Libera Concert in China (2017)

Talks and reviews about Libera concerts or public appearances

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filiarheni
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Re: Libera Concert in China (2017)

Post by filiarheni » 1 month ago

@Emily: Wow, your review! I have never seen such a detailed review before! Amazing - how can you notice all these many, many details in all possible regards? How remember them? Ok, you took notes ... well, how do you see everything what's going on on stage, while you take notes? Blind writing? :wink:

How many concerts have you attended overall? I'm sure how many I will ever see - noticing sooo much will never be possible for me. I take advantage of other fans - many thanks to them! :D
"But in the dark and cold of things there always, always something sings"

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Re: Libera Concert in China (2017)

Post by kinda_k00l » 1 month ago

Emily_kr wrote:
<span title="Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:44 am">1 month ago</span>
Hi! Sorry I've been away from LDF for so long. I've missed this place.
Whoa it's been almost a month since the China tour :shock: I'm sorry it took me so long to translate this while I'm back to my normal life - and plus it's reaaally long, so... yeap.

Until now I feel dreamy when I think back of the time in china.

I wrote it on my personal blog because I don't know how to attach photos more than 3 here and it's more comfortable for me to write there. I hope you understand!
Here's the link to it : http://blog.naver.com/angdooemily/221146109922
This one is for the 26th, I'm not sure if I'll ever get 27th and 28th's done too... :| I'd love to, tho.

Hope you enjoy! And thank you.
I didn't have to to read it thoroughly until today.
And as my review is also on the go, I find that yours is much more detailed than mine. All the details about the lights and the shapes the boys formed on stage, I could never remember so well. Thank you very much for translating it and share it here.

filiarheni wrote:
<span title="Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:58 pm">1 month ago</span>
Ok, you took notes ... well, how do you see everything what's going on on stage, while you take notes? Blind writing?
Exactly what I'm thinking - you have another eye on the top of your head too? :shock: Just kidding. But really, how did you manage to do both at the same time? Taking notes and watching what was going on while you were taking notes... is that a super power or something hmm.
Aliens: What does the humankind have that can be given out for the sake of the universe?
Me: *shows LIBERA, KALAFINA & DULCIS VOX :lol:*

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kinda_k00l
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Re: Libera Concert in China (2017)

Post by kinda_k00l » 1 month ago

{CONCERT REVIEW}

So, exactly this time last month, I was staying in my hotel room in China, thinking about the past three concerts I have been really lucky to be able to attend. Then I returned home the next day, finding it somewhat difficult to adjust to my normal life again. Well, things have been busy lately, but finally I’ve finished my review about this dreamlike trip. :D

I think I should probably apologize for its length. It will cover trivia stuff from the preparation process to the excitement at the concerts. In fact, it even exceeds the character limit of a post, so I'll divide it into two posts. While it may bore people to sleep, I just really really want to share a part of this wonderful story. You can skip the part in blue and go straight to the concert review, if you want to.

PART 1:

The Preparation:
To begin with, I never thought I could actually go in the first place, because of these factors:
  • I am a super introvert guy who carries some sort of social issues and anxiety. Just thinking about having to go through many things to get there made me worried much more than I was supposed to.

  • I have never ever traveled further than 500 km, nor traveled by plane, nor traveled abroad, nor travel alone. I didn’t even have a passport. So this trip would be the first time for everything, and I was unsure whether I could make it.

  • I have always enjoyed being at home rather than going outside, so the fact that I asked my parents about a trip to China was somehow a shock to them. I don’t speak any Chinese, while China is a very reserved country and information getting is really difficult (despite it being super close to my country) - my parents would never let me go there alone.

At first when I knew that they only had a week to come to China, I thought they would only go for 1 or 2 concerts. So I got rather surprised and also somewhat disappointed finding out they would have 5 back to back concerts for 5 days. It was September 22th, just one month before the tour. My realistic sense told me that only a miracle could allow me to go this time. However, my dreamy sense told me to research further ‘just in case’, and I’m really glad I did.

Now to the part that may be relevant to some individuals on this forum: in that period my mind was set to ‘there was no possible way’ direction to protect myself from further disappointment, until I was triggered - I did not have any intentions of going, but one evening Filiarheni and Surpinto was like ‘Ticketssss!’ and ‘When are you buying all 5 tickets?’ so I suddenly thought ‘how about actually going?’ and that was the start of everything. My mom was like ‘You are going just because of some stranger's’ words on the internet?’ and I was like ‘Indeed’. :lol: Peer pressure sometimes does show its good side I guess.

Well, and this happened then that happened, hope then less hope, obstacles then more obstacles, I flew to Shanghai with a possibility of not being able to attend any Libera concerts at all. Luckily, I was blessed - at the end, I have been able to go to three concerts on the 25th, 26th, and 27th.
So I would like to thank everyone who made the miracle happen, so that I could attend three concerts sitting in the front rows: Emily, for sticking with and helping me through the whole preparation process, and for introduced me to other Korean fans (Soo & James) so that I could join them; Patrick, John, Yuki, Yumiko & Momo for letting me and the Korean fans travel with them, also for the tickets and the front rows; Filiarheni for helping me persuade my parents; joshua_jj (on Twitter) for all the precious information she provided about the ticket-getting process and more; and others for your kind words, wishes and prayers. I’m 100% sure I cannot make it without the help of all of you.

Some side notes:
  • The boys did communicate on stage, but not as much as I had thought. Maybe because they already knew too well what they were doing.

  • Professionalism was overloaded. The boys really showed it throughout their performance. Every move was sufficient and practiced carefully, also no swinging/scratching/correcting their mic’s place when the lights were still on.

  • There were some giggles on stage, especially on the 26th (when the hall was overloaded with kids doing weird stuff). But they did not at all affect the quality of the performance.

  • Sometimes the moods of the songs were clearly shown on some faces.

  • I was quite concerned when they introduced Moose ‘he even has his own Twitter’ as Twitter is blocked in China, but nothing happened as they said it at all 3 concerts.

  • On the 25th, there were people who clapped before the bridge section of Exsultate, as the lights faded and the music stopped - Libera learned from that experience so the lights didn’t go out anymore on the 26th and 27th.

