Bringing a waft of fresh air to the Brisbane stage from his native Ireland home in Donegal O'Donnell has over 37 year's of performance under his belt and he knows how to work the crowd. Admittedly most of his audience are on the north side of 40 but that does not stop him from being slightly naughty in a way that only a good Irish Catholic boy can get away with (e.g., while walking through the audience seats he remarks " you can touch as long as you don't get any pleasure; because if you get any pleasure, sure that would be a sin!").
Daniel does not belt songs nor does he employ a strong dynamic range. What he does instead is, with excellent stagecraft but moderated vocal intensity, build slowly and surely song after song until the atmosphere is redolent with emotion. This build-up is with Irish medleys, country ballads, modern popular hits, religious songs and many more from his extensive repertoire of tried and tested favourites. And you would have to be made of stone not to have at least some of those songs touch your heart.
My particular favourites were "Whispering Hope", "Fields of Athenry", "How Great Thou Art", a medley of Irish songs and some jig-inducing songs such as "I Just Wanna Dance With You".
Daniel and his co-singer Mary Duff provide a feast of music packed alongside with some photographic backdrops of poignant and personal memories. On a sea of music it was delightful to be transported away to beautiful scenes of Ireland and to be reminded of the importance of family with untouched photos of his beloved grandchildren, his devoted mum, his relatively new step-children and of course the Irish emerald of his heart, his wife Majella (now celebrating 5 cancer free years). I personally adored these images and I came out of the concert a better person for it. I am sure I was not the only one.
So if you missed out this time, there is a chance Daniel will be touring again in 18 months time. People under 40 give it a go. He has an archetypal Irish sense of humour which, if they sold it as body wash, you could bathe in it all day!
Check out how high he can kick his legs in an Irish jig. But most of all do your soul a favour and find out which songs in his excellent repertoire speak to your heart.