This past Sunday evening, Hard Rock Live Orlando was THE place to be for the kickoff of The Very Best of Celtic Thunder Tour 2015 in North America. The 3,000-seat venue was sold out with “Thunderheads” (as their fans are called) who were more than ready to hear “the boys”, Ryan Kelly, Neil Byrne, Emmett O’Hanlon, Colm Keegan, Keith Harkin and Special Guest Artist (and former founding member) Damian McGinty do what they do best.
Orlando’s Hard Rock Live venue at Universal Orlando will be the first stop of Irish singing and performance group Celtic Thunder as they kick off their “Very Best Of Celtic Thunder Tour 2015” on Sunday, February 8th, with a 7pm concert. The tour will visit 45 cities across the United States and Canada through the month of April.
Celtic Thunder first formed in 2007 and has since performed coast to coast tours of the U.S. and Canada eight times and Australia three times, performing at more than 800 shows, as well as releasing 11 albums. The current group, composed of Colm Keegan, Keith Harkin, Ryan Kelly, Emmett O’Hanlon and Neil Byrne, will be joined by Guest Artist Damian McGinty (former Glee star), who is a past member of Celtic Thunder.
Via CitySurfing Orlando, I had the opportunity to interview Ryan Kelly, one of the original members of Celtic Thunder, as the group prepares to open their tour in The City beautiful.
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CSO: Good morning Ryan and thank you for your time today. I know you’re busy preparing for your arrival in Orlando as the first stop of your “Very Best Of Celtic Thunder Tour 2015” on February 8th. Can you tell me what the “Very Best Of Celtic Thunder Tour 2015” is? How would you describe it? Is it a collection of all your best songs and performances?
Ryan Kelly: Yeah, pretty much that is exactly it. We’ve been on the road now, I think it’s 7 years touring, and this really is a combination of the best songs. There are a lot of songs from back in our first shows of 2008, plus a lot of the songs we’ve done over the last 2 years and it all comes together in this best of Celtic Thunder.
One of the things we’re excited about that makes this a “Best Of” tour as well is that we’re bringing back Damian McGinty, which is a massive thing for us to have Damian back. I’m sure most people know about his involvement with the Glee Project and how great that was and it’s just a big thing for us to have Damian back and give him a chance to sing these songs again with us.
CSO: That sounds great! Have you been to Orlando before?
Ryan Kelly: Yeah, we’ve been to Orlando a few times, actually, over the years. Orlando has been part of our tours from the very beginning, but this is our first time playing the Hard Rock so that’s new and exciting for us. We’ve played all over Florida over the years, it’s always been a big state for us and starting off in Orlando can’t be a bad thing for us at all. <chuckling>