  • There was no ‘The Moon Represents My Heart’ on the programme sold at the 27th’s concert, many people were rather surprised that day.

  • When Libera started to sing ‘The Moon’ on the 27th, the guy sitting next to me reached out to hold his girl’s hand.

  • There was a standing ovation on the 25th and 27th, with the 27th being the most fierce - really long applause with ‘woohoo’, ‘wow’, whistles.

  • Eimear was really friendly - I even asked her to take a photo with me, and she kindly agreed. I didn’t have the chance to take a photo with Sam and Steven…yet. Well, I now have another goal to go to Libera concerts. :roll:

  • Also, meeting and hanging out with Libera fans was a wonderful experience. I have read that it would be enjoyable; in fact, it was more enjoyable than I had imagined. Rumor has it that Libera fans are really nice, and yes I confirm it. Sometimes I even feel like I’m not nice enough. Thanks everyone for every moment, I sure hope we’ll meet again!

P/S: The theme song of the arts festival was played so many times that I couldn’t count anymore. At every beginning, intermission, and end of the two concerts on the 25th and 26th. It accidentally got into my head - now I remember all of its melody for no reason. :?



PART 2

The Concerts:
My review is just full of personal emotions, as I can’t write it in another way, to be honest. The ordinal number beside each title indicates the date(s) on which that song sounded the most impressive (to me). And as I got a chance to attend 3 concerts in a row, I do compare them a little here. :wink:

I should mention my feelings before the concerts first. It was rather difficult to describe how I felt at that time - excitement mixed with a rather surreal feeling, as everything happened so fast that it felt like a dream.

So, the lights went off, then came the sound of the instruments – the concert has begun. Eimear's flute sound (if it was indeed herself playing it) was really haunting. Then the boys slowly walked on stage with their robes. My heart was pumping hard as I held my breath - one of my ultimate wishes was about to be fulfilled. I felt the same way for all three concerts - although at the 2nd and 3rd one it wasn’t as strong, it was still there.

SAN DAMIANO (27th)
This one is not a favorite of mine, as I think it is too pop-ish. But I did enjoy it a lot, especially on the 25th (my first Libera song in concert – where they started the song off by singing that wonderfully harmonized part that made my heart feel both satisfied enough AND wanting more). However, I liked the one on the 27th best as the harmony parts blended perfectly on that day – the lower part was rich, and the ‘Sancta Maria’ in which the alto goes in after the main melody was flawless as well (the alto struggled a bit on the 25th I think, and I coughed so badly on the 26th (while trying to be as quiet as possible of course) that I couldn’t enjoy the song to the fullest). This song brought joy to my soul, and I remember having my heart pumping along the beats (that I didn’t use to like before lol). I didn’t really feel the urge of crying at first, but on the 27th (the third time listening to it live) it hit me and I did shed a few tears. Highlights: the alto’s ‘Oo-oo-oo-oo’ & lower’s ‘Ah-ah-ah-ah’ really added to the mood of the verses, before the ‘heart and soul, heart and soul’ with the choir’s absolutely brilliant harmony & Peter’s face of dedication; and the wonderful high notes sung by Leo & Taichi at the end – they were heavenly and almost 100% in pitch (I have seen many adult singers’ sense of pitch is not as good)! I couldn’t ever dream of saying this but I thoroughly enjoyed this song, even when the choir sing in unison with no harmony at all. Their voices were incredible and they sounded light yet very strong at the same time – one of the characteristics of choral music that I like most.

SANCTUS (mixed)
A simple yet brilliant song that shows what the Libera boys are capable of. In fact, it was so good that I literally cry at all three concerts I attended. It is important to mention that Merlin made a remarkable appearance in his singing – his voice was brightly floating through the song, and the last ‘Sanctus’ is just really really great.
  • The chorus sounded the fullest on the 26th, as the descant (the part that’s way up to C6) was not too loud compared to the two lower parts. I also noticed that some boys had difficulty in starting the song, as they started off quite small in volume (well, the first note is G5 – it is definitely not easy to start a song with that one, so…)
  • The normal ‘Benedictus in nomine…’ & ‘Sanctus Dominus…’ sung by the whole choir sounded great on all three days. No need further statements.
  • The fast-paced ‘Benedictus in nomine…’ in the middle sounded best on the 26th too – it was a little thin on the 25th & 27th in my opinion. One more thing, I really liked Alex M’s voice (if I’m not mistaken) when he sang the middle harmony line of that part (the one sung by Sam Leggett from the Leiden DVD) and the fact that it was loud enough (especially on the 27th). It was barely audible in the American DVD.
  • Merlin was really good on all the three days. But he seemed to be in his best shape on the 25th – he delivered everything perfectly. (It would have been the 27th had it not been for a tiny shiver at the last ‘Sanctus’).
  • The high notes were best on the 25th (where they sounded the loudest – duh). The 27th was incredible too. They were not as impressive to my ear on the 26th. I thought the singers might have some issues, but I might be totally wrong.
I don’t have any problems with listening to this one again at other Libera concerts – I still have a wish to listen to it in a cathedral. Only a cathedral’s acoustics can do this song’s justice!

DREAMING OF HOME (27th)
The whole choir just sounded awesome. The first verse where there is no harmony was just so good, the second one where the alto joins at the end was just so good, the last high verse with the accompaniment of the lower part was just so good, the high notes were just so good, the last word ‘home’ where the soprano holds a note and the alto sings a line was just so good. Their singing was just so good it melted my heart, and I was sobbing like a little kid, especially at the part ‘there’s sadness inside’ & on the 27th where a fellow fan even offered me a piece of tissue (thank you so much). All three versions I’ve heard is incredible and I can’t decide which one is the best, so I rely on little Taichi to pick out the best one. His best was the 27th – he did so well on that day and everything seemed to be pure perfection! On the previous days, he started to sing some lines a little bit late, perhaps due to the notes being too high, but this little thing was fixed on the 27th. His solo lines of this song were incredible (and those lines are no easy pie I can tell!), & he looked comfortable as if he was born for those notes. The alto was also a highlight for me – I tried imagining this song without the alto part, its appealing would drop by half. So, kudos to the alto! Side note: the version on the 26th would be much more enjoyable if it weren’t for those annoying children sitting behind me – they kept talking & laughing & mimicking the song’s melody. I constantly had to move between two modes: ‘I can’t take it anymore I’m crying’ & ‘get rid of that attitude kids, don’t mess with me.’

