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My Little Tribute to The Corrs:
Cleveland Ohio 2004 Review

This essay was written after I attended The Corrs "Borrowed Heaven" tour stop at the old Tower City Amphitheater in Cleveland Ohio on August 21, 2004.

I posted all the photos from that concert (that didn't embarrass me) on two photo pages besides the photos used within the essay below.

A Fantastic Night in Cleveland, Ohio

The Corrs - Tower City Amphitheater, August 21, 2004

By Doug Berger

image of self made poster for the Cleveland Ohio Corrs show

I was excited when The Corrs announced the dates for their first full North American tour in several years, in support of their new album Borrowed Heaven. Although I had hoped they would play in Columbus, I was happy to go to Cleveland. To be honest I was so excited to see them I would have traveled to Toronto Canada if I had to. Columbus has direct flights to Toronto.

Of course my adventure to the concert didn't end once I got the day off and the tickets purchased. A week before the concert a friend of mine who had been planning to go with me backed out. Another friend, who wasn't a fan of the band stepped up and used my other ticket.

On the Thursday before the concert I got into a fender bender with another car during a rainstorm. That wouldn't have been so bad except I had just spent $350 on new brakes, which wiped out money saved up to buy merchandise at the concert. Then to top it all off I didn't get my paycheck on Saturday as usual so I had $4 to my name as I headed for Cleveland.

It was a beautiful day. For August in Ohio it was unusually cool. I don't often visit Cleveland so I was interested in seeing the city. The drive up from Columbus was uneventful and we listened to a CD I made based on a set list from a previous show so my buddy Roger would get a good preview before the show.

We got to Cleveland about 6 PM and looked for a fast food place to get a bite. Unlike Columbus that seems to have a fast food joint on every block downtown, we had to drive to Ohio City on the west side to find one.

With that done we drove to the parking area and got a great spot close to the amphitheater. The layout seemed so much smaller than the maps on the venue's website. That was good for me since my back was not on board this day and walking too far or standing too long causes me great discomfort.

image taken from my seats at the concert

Our seats were in the 7th row of the center section on Jim's side of the stage. I couldn't believe how great the seats were. Close enough to see everything and it felt like you were included in the performance. There was a celebrity sighting when television comedy actor Andy Dick (NewsRadio, Less than Perfect) arrived shortly before the start and sat several rows ahead of me on the left side of the center section.

The opener for the show was Sophie B. Hawkins. I hadn't see or heard her since her first big hit "Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover" from Tongues and Tails (1992). Her band consisted of a drummer and keyboard player. The audience was very kind to her during her set and she livened us up with a high-energy performance and funny changes in some of her lyrics to comment on Cleveland and nearby Lake Erie.

After Hawkins finished and some equipment changes, the house lights went down and strains of "Baby Be Brave" played through the sound system. Keith, Anto, Jason (sitting in for Caroline) and Kieran (the touring keyboardist) took their places. Keith acknowledged some fans in the front row with a wave. Then Jim came out and took his place to wild cheers. Sharon came out and took her place to more cheers. Finally Andrea ran out to her place in the middle to more cheers. The lights came up and the band started their first number "Humdrum" off the new album. Everyone in my section and I guess the whole theater leapt to their feet.

The good vibe continued as the band played their previous tour opening number "Only When I Sleep". After that song the applause and cheering INCREASED. The reaction shocked Andrea as she thanked everyone for it.

Andrea explained why Caroline was missing from the show - she is expecting her baby real soon and couldn't fly. She wanted us all to be sure that we weren't mislead seeing a strange looking Caroline behind the drum kit. Jason did a rim shot.

About standing during a performance. I felt bad my back wouldn't allow me to stand the whole time. I was lucky to make it through part of "Only When I Sleep" before I HAD to sit down. It did look odd to see small groups in the front standing while others sat mostly during the slower songs. By the end of the show I was able to stand through 2 songs in a row so maybe The Corrs can heal back trouble - or it was the concert high I was on and I didn't notice the pain.

The concert continued with past hits Dreams, What Can I Do and Forgiven Not Forgotten.

