’s, with nods to Donny Osmond and Michael Jackson of the 1970’s and 1980’s spurring the young boy popstar phenomenon, further opening the music market to teen male pop poster-boys, along with their bands, during the later 70’s, popularizing maledom everywhere.
My era saw macho “man bands” slicing and dicing their way through rousing rock tunes with no intimation, whatsoever, regarding gender. Such things didn’t matter. Neither did race. Perhaps it would have continued to develop more naturally and organically, had we not indulged in exaggerated scrutiny to the matter, peering and prying into every aspect of its being, making sure to attach a label to it so that it would become a sure phenomenon.
Such is the nature of competition in the marketplace, the requisite publication of the theorem, welcoming admittance to the doctoral student into their professed occupations. No wonder the plethora of grant-driven studies in minutaie.
Nevertheless, good marketing and better formulas die a slow, ignominious death. So, here we have continuing boy bands, worse for the wear and the tear, with regard to the golden standards to which they now must attain. This is the same trajectory, by the way, as taken by the “girl bands”, pretty much, except the path preceeded the boy bands by about a decade or so (popularly considered — say, by The Bangles, or the Go-go’s, etc. — Yep, I spun double turntables, back in the day, but nothing fancy).
Girl and Boy Bands, as a concept, are almost on the verge of becoming passé. Until you come to this one: Celtic Thunder. This group is really wonderful. They comprise almost the right quantity of individuals to be considered a choir, but fall ideally just short.
Last night, I happened to leave my television tuned to the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) in America when I left off from watching the Stephen Hawking series, Genius. Turning it on for a little noise beyond the whirrings of my mind this following evening, a PBS special, with its accompanying fund drive, was broadcasting Celtic Thunder: Legacy. It was already past the halfway point, and I already missed quite a bit. Sad to say, as I enjoyed it very much.
Through the packing tape holding the lens to the frame of my spectacles (for that is what it surely is) from where it broke in two places, and on the small screen with few channels, perhaps first-gen cable-ready, I made out what appeared to be a Brad Pitt or Val Kilmer look-alike, with this beautiful voice and charming persona. I’m sure both Brad and Val can sing wonderfully, but this gentleman had a fine singing voice.
The rest of the ensemble were equally wonderful, as well. Hailing from Ireland, they sing an eclectic mix of heritage-style songs and those geared to their audience. Since the audience was American, they did some doo-wop tunes and classic tunes familiar to all. For that is what it is: a group geared for good, old-fashioned family fun and entertainment.
This is a show for young and old alike, and just about all would be able to appreciate it. If you can see it, whether on t.v., or live in-concert, or hear their shows via CD, I recommend them as a great, enjoyable group you can feel happy about listening to.