FROM A DISTANCE (25th)
I’ve always been a big fan of the opening harmony part – Libera did it wonderfully. I got goosebumps immediately when they started the song on the 25th. The choir sounded very rich and full throughout the song. I adore how they managed to sound the way they did. The alto hooked my attention, again (actually I don’t choose the 27th as the best one because the alto sounded not so clear in one part)! The lower parts by the older boys also added a significant touch to the song – I really liked the parts where they joined. And also the high notes were breath-taking, no kidding – I felt as if I had been lifted to the sky! Merlin was perfect on the 26th & 27th – his voice seemed a little bit shivering in this song on the 25th. I have stated in my review that I was moved by the message of this song, and oh dear, hearing it live just took me over the edge. The yearning for peace and the message of loving one another in the lyrics plus the peaceful and heavenly harmony sung by the unique sound of Libera on stage created a perfect substance capable of getting me all teary. The ultimate highlight would be the ‘God is watching us’ and the heavenly high part right after that – when the boys were soaring into the air, it was like an ocean of lights just opened before my very eyes, the lights of hope, a hope of a place where ultimate peace exists and there is nothing but happiness. Everything was so beautiful, everything was so perfect; in fact, this was one of the songs in which I shed the most tears – I did at the first verse, the second verse, the bridge and also the third verse, basically the whole thing. There was just one point that I am not really used to: the way Merlin sang “it’s the” – he sang the words as “iza the” for all three days, I still prefer “it’s the”, but maybe that’s just me.

STAY WITH ME (27th)
Another pop-ish Libera song that I was not really into at some first listens months ago. I got to like it now, Libera’s fault. As soon as the boys started to sing (and then the descant melody sung by Taichi joined them), I thought ‘ooh baby this is gonna be good!’ and it was good indeed. Oliver is (notice the present tense) the perfect pick for this song of the current batch, as the purity and innocence feature (?) of his voice, as can be heard very clearly at the ‘fore-e-e-ver’, suits this song perfectly (he was probably using his falsetto voice but it was extremely clear as if it had been his real voice – I got a little bit confused at first), not to mention the stability of his voice is really good – while he struggled a little on the 25th and 26th (mainly at the beginning of the song where the notes are low), he almost never went off pitch on the 27th. About the choir, their harmony was wonderful (I’ve said this so many times, haven’t I?). The refrains were flawless, so were all the ‘ah-ah’ parts. I was specifically hooked at the alto’s part at the end of the refrain and also the harmony of the whole choir where Oliver sang ‘forever comfort me’ – really brilliant, Mr. Prizeman! About Taichi, he did a great job, especially on the 27th as well. I know the descant in this song is a rather difficult one, but he carried it out pretty smoothly (well, while his performance on the 25th was not as good, he made it up with fascinating ones on the 26th and 27th). His voice is surely growing fuller and richer every day – I think it clearly showed in his performance of this song. All in all, I felt really comfortable and relaxed listening to this song, no tears.

FAR AWAY (26th)
My first Libera song ever – I have been waiting long to hear this one live, and oh my, it was so touching back then. Gabe was wonderful in his solo – his face was calm and his pitch was on point. I paid additional attention to the last line ‘far away beyond the sky’ to see how he handled the octave upward & sudden way downward, and he did it in a couldn’t-be-better way – really smooth and no struggling, every word was clear and audible and I was like crying lol. The choir on a whole couldn’t be any better! It may have been the acoustics of the place or something, but I find their version on the 26th was way better than every other previous live version (except for the Leiden one, I still cannot decide which one is better). The ‘venite Spititu’ sent chills down my spine every single time – it sounded so full and heavenly. I felt as if it was surrounding me, which made it even more heavenly; imagine a bunch of peaceful and bright harmonies are surrounding you and they are lifting you up like the sunlight from above – it was just really ethereal. And also give a big hand to Leo who did the high note at the end of the refrain (if I’m not mistaken it’s him) – he controlled it really well, going from ‘soft’ to ‘loud’ then to ‘soft’ again. I also notice the bar chimes and how it perfectly fits the song’s angelic mood, just give the one who proposed that idea a medal, I’m serious!! Some more notes: the version I choose as the best among others is the one we heard when they were rehearsing (I stood outside listening to that song and it was so good) not the actual one in that day’s official concert – the ‘real’ one was just as good, but Gabe messed up with the lyrics a bit, so it lost its place. About the one on the 27th, I find Leo’s control over that high note not as equally impressive.

SACRIS SOLEMNIS, (27th)
At first I didn’t really like this song, but it has grown on me (even before this China tour). Libera was spectacular at this one, personally I think it was clever of them to include this one and ‘Joyful’ in the setlist this time as Chinese audience is quite familiar with Beethoven (based on what I’ve heard and seen from the symphonic hall on the 27th). The pianist played a chord and they started the song so smoothly and softly in unison, the softness was maintained when the alto began their part. The song then built up when all the instruments joined the boys – when Leo and Taichi started to sing their descant part (I am not 100% sure but it seems to me that the descant is just the alto part moved up an octave). I love every second of this song. The boys’ harmony was very pleasant to listen to, they all sounded so smooth and their voices were woven together like a cotton candy, which got me goosebumps throughout the entire thing. Leo & Taichi’s faces were literally brightened up in this song, like ‘hey, we finally have a melody of high notes throughout the song, not just some notes here and there in some parts’. The best version for me is the 27th, where I could hear the lower part loud enough (especially Isaac’s voice)! They gave the song a ‘ground’ so that the alto and soprano could just take off and fly from that ground. I remember humming their lines on the plane unintentionally and for no particular reasons. There were up to four harmony parts in this song (or maybe five?). I remember on the 25th, the lower part was not really audible, and on the 26th, the high notes were a bit too loud (just a tiny bit though). The last solo was done by Leo & Rocco – although Leo had a little shiver on the 27th, he was overall much more than impressive – his sound was bright, powerful and it seemed that he controlled it very well; Rocco was perfect on all three days – he hit all the notes perfectly and clearly (even the notes in the lower register), his sense of pitch is absolutely incredible!

WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD (27th)
It is difficult to pick a favorite, because three versions I’ve got a chance to listen to were almost equally good, and they were also somewhat different on each day. On the 25th, the solo parts were done by Rocco if I remember correctly (but not all of them, as the choir sang the first and second verses themselves, Rocco just sing the ones at the end); on the 26th and 27th, they were done by Gabe (this time all the parts). If there were any common thing about them, I would say that it is the very good intonation both of them possess – not easy for my ear to ‘detect’ their flats and sharps. About the choir, they were in really good shape – their harmony was full and emotional, and all the notes they held long seemed to echo far away, which made this song sounded really ‘wonderful’ indeed. I especially love the bridge (the high ‘aaa’ part), the boys did it brilliantly, with Taichi & probably Leo on the high notes again – it resembled the sunlight pouring down a grassland (the same feeling as From a Distance’s bridge, nothing strange as they are actually arranged with the same structure and technique – the main melody at a higher pitch to create a ‘whoa’ reaction from the listeners). The last ‘I think to myself’ still sounded somewhat creepy and gloomy to me, but then the harmony of the choir jumped in and brightened up the mood. I don’t remember any time in the past when this song could bring me into a teary mood, but it totally could in ALL of the previous concerts, especially when the strength of the song decreased to a somewhat more intimate & cozy mood ‘they’re really saying I love you’. Is that a kind of magic or something? I think I’m under a spell, help!

LIBERA (mixed)
I didn’t even need to look at the setlist to know what song was up next – the first chord (for the boys to start the beginning harmony part) is too distinctive that there’s no way I cannot tell. Another song that I didn’t use to like very much when I first discovered Libera and also I didn’t know what to expect there as I didn’t find the video broadcast of the song from the US Tour very appealing, but the boys did a pretty great job here (it’s one of their signature songs after all). The beauty of the harmony parts are undeniable, it so blended in together that I cannot really tell the harmony lines apart (I don’t know what I was hearing were the lines themselves or the overtones) – they complimented one another in such a nice way that there were times when they stopped singing, I sat there listening to the background instrumental and suddenly realized that these harmonies were ‘made’ by a bunch of boys. How amazing they are! The choir was pretty much as awesome as ever, but there are certain parts that sounded best on certain days: for the 25th, it would be the opening ‘Libera’ – 100% on point and hypnotic; for the 26th, Rocco and Alex’s duo lines (Rocco had some tiny tiny little sharps at times and Alex’s mic was a little bit too low in volume on the 27th, I think); for the 27th, the strength of the lower part and also the last ‘Libera’ – really long and powerful. Alex M was good on all three days. There is a question has been around in my head for a long time: how can they manage to sound the ‘na’ in ‘Aeterna’ like that – it’s like the ‘aeter’ is kind of normal, and bam, the ‘na’ is heavenly all of a sudden. Like how? What just happened?

ARIRANG (27th)
I was totally excited to be able to listen to this song. Not only because it was at Libera concerts, also because I have never got a chance to listen to a full version of it. I did like it a lot, so Libera please release a full track on iTunes – I’d be very happy to purchase it. The very first thing that caught my attention was the mystic flute sound of Eimear at the beginning, accompanied by a strange chord progression – it was like opening a secret gate to a dark tunnel, and that dark tunnel eventually leads to a bright and balanced world, which somehow matches my Asian side’s point of view. The same ‘technique’ was also used in the interlude of the song and it created the same effect. The Libera boys sounded best on the 27th, because some individual voices were too exposing at the beginning of certain sentences on the 25th, and the lower part did not sound as impressive on the 26th. All in all, it was very nice to listen to, and I find the descant in the middle of the song is kind of… cute, and the last harmonic sentence was too good – it was the light that shines upon that world to make it satisfactorily completed; in other words, it was the very final piece of the jigsaw puzzle about that balanced world I’ve been getting a picture of throughout the song. I used to think that pieces which have such a heavy Eastern vibe covered all over themselves cannot be harmonized to sound this beautiful, thank you Robert Prizeman for proving me wrong. Also, a Korean fan told me that the title ‘Arirang’ can also be understood as ‘with Ari’, so yes, I’ll officially take it personally. Thank you Libera for singing a song for me – I was in the front rows and I really enjoyed your precious gift! :P
Last edited by kinda_k00l on Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:15 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Libera Concert in China (2017)

Post by kinda_k00l » 1 month ago

{CONCERT REVIEW} (continue)

*Intermission*
I was able to stretch my arms and legs a little bit. We had small talks about Libera and their performance, we also went online to update information for the outer world. :P

The lights went off again, and the instruments’ sound reappeared – This time, there was the sound of wine glasses or some crystal pitched objects. The line ‘dies irae dies illa’ was played by the keyboard, then Eimear’ haunting flute sound took place, leading to the opening section of the song.

DIES IRAE (27th)
This is one of the song that caught my attention at the very first time I listened to, as the opening part is mesmerizing and gives me a super bright mood while the other parts of the song are like the total opposite. I couldn’t really describe how I feel when I heard Libera sing those notes of the opening harmony right into my ears, I can only say that I almost stretched out my hands unintentionally to grab it all lol. Their harmony parts are always good, I can tell. Then came the later somewhat less welcoming part, when they sang ‘dies irae dies illa’, with the drums and horns that made it sound like the music of the clans/tribes in the wood. I usually don’t like when those are included in choral music, but they kind of match the mood. Furthermore, I really liked the 6th interval harmony which was used a lot in this part. At first, I felt like being sucked into the mood when Libera sang the main melody, accompanied by the horn playing the notes 6th interval below; then, when the alto & lower parts joined (from the 2nd verse), I knew it was no escape. I love it when the boys (or should I say young men) of the lower part get themselves a whole harmony part (not the same part as the soprano but at a lower octave), as in this song (if I’m correct), because that way, the lower part becomes irreplaceable and the song also sounded more ‘rich’ in terms of harmony. That is the main reason why I think the version on the 27th was the best – the lower parts were louder on that day. I should also say something about the flute sound of Eimear here – it was not just a flute line anymore, it literally became a part of the song. For the final part, although I really enjoy the imitative ‘Kyrie Eleison’ that lead to 'Joyful Joyful', I think that the transition between these two songs was somewhat abrupt and it sounded a bit strange in some way...

