It has been quiet here recently so I thought I would start another thread here.
If you are friends with me on Facebook you might have noticed that young Jackie has made quite an impact on me. She took part of America's Got Talent in 2010 when she was just 10 years old and has only just turned 12.
I am often left stunned and lost for words when I watch her performances, her voice has so much beauty and maturity, I also think that she shows incredible emotion for one so young! She really feels the music that she is singing.
Been following Jackie since 2009. It was an utmost joy watching her come from being a complete unknown and voting for her on youtube to get her onto AGT to find that she came second! I think for all my time as editor of CCUK, watching her on AGT was my proudest moment. I cried and cried as she nailed it. Seeing her so happy afterwards aswell... I must have replayed it about 50 times! <3 Was also immensely proud when she featured on our own BGT and seeing her in our supermarkets. It was so bizarre!
I can remember seeing videos of her when she was on AGT and being blown away by her then, I don't know why I didn't continue following her. It has only been in the past couple of months I have been catching up with everything, being blown away all over again, I think she is absolutely remarkable and with the right people around her and supportive family which she seems to have, I think she will just keep getting better and better.
Well now you've started it Dazza. I suppose it's time for me to post something to this thread. I've been following Jackie Evancho since 2009, when she was just nine years old and her wonderful singing voice was known only to a few Youtube viewers. Like Nicola, when she appeared on AGT I was so pleased for her and, I'm not afraid to admit quite emotional and tearful. It was so great to see her achieve the recognition she worked so hard for. I have a video of every known performance she's done. Quite a catalogue considering it's a chronicle of the 'career' of a world-wide performing artist (this week in St. Petersburgh Russia) who's still only twelve lol! Last year I flew out to Atlanta to see her in concert, and last week I went to New York to the concert at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. We have a really friendly fan forum for her at www.jackiefans.net where I recently posted a lengthy review of the New Jersey concert, which I repost here for anyone who'd like to read it. We have no objection there, to videos, pictures and reviews of other artists. There's a Mary-Jess thread there too.
Jackie Evancho concert at Newark, New Jersey, June 8th 2012
Well - I arrived home yesterday from my ten day trip to the US, and thought I'd write up an account of it for my friends.
It wasn't difficult and not far to get to Newark from NYC, but did involve a subway journey and two rail trips. On arrival at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center the first thing we saw was a group of friends sitting outside having a drink and waiting for others to arrive. Eventually there was quite a crowd, most of whom I'd met before in Atlanta last year. We were quite early so we could have a meal at the venue, and once that was finished we drifted over to the meet and greet area and waited in a line to go in and meet Jackie. I'm sorry to say that it's a little bit of a blur in my mind. I can recall that it happened but I can't see her very clearly in my memory. Even though I told myself not to get overawed by it I still couldn't help the feeling of unreality. Security were letting people in one at a time and you couldn't see what was happening until it was your turn to go in so there was a lot to take in and a very short time to absorb it all. She was sitting in a chair, wearing a grey top, holding Maggie in her arms and constantly stroking her. I don't know what everyone else said but I just walked up to her and said "Hello Jackie it's great to finally meet you. I've come all the way from England to hear you sing." She looked up at that and said "Oooooh that's a long way!" and then I handed my camera over and a photograph was taken of me and her. She said "I hope you enjoy it" (standard - she says it to everyone), somebody handed me back my camera and a signed poster and I was ushered out of the door. It was over in an instant, or seemed like it.
After that, we went into the auditorium. It's a beautiful venue; very elegantly proportioned and with four tiers of balconies. The people at the top really were 'up in the clouds'. I had a seat in the second row from the stage with a perfect view and since there was a ban on recording video and audio, and also on flash photography, it seemed they were ok with non-flash pictures. I took loads! Here are just a few that I've reduced in size for posting here.
Jackie came on as usual, after the first few bars of 'Lovers', wearing a cream dress and sang a set of songs mostly from DWM but with some extras like 'Vincent' from PTAD.
The acoustics in the Hall were excellent, and being that close meant that I could hear her natural voice and breathing as well as hearing it from the speakers. She sounded just perfect to me, so I was surprised when she said she was feeling unwell with a cold and was struggling to perform to a standard acceptable to her. She said she was annoyed with herself for not being able to give her very best for us. If only she knew that it sounded wonderful, and to us, the fact that she came out and performed under those circumstances made us realise what a little trooper she is. I was so, so pleased to see first-hand that she still does all the little things we love to see. The dress tugging, hand gestures, smiling at one or other of us while singing, waving, jumping; they were all there, despite the cold she had. At the end of one song she jumped up and twirled around, turning an almost complete 360 degrees whilst in the air. She really gets a high from applause and standing ovation. I think that's why she said at the start of the second half, that she felt better and felt that her voice was improving a lot. If you ask me, that was the adrenalin rush from being in front of a crowd. During one song (it might have been 'The impossible dream') her arms were so animated that at one point she made a ball out of her fist and thumped her chest hard enough that I clearly heard the 'thud'.
Josh Page came out and sang a couple of times while Jackie left the stage. He has a great voice, and one of the songs in particular, one he said meant a great deal to him, was such a powerful performance it was stunning. He held the last note so long I couldn't work out how he could keep so much breath in his lungs. For the second half she wore a blue dress and Josh and Jackie did the usual duet of 'The Prayer', holding hands in some parts of the song. She really seems to think a lot of him, and rightly so too.
The expected set-pieces (with the omission of 'Nella Fantasia' which was dropped from the standard DWM playlist) being done, the show was over all too soon. As usual, the standing ovation was loud, long, and even protracted. Jackie came back on and curtsied to the audience, then went off again, and when she came back finally, she said she was sorry she wouldn't be doing an encore tonight because of her cold and the effect on her voice, so we got no 'Pie Jesu' but as I said, the singing was better than I could ever have expected. I think she'd probably begun to feel really tired and a decision was made not to push the luck even a little bit further. I hope Jackie realises how wonderful it sounded and she hasn't gone away believing what she said to us - that it wasn't good enough. It was plenty good enough for us, though I know her exacting standard is 'perfection only'!
One more thing. At the end I hung around in the entrance lobby for a while, and when nearly everybody had gone, I noticed a little group standing beside me taking pictures. I looked at them and saw it was Josh, hardly recognisable out of his smart suit, now wearing T-shirt and jeans. While he was posing with a little girl I snuck in and took a picture. That was a great opportunity, but before I could ask someone to take one of me with him, security came along and 'told him off' as they were apparently waiting for him, then showed us out of the building and locked the doors.
Afterwards some of us went to a bar and sat with drinks, chatting about the evening before heading back for the late trains to NYC. It really was a stunning event and being so close to Jackie while she was singing was mesmerising. As we agreed afterwards, the setup was such that she came right to the front of the stage and we could see the individual fine hairs on her arms and hear her breathing. It sounds weird put like that, but it was a different experience from what I've had before at live events, even a few rows back didn't seem as close as on Friday night. Wow.