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February 19, 2008
The Chieftains Concert at Bass Hall
in Fort Worth


On Tuesday evening, February 19th, our friend Mario, the music reviewer for the Dallas Morning News, took Fred and I (and his partner Steve) over to Fort Worth to see The Chieftains, an Irish musical and dancing group, at Bass Hall. Mario had to write a review of their performance for the newspaper and was able to get a couple of extra tickets for the performance.

We left early enough from his house to be able to stop in Arlington for some supper at Friday's, and then we arrived at Bass Hall about twenty minutes before the performance so Mario could contact his coordinator and pick up the tickets. We took his laptop up to the small press alcove where he would write his review at the conclusion of the concert and then went to find our seats- very good seats, orchestra right on the main floor.


The Chieftains' Performance

The concert began with a lone performance by the leader of the group, and then expanded to include six musicians and three additional dancers. There was also a performance by four young dancers; I got the impression that they were local. The theatre was dark enough that taking pictures of the performance would not have been possible, but the movies I took did capture the essence of the performances pretty well.

Below are six movie players that you can use to watch segments of the performance:

Opening Solo and Opening Selection
Three Dancers

Ensemble Selection
Chair Dance (Closeup)

Selection with Bagpiper

The performance was really enjoyable, and coming to Bass Hall is always a treat. It is a wonderful venue; some say the acoustics are better than the Myerson. It is also very attractive inside. I had to be a little surreptitious when taking pictures inside the hall, but at the intermission I did take a pretty good movie of the inside of Bass Hall that you can watch using the player below:

Inside Bass Hall


Mario Reviews the Performance

Of course, the whole purpose for coming over to watch the performance was so that Mario could write a review. As soon as the Chieftains had completed their show, we adjourned up to a small room on the fourth floor where Mario could hook his laptop into a phone line. We had never seen him write a review before, so we got to see the process first hand.

One of the first things he did was to check with his editor regarding photographs and the length and placement of his review, and I took a short movie of that process.

After settling on the parameters of the review, he began his writing process. Like me when I need to write something (like one of these album pages), he first took a look at the material he already had available on the Chieftains to fix any biographical information in mind and plan his article. Then he began the writing process.


Exploring Bass Hall

Fred and I thought that our presence in the small room where Mario was working might be a distraction for him, so we left to go downstairs and explore the public areas of Bass Hall. We don't get here frequently, and I can't recall the last time I had the opportunity to take some pictures of the hall. We began by going down to the first floor to explore the main lobby, which is a beautiful, two-storey space. It's actually a more handsome lobby than at the Myerson, but then the Myerson has to deal with five floors of seating, while Bass Hall has only three. In the center of the lobby is one of the signature symbols of Bass Hall- a gold-leaf statue of Artemis.

Next, we ascended the first flights of one of the main stairways to the second floor. From here, we could look over the railing to watch some of the concert patrons leaving the hall.

This view was kind of interesting, so I also took a movie of some of the patrons milling about, and you can watch that movie using the player below right:

The stairway continues up to the second balcony from where we were standing. One of the things I like about Bass Hall is the Art Deco influence in its decoration; it is reminiscent of what you might see at Radio City Music Hall, and I wouldn't be surprised if that building hadn't provided some of the inspiration for the Bass Hall design. Take a look at the Art Deco lighting at the stairway, and you will see what I mean.

The rest of the pictures that we took here at Bass Hall were taken in and around the second-floor lobby. Along the lobby walls, for example, are more Art Deco objects, such as these graceful settees. One odd picture that I got from here on the second floor actually looks across the street and into a legal firm's law library.

We returned to Mario and Steve to find that Mario was just then transmitting his completed review to the Dallas Morning News for inclusionn in the next day's edition. So we packed everything up, and headed back home. Our thanks to Mario for a very enjoyable evening.

March 1, 2008: Texas Gay Rodeo in Fort Worth
Florida Trip and Caribbean Cruise
Return to Index for 2008