JOYFUL JOYFUL (ALL – 27th)
I really like the pizzicato part of the introduction of this song, but it was not there – they went straight to this song without an intro because it was tied with ‘Dies Irae’, but that’s just a minor thing. What matter is the whole choir was almost 100% perfect at this song. In fact, technically, I would say that this is their best song of all the three days. Their performances of this very song were so good and consistent throughout the whole tour (I missed two concerts though), and everything was on point. The main melody, the alto part that began to sing at the second verse, the lower part, the somewhat ‘cute’ descant in the middle and the powerful descant at the end – all of them were taken up to the highest level of staying in pitch, blending in and sounding incredible. It was not difficult to for Libera to bring me to tears with this one, the tears of joy! The whole song basically felt like me walking in a really bright way, heading toward a place that is even brighter. The flute sound of Eimear here brought along a really ‘joyful’ mood indeed, and I particularly enjoyed her trill part in the middle of the song. All three versions of this song I’ve heard so far were equally impressive (no kidding), so you can guess the reason why I choose the one on the 27th to be the best – the accurate loudness of the lower part sung by older boys. There were not enough older members on the 25th and 26th as they were not feeling so well. Excluding ‘The Moon Represent My Heart’, I think this song is probably the one that the Chinese audience is most familiar with as there were kids humming along on the 25th and 26th (to me they were really annoying on the 26th, the 25th was fine). And I bet it would also be the one that the Vietnamese audience is most familiar with, if they ever came to Vietnam – I literally grew up with this piece featured in the most popular Gameboy.

ANGEL (25th)
How I love the sound of the tubular bells! It is a perfect way to start off the song. As this song usually never fails to get the tears out of my eyes, I felt the urge to cry even before Libera started singing. After a few notes played by the keyboard, the choir sang the ‘a-a-a’ in unison, leading the way to this song’s dreamy mood, and I think they controlled their loudness really well it actually sounded like pre-recorded (which is a good thing to me). Then Ben went on with his solo – I think he was in the best shape on the 25 (he sounded a little bit tired on the 26th and I felt his solo parts somewhat not 100% pleasant on the 27th). Compared to the original soloist (Isaac) whose voice was round and clear like a bell, Ben’s voice was more of an oval and much more childish, which is just a difference, totally not a bad thing. His voice was not really stable to my ear, but I can tell he’s got a bright career ahead of himself. His sense of pitch was good in general as he clearly paid much attention to it. The soprano was perfect in pitch and super amazing for the most parts: at the ‘voces angelorum in gloria’, at the refrain & the bridge, and especially when it came to the soaring parts ‘beneath your WING’, ‘venite Adoramus’ & ‘Laudate DEo’ (I felt tear forming in my eyes at those words, like I usually do). The alto part of this song never ceases to amaze me – I’d like to thank the alto singers of Libera for making this song the way it is, with all the legato in the background creating suspended chords that totally adds up to the dreamy mood of the song. The most impressive part about the alto was that they managed to maintain just the right volume at the concerts – not too silence but not too loud at the legato parts, then clearly audible at the refrain and Latin bridge – just brilliant! Kudos for Peter and Camden to have taken that support role for Ben (the same job that Sam and Alessandro and Ciaran had done for Isaac) – how I wanted Peter to get his own solos (his voice was stable enough in my opinion)! Also give a big hand to Ciaran, to have managed the lower parts so brilliantly on the 25th.

SALVA ME (27th)
A song that carries a rather mysterious feeling – I enjoy mysterious things, and I quite like this one. I remember being sucked into its thrilling mood at the concerts, and actually felt a little bit nervous as if I were to reach the bottom of that mystery. (Again, I had to hold myself down not to stretch out my arms, it was when they sang ‘fly me away’.) Taichi was standing separately from the other boys with his hoodie on, singing the ‘Salva’ part. He was really good in general, as his round and clear ringing voice does match well with what this line needs (I’m sorry but I don’t know how to explain/describe it more clearly). He sounded a little bit (just a little bit) worn out on the 25th and 26th (which I totally understand, because singing that same not-so-easy line over and over again would be rather difficult to stay in pitch even for me and also would make me tired too), but he exceeded my expectation on the 27th and did very well on that day. The choir was also in best shape on the 27th – their voices truly blended in, in the best way possible (on the 25th and 26th, I think some of the boys had difficulty with some lower notes and some voices were a bit too exposing at the first verse, based on what I’ve heard, but again, maybe that’s just me. Anyway, they did get rid of those minor stuff at the second verse. Professional much!) About the instrumental, I would like the sound of the pipe organ to be more audible – not only is it one of my favorite instruments ever, it also helps enhance the mood of the song to another level (for me, this is a fact, no negotiations needed!) That said, I really enjoyed the beat of this one at the concerts, especially at the end when it became heavier and more hurried, with Taichi doing his rich & haunting ‘Salva’ to complete the song in a mysterious way – the same way that he started it.