The next high point was the song "Angel" off the new album. It is due to be the next single released in Europe and I really hope it is released here in the states. The crowd loved it and Andrea really poured her heart into the performance. Of course she did that through out the evening. I had seen her bouncing around and shaking her behind to the audience on many of the television performances but to see her working the crowd in person was electric. To hear her sing plaintively "love me... love me" at the end of "What Can I Do" really makes you want to do just that.

image of Sharon singing No Frontiers

Sharon had a stellar moment when she sang "No Frontiers" alone on a stool at center stage with Jim on the piano. Usually the song is a duet with Caroline but Sharon did an excellent job by herself.

It was disappointing that Caroline wasn't on this leg of the tour as she is my favorite Corr but Jason Duffy did a great job on drums during the evening.

Jim did his usual excellent job on guitar, keyboards, and a big bass drum during Borrowed Heaven. My friend Roger said to me "That guy on the big drum is playing everything tonight," and he was but we expect that. On an interesting note I finally got to hear vocals from Jim on a song. On the albums his backing vocals are mixed in with the girls so you really can't pick them out but Saturday night I heard them. He needs his own signature song to solo on like Sharon has with "No Frontiers".

Anto on guitar and Keith on bass are the backbone of the music. While Anto was pretty much all business, Keith was clowning around. At the start of the show he wore a fake beard that was near the drum kit and he and Jim goofed around a bit during some songs. The Corr family should adopt Keith.

The band got to "When the Stars Go Blue" and Andrea explained that they did the song for the "Live in Dublin' album and worked with the singer of an "up and coming band" called U2. There was a glimmer of hope that Bono would walk on stage to sing his part of the song but Andrea seemed to sense that is what we were all thinking so she told us "No, he's not here. It's just us..." It was a funny moment. Andrea was excellent on the song and even recreated a little of the dancing that she and Bono did on the TV special for "Live in Dublin".

Next they played my favorite song "Radio" from In Blue. I love the European sound of the song with the keyboards and the drum line. Then they did "Summer Sunshine" from Borrowed Heaven, which was a good place for it since it is similar in style to "Radio". The audience reacted well to the song by applauding and cheering at the conclusion. I was surprised that it sounded so much like the album version. That is a credit to their excellent musicianship.

"I Never Loved You Anyway" from Talk on Corners is another favorite of mine and the band uses it to introduce everyone in case you aren't obsessive like me and a few thousand others. It also gives us fans a chance to applauded the individuals playing for us. Anto and Keith get to show off a bit. Of course Jim, Sharon and Andrea get the best applause but it was clear we were appreciative of the effort of the whole band.

The main show closed with the appropriate "Goodbye" from the new album. They added an interesting touch to that performance as the song closed to the final notes. Andrea said goodnight and left the stage, then Sharon said good night and left the stage, then Anto and Keith stopped playing and left, then Kieran and Jason left leaving Jim alone playing the keyboard part of the song. He ended the song, thanked us and left the stage. It reminded me of the scene in the movie "Sound of Music" when the children, one at a time, sing "So along Farewell" and go to their rooms.

If the show in fact ended there it would have been an excellent magical night but we fans know that an encore is coming.

After band techs do a final setup of instruments, Kieran, Jason, Keith, and Anto come back out then Jim followed by Sharon, then just before the first song of the encore starts, Andrea comes running out.

They played their biggest US hit to date, "Breathless" from In Blue. That got the majority of the crowd jumping and dancing. Andrea did forget the words right during the first verses of the song but the fans helped her get back on track.

image of The Corrs performing Toss the Feathers

The closing was their signature "Toss the Feathers", a hipped up traditional Irish tune that allows Sharon in particular to shine joined by Andrea on her tin whistle. The highlight is when Sharon, Andrea, and Jim gather in the middle of the stage playing their instruments.

The song and concert ended and all 7 members came out to center stage to take a bow to the cheers of the crowd. Although it was a bit delayed while Jim kept trying to toss guitar picks out to the crowd.

Next the backing members left the stage and Sharon, Andrea, and Jim took some final bows to deafening cheers. All three thanked us again, waved, and poof they were gone.

My post concert depression set in a few hours later lying in bed trying to sleep. When I finally fell asleep visions of the concert danced in my head...... <sigh>

I hope they don't wait several years to come back.

See other photos I took at the Cleveland show

It was not to be yet. The band took a break in 2006 and as of this date (May 2012) there has been no word of them reforming as The Corrs

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My Little Tribute to The Corrs

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