AMAZING GRACE (ALL)
The song started off with a gentle piano sound, and then the gentle boy soprano choir sound. The alto accompanied them with some words at the end of the first verse (“I once was lost…”), then a marvelous legato section (“ooh” & “ah”) at the next – I’ve always been fascinated about the fact that Libera has the ability of pulling these “ooh” “ah” things too well. The lower part joined them at the third verse (“Tis grace that brought me safe”). I think I started to get teary-eyed at the second or third verse, I don’t remember – I only remember that tears were there during the last verse where things built up to a crescendo with the heavenly descant wonderfully sung by Leo & Taichi. I cannot pick out the best version of the three concerts, so let’s say that all are best. That was also one of the best ‘Amazing Grace’ I’ve heard so far, because Libera was just so good at this song. No voices were too stood out, as every one of them sang passionately and together they created the beautiful harmony. In fact, I believe that the harmony of the song itself was the main reason as to why I felt like crying. Was that a snippet of what heaven sounds like? Furthermore, as one can notice, their harmony lines were not the same – they sang differently each verse and it is a really good way to keep the audience’s ears busy so that they won’t get bored easily. There were up to four different harmony parts in the song, and the parts change every verse, so it was really good of them being able to remember and sing all those parts so well. I paid attention to two of the boys the most: Rocco and Ciaran. Rocco, the soloist, was really consistent throughout three days – he paid attention to every note he sang and almost never made mistakes (which is not easy even for adult professional singers); his voice was not of the sweet kind of voice like Ciaran’s, but it sounds nice in its own way – not a sweet ‘Amazing Grace’, but an assertive one. About Ciaran, he was all by himself in this song on the 25th (I mean there was only him of the lower part) yet he sounded brilliant in his part and the song still sounded rich, not lacking too much.

ORINOCO FLOW (26th)
I did not expect much or held my hope high for this one, as it is not one of my favorites. But the boys’ singing was really smooth and pleasant to my ears, so I became a little fond of listening to it live. I like the ‘ah-ah’ sound they made at the beginning of the song, especially when the upper harmony joined in. They manage their volume so well, it went from ‘soft’ to ‘loud’ then to ‘soft’ again (I have been trying to get my children choir sing this way for certain parts, but it seems to be more difficult than I thought hmm). Then came the repetitive pattern ‘sol sol sol si / sol sol sol si’ (with the nice alto harmony) ‘sol sol sol do do do do’ (with the lower part) – the boys sang softly yet it sounded very dynamic. The pre-chorus came along with the ‘tut, tut’ (hey I kind of like that ‘tut, tut’ thing) where Tadhg showed his passionate singing. Then there was the chorus (‘sail away’) with the return of the ‘ah-ah’ smoothing alto. The bridge (‘turn it up’) is the part I like best in this song, and I adore the combination of the alto and the lower part when they sang the long ‘ooh’ at the end of each sentence! Also, the high note at the end of the bridge (probably sung by Taichi or Leo or both, I didn’t remember) was really good too. At the last verse the descant caught my attention – very brightly sung. And I liked the G5 chord at the end (the G chord without a B), with the depth of the lower part – it opened a view of the ocean before my eyes (I don’t really know why though). Side note: the voices of the boys weren’t perfectly ‘unified’ on the 25th, and the ‘sol sol sol si’ was some time too low in volume compared to the ‘sol sol sol do do do do’ on the 27th – that’s why the 26th sounded best to me.

WAYFARING STRANGER (mixed)
As you may have known, there were two soloists of this song in the China tour, and both of them were impressive to me. I attended three concerts on the 25th, 26th and 27th. Rocco sang the solo on the 25th and 26th, and he was really good. I personally think that he did it slightly better on the 26th, as his voice seemed to shiver a little bit on the 25th. However, again, his pitch was on point for all two days – he is really gifted I’d say. As for Alex G, sadly I only got to listen to one of his solo for this song on the 27th. Although his voice seemed somewhat tired on that day, he really looked comfortable (the tiredness of his voice did not distract me from enjoying the song at all; actually, I kind of find it matched the song – a wayfaring stranger must have been tired as he has been walking for too long.) I think the lines are perfect for his register. His sense of pitch is of no doubt really good, too. New discovery: I suddenly realized that Rocco’s voice is more toward the ē and Alex’s is more toward the ā, if you understand what I’m talking about. The soprano & alto were pretty much as amazing as always (I cannot pick out a day when they were better than the others) – they were really good throughout the concerts I attended. They hit all the notes perfectly, and their way performance matched the mood of the song really well. The lower part was best on the 27th when they sounded the strongest (duh), especially the last verse of the song on the 27th were things built up really strong. The high note at the end of the bridge was best on the 26th, but the other high notes at the last verse were best on the 25th (they were not as loud as I expected on the 26th and 27th). About the instrumental: I like Eimear’s flute sound at the bridge and the last verse, plus I find the chords at the end very interesting – it actually corresponded with the intro to create a ‘wandering’ mood – I haven’t really paid attention to this before.

SMILE (26th)
This arrangement of the song is quite good. And Gabe is the perfect pick of the current batch for this one in my opinion. What’s more, I think he was better at live concerts than on the CD - there was some kind of sadness came out of his voice & floated around the venue, whereas on the CD, that feeling of sadness is not as clear. He started the song perfectly on the somewhat sulky chords in the background, joined by Alessandro’s beautiful harmony 6th interval below at “You’ll see the sun come shining through”, and I instantly got goosebumps at that line. For all the other lines that Alessandro sang, they were all the main melody - the same as Gabe’s, just down an octave, and it created a somewhat special effect on me at the live concerts (I don’t really know what it is, but I don’t get that impression listening to the studio version.) The two soloists were really skilled, and they delivered their lines perfectly smooth without much (if not any) struggling. The choir then went in at the second verse, doing what they usually do about those ‘ah-ah’ legato part - their best. The high notes right before “You’ll find that life is still worthwhile” (and other similar lines) were just brightening things up, like the lights starting to fall down. Actually, their performance of this song was really stable during the concerts I attended, which made it difficult for me to pick out the best one among them. I go with the 26th because Alessandro’s voice was louder that day (if I got it right). I would have loved to see Alessandro’s voice be even louder, if it had been possible. I should also mention cute little Romeo and his recorder, shouldn’t I? That little guy looked so so cute with the recorder that seemed a little too big for him, and you can tell he was somewhat nervous & also fully concentrated on getting that object to sound right - well, his ultimate concentration just made him look even cuter, if you’d ask me. He placed it behind a speaker and almost forgot to pick it up on the 27th, but then he realized it as he ran out to grab it.

EXSULTATE (26th)
For the intro of the song, Eimear and Jonathan stepped forward, they stood on two sides of the stage and there were spotlights where they stood. Jonathan started with his drum (what’s the name of that thing?) with a ‘look-at-me-I’m-playing-this-thing’ face - very cheerful and and fun (no offense, but I really felt like he were to ‘fool around’ a little bit, just like what the kids usually do); Eimear was cheerful as well, and I really like that specific flute sound of her in this song - it sounded more ‘free’ and she used vibrations to make it even more cheerful I guess. Then Merlin sang the first line and how perfectly he nailed it, especially on the 26th (I have tried singing along but it’s not easy to maintain the right notes)! His voice is more ‘round’ than mini Ben’s or Tom DL’s. After that, the whole choir joined him for the second verse. Again, they sounded wonderful and their voices blended so well. The lower part was not that great on the 25th, pretty much audible on the 26th, and particularly loud on the 27th (I like that!) However, as a whole, for this song, I think Libera was best on the 26th, as they sounded smoothest on that day. 25th’s Merlin was not as ‘wooow’ as 26th’s Merlin; and while the 27th could beat it easily, there were some struggling at certain high notes. Speaking of the high notes, I really adored the one at ‘Alleluia’ right before the bridge, also the bridge itself (I don’t remember who did that backup line for Merlin but they did a marvelous job), and the very note that ended the song in applause. About my feelings, this song reminds me of the music of the troubadours (I think it’s because of the instruments used as well as the melody pattern - I don’t really know, I just feel that way) - to be more specific: at those live concerts, I had a feeling that the dawn was breaking in some mountainous area.

THE MOON REPRESENTS MY HEART (mixed between the 26th and 27th)
One of my new favorites, and I was really looking forward to hearing it live, partly because it was the newest release of Libera and also because although it was not that new for me as I’ve heard it in a Chinese TV series I used to watch when I was a kid, it was a new song to many of the boys - I would like to know how amazingly they handled it. Well, I could say that cried every single time I heard it on stage, that pretty much sums up my overall feelings for this song. The 25th’s version had some tiny issues (well I did cry anyway so it was not at all a big deal), but the 26th’s and 27th’s were perfect. I absolutely loved the sound of the wind chime for the whole opening ‘ah-ah’ part - it felt like sparkles of the moonlight pouring down. This part sounded the most wonderful on the 26th. The first refrain part is a single melody line with no harmony accompaniment, and it always earned them an applause from the Chinese audience. The first verse was really nice sung on all three days, and I really liked that bell-like sound (what’s it called?) of an instrument (probably a synthesizer) in the background playing the chords. Then the refrain returned, this time with the harmony parts - I must say those harmony parts were making me feel like I was melting, into a golden sparkling moon river (specifically at the ‘dàibiǎo wǒ de xīn’ where there are at least two harmony parts, one higher and one (or more) lower)! The alto sounded louder on the 27th - the river was rather dynamic, and softer on the 26th - the river was more gentle, that’s why I didn’t have any problems with the alto not sounding loud at all, because it didn’t really sound lacking this time, just two different moods were created. Then came that bridge, with the smoothest pitch shift ever at the end leading to the whole view of the now overflowing moon river. Actually the moon river here is a perfect metaphor for my teary eyes lol - the tears overflowed when the Libera boys began to sing the last refrain part, with all those smooth yet bursting high notes. The lower part was wonderful as well - although it is not a real ‘harmony’ part (as it is the same melody transposed down one octave), it still made a significant contribution so that the part sounded rich. And the lower part was best on the 27th (again). Then the river slowly calmed down when Victor stepped up to the mic to sing his last solo line. His tone sounded a little bit strange to me on the 25th, but it was great on the 26th and 27th. I would say his best was at the 26th’s concert, as he didn’t hold the last note (‘xīn’) as long on the 27th. Anyway, Victor sang it very calmly and comfortably, his voice also sounded great - he surely has a bright future in Libera.

That's the whole thing. I didn't really remember how it got this lengthy. So thank you, whoever made it this far! :mrgreen:
Last edited by kinda_k00l on Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Surpinto
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Re: Libera Concert in China (2017)

Post by Surpinto » 1 month ago

WOW! I am absolutely stunned beyond words (okay, I will offer some anyway) that you wrote a review with so many details comparing such minute attributes that would have either gone unnoticed or unremembered by most of us! The fact that you did it from memory at your very first concerts is a fete that is beyond my reckoning.

Nothing that I say as a reply could do justice to, give recognition of, or even properly acknowledge the effort and time you put in to writing this review. Please know that I read every word and was awestruck by your detailed and moving descriptions.

I am especially pleased that something that we said here motivated you to take the plunge and attend what was clearly an unforgettable experience for you. That you overcame other barriers, including anxiety and taking your first air trip alone, among the others you mentioned, is a complement to you. You discussed that very little but it is obvious that these, when put together, were not small barriers for you initially. As you go through life further you will notice that these barriers are not brick walls which are immovable, but are like curtains which are easily pushed aside with little effort. The trick is recognizing the curtain as not being a wall.

I am someone who believes that putting thoughts into written words is as much for the benefit of the author as it is for the benefit of the reader. By writing down all of your impressions and feelings and analyses you have had a chance to encapsulate the many impressions floating around in your mind. I would imagine that doing so allowed you to appreciate your experiences even more so.

Congratulations on your first concerts, congratulations on the amazing review, and congratulations on overcoming the difficulties in going in the first place!

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Re: Libera Concert in China (2017)

Post by andmar » 1 month ago

kinda_k00l wrote:
<span title="Mon Nov 27, 2017 6:59 pm">1 month ago</span>
{CONCERT REVIEW}
...
WOW, what a review, kinda_k00l! I'm speechless ! It was worth waiting for, indeed. Thank you!

Surpinto wrote:
<span title="Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:21 am">1 month ago</span>
WOW! I am absolutely stunned beyond words (okay, I will offer some anyway) that you wrote a review with so many details comparing such minute attributes that would have either gone unnoticed or unremembered by most of us! The fact that you did it from memory at your very first concerts is a fete that is beyond my reckoning.

...

I could not think of any better summary than the one provided by Surpinto. I can only second it and sign it with my both hands (btw, can it be said so in English?).
I'm really happy for you that you were able to overcome the obstacles and that you didn't give up. Now I wish you the best luck and determination to planning your visit to the UK one day.

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kinda_k00l
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Re: Libera Concert in China (2017)

Post by kinda_k00l » 1 month ago

Surpinto wrote:
<span title="Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:21 am">1 month ago</span>
WOW! I am absolutely stunned beyond words (okay, I will offer some anyway) that you wrote a review with so many details comparing such minute attributes that would have either gone unnoticed or unremembered by most of us! The fact that you did it from memory at your very first concerts is a fete that is beyond my reckoning.
Surpinto wrote:
<span title="Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:21 am">1 month ago</span>
Congratulations on your first concerts, congratulations on the amazing review, and congratulations on overcoming the difficulties in going in the first place!
andmar wrote:
<span title="Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:31 am">1 month ago</span>
WOW, what a review, kinda_k00l! I'm speechless ! It was worth waiting for, indeed. Thank you!
Thanks, you two, for your kind words. I should have mentioned that I didn't write everything from memory - every night after I had returned to my hotel from a concert, I did note down what I saw and heard and noticed, and if some songs were better than their studio versions/previous live performances. My memory is never that good. :lol:


Well, I used to stay up late every single day just to search for more information about factors concerning this tour and didn't go to sleep until my eyes hurt. But it was totally worth it! And now, thanks to that, I have the courage to push it further. Maybe when Libera returns to Asia, or even a trip to the UK, it's still a wishful thinking, but hopefully. 8)
It is also important to note that I was entirely blessed during the trip. There were countless obstacles and some of them seemed to be impossible to get through, but every small detail just slowly fell into place and fit in perfectly to create this golden opportunity. There were major drawbacks at the beginning that turned out to be complete blessings in disguise, now that I look back on it!

@Surpinto you remember me telling you: 'you are to blame for another thing' on Twitter, right? That 'thing' is the fact that you triggered me to go on such an amazing adventure (I still call this trip an 'adventure' when referring to it - that makes it way more interesting, and also it really was a chaotic (but really pleasant) adventure for me). So I was really happy to see that you were also a victim of this kind of thing and you decided to go to Ely next year. :P
Aliens: What does the humankind have that can be given out for the sake of the universe?
Me: *shows LIBERA, KALAFINA & DULCIS VOX :lol:*

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filiarheni
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Re: Libera Concert in China (2017)

Post by filiarheni » 1 month ago

Kinda_k00l!! Thank you very much for your most comprehensive, most detailed review. I waited for it to bore me to sleep, as you said, but tell me: When was this to come?! :wink: I enjoyed reading it all, in fact I found the songs' part enthralling! Naturally, reading took me indeed some time, because I always like to read slowly and stop here and there to hear and picture in my mind, what the writer heard and saw. You brought the concert atmosphere extremely close to here. :) :D

Surpinto wrote:
<span title="Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:21 am">1 month ago</span>
By writing down all of your impressions and feelings and analyses you have had a chance to encapsulate the many impressions floating around in your mind.
Right and how much time and effort does it cost to catch and put in mere words all that is actually almost inexpressible present in your senses - we all know that, I think. Thank you for the time you took to write your review.

kinda_k00l wrote:
<span title="Mon Nov 27, 2017 7:02 pm">1 month ago</span>
My review is just full of personal emotions, as I can’t write it in another way, to be honest.
Yes, what else should it be? :D The more personal, the more interesting, I find. I can relate to much of what you wrote, e. g. your "made my heart feel both satisfied AND wanting more", which I find applies very often! But also a lot more, when you describe the music's effect on you and when you put your feelings in pictures and comparisons - that's all full of life, and I can tell you, being only a handful of hours away from my next Libera concert, your review increases my anticipation once more to soon be bathing in this wonderful music and the feelings it will cause! :D

All in all: To have managed this huge package - the trip itself, exactly to China, alone and with so many uncertainties, with an incomparably complicated preparation, with having to resolve obstacles of all kind - at the same time means a huge step in your personal development! And that will have a life-long positive effect on your further way.

It could not be overlooked how badly you wanted to go, and I want to say Thank you for letting me have a role in making your dream come true. You know well that, during the process, I then felt a certain responsibility for your well-being. With this said, I'm more than happy that everything turned out just so very fine, and I feel, strongly with your parents, very happy about your safe return!

P.S. A side product of your review is that you taught me some other news: The fact that the Forum has got a limitation of characters for one post ... If someone was supposed to find this out, it could've been no other than you. :lol:
P.P.S. I'm truly glad to finally not hold the length record anymore. :roll: Thank you for "libera"-ting me from that!! :P :mrgreen:
"But in the dark and cold of things there always, always something sings"

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Re: Libera Concert in China (2017)

Post by Jay_S » 1 month ago

Ari, this is one of the most comprehensive reviews of any sort that I have read! Nobody would know that English is not your native language. I am completely impressed by your ability to express yourself so very well!

I think Surpinto's reply to you expresses how I feel better than I could hope to write it. So 'what he said' :lol:

I also think you added some very cool insight about the different parts of the music that are very technical but understandable. Your experience as a musician and a choir director gives you an a different view than most of us have.

Quote from Surpinto: "I am someone who believes that putting thoughts into written words is as much for the benefit of the author as it is for the benefit of the reader. By writing down all of your impressions and feelings and analyses you have had a chance to encapsulate the many impressions floating around in your mind. I would imagine that doing so allowed you to appreciate your experiences even more so."

I felt this way when I wrote my review so I can see that this will solidify your memories and experiences from your China trip.

Thank you for your time and effort to share your feelings and emotions from your first Libera experience. It was a pleasure to read :D
"with a down derry, derry down down"

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Re: Libera Concert in China (2017)

Post by JimmyRiddle » 1 month ago

Just caught up with your very comprehensive and detailed reviews Kinda_k00l & Emily.

Thanks for sharing them on here. All in all a very successful first tour of China.
My Twitter; JimmyRiddlez

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