EDER-tors’ Note: On April 2, 2013, Linda brought much joy to the audience in Palm Springs, California when they welcomed her back to the stage with boundless enthusiasm. They were thrilled that she returned in good health to the McCallum Theatre to give them an amazing show, and their enthusiasm was palpable before Linda even sang one single note. A few days later on April 6th, Linda and Billy Stein traveled to Smyrna, Delaware to perform at the charming Smyrna Opera House. A special thank you to those who shared their thoughts and photos from these shows… Judi Baxter, Cathy Burtis, Gregg Heyer, Janna Koch, and Lauryn Stewart from the McCallum Theatre and Lisa Gwasda, Ericka Leonard and Amanda Schulze from the Smyrna Opera House.
Judi Baxter from California writes…
| Linda and Fan Judi Baxter
Last night was THE most magical night I have ever spent at The McCallum Theater. Linda Eder came back for her make-up concert she regretfully had to cancel in February after realizing her voice wasn’t going to last because of laryngitis. The audience understood and graciously excused her.
My son had given me two tickets as a Christmas present and I invited my friend, Sylvia, who has been very kind to me, and it turned out it was her birthday that night. She had never seen or heard of Linda prior to that. I kept telling her she was in for a real treat but knew pretty quickly that this wasn’t the voice I had become so addicted to over these many years.
I originally met Linda many years ago when she starred in Jekyll & Hyde at The McCallum Theater. My friend, Mary Miller, insisted I go see the play and promised to take me backstage to meet Linda and Bob Cuccioli. I have been a devoted fan ever since. I love introducing new people to her. They go in not expecting to be overwhelmed and walk out in a trance.
It was well worth the wait! Linda sang like she has never sung before, and the audience was totally in the palm of her hand.
The song list was entirely different from what I expected, but she did not disappoint. I loved the old/new songs she has added, especially the Adele songs that she knocked out of the park, and then she gave us an encore with my all-time favorite, “Man of La Mancha!”
My friend left the theater in awe of the performance she had just seen and will definitely make sure she never misses seeing Linda in the future. Another fan was born!
Cathy Burtis from California writes…
| Linda and Fan Cathy Burtis
This Time Around
The return of Linda Eder to the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert, California was a great and anticipated event. It represented second chances and the next time around. But this time could not be compared to any time I have seen Linda. Something was happening. On a different level and for a period of time, I felt lifted up, taken out of my everyday life, transported to another place and state of being.
Linda did not hold back. With true emotion, she poured all her heart and talent into her performance, and for this time she became one with her music. So, what was different? She gives every performance her best. It was a little over a month ago she was unable to complete her show because of illness. This time had to do with history and second chances: for her and for her fans and all of the audience. I think that thought had a lot to do with her presentation and my perception of her music. She wanted to make this performance unforgettable. I wanted the same thing.
While waiting for Linda, I reconnected with Janna, Lauryn and Lauryn’s mom. While seated, I met Susan Brundage from Hesperia, California. It felt like family coming together. I felt close to people I barely knew. We were here for Linda, wanting her success, anticipating nothing less. We wanted to feel something wonderful: looking together in one direction toward a magical moment. We waited. Time was really here when Linda was announced. She walked out onto the stage to a four-piece band and a heart-felt welcome.
As she started singing, I was struck by the immense sound and reverberation of her voice as it filled the theatre. The acoustics were the best I can ever remember. The song was “I Will Wait For You.” Did we? Yes, we did, and she came back with her best voice.
It was magic from the start. The second song Linda sang was “Blue Skies” and she crossed her fingers: to keep the skies blue and the weather warm. Linda speaks to her audience between most songs. “I’m sorry to keep you waiting.” And then for the new comers, “It worked out for you.” Her song choices were to be a “walk down memory lane.”
She sang next, “Through The Eyes of Love,” from the film “Ice Castles.” I have loved Linda singing “Vienna” and “Bells of St. Paul” live and from her Christmas DVD, “If I Had My Way” and all the other favorite songs I have seen her do live and those I have only heard on CD or seen on DVD. I have never been more moved by a song she has sung than by this song. She caressed the song. Like love. She changed from low to high notes without a slide, showcasing her range, volume and “belt.” With perfect pitch her exceptional range has no weakness. Her vocals are pure singing. She moved all over her range. Now I am at a loss for words. What she did technically was really beyond my scope to describe. But when she held her high notes a thrill coursed through me, and I felt like I was being taken into heaven on my way with the angels. When Linda finished she received a standing ovation.
Her next song was “Stormy Weather,” featuring her bass player. Then as a “mile-marker” she sang two songs that were part of her beginnings as a performing singer. She shared stories about her young life, as young as sixteen. As usual, her stories are personal and interesting, full of humor and humility. As a young girl, Linda was a dishwasher at her father’s Blue Goose Inn. “We’re still on that road now,” she said, and then she began “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina.” She builds that song with nuance and feeling until her voice is just soaring as she reaches the high notes. The blue stage lighting enhances the ethereal effect. She receives another standing ovation.
When she sang “The Mad Hatter,” I was noticing her hands and how expressive she is. I was reminded of what a consummate performer she is. Comfortable in her own skin, unselfconscious, she trusts her audience. Ending this song she volunteered, “I just sang the wrong words.” She recovered in grand style. Any mistake made little difference. But she added, “Don’t tell Frank.” (Frank is her ex-husband who wrote the music.)
Her next three songs were “On The Street Where You Live,” “Crazy,” and “Walking After Midnight.” She then sang the title song from her “Now” album. This was her classical offering.
What came next will be in a class alone. Linda sang two songs by Adele, “Someone Like You” and “Rolling In The Deep.” Linda’s rendition of these two songs had the effect of pulling me into a world where it felt like I was there with the music and Linda and that was the end and the beginning and there was no time, only the song, the beat, and Linda. How does one lose oneself and at the same time find oneself? How does the world fade away and another more immediate and intimate one takes its place? Is it magic? Is it Linda Eder? When she finished her Adele songs she received such an ovation she offered her own response, “I’m never going back home.
The next songs were “Over The Rainbow,” and “Charade.” Then she sang “Falling Slowly” from ONCE. This featured a duet with band member, Alison Cornell, singing and playing her violin. Again, Linda’s ability to caress a song left me breathless.
Her own composition, “Waiting For The Fall” was followed by “More Than Heaven,” which is a response and homage to so many tragedies besieging our world. While paying tribute to worldwide tragedies in this song and in the heart-stopping “If I Had My Way,” (which Linda did not sing here), Linda offers us another world, a place to set our dreams. It is a world filled with beauty, feeling, and song. It is one world, in love.
As I look at Linda, I am captive to “more than heaven.” I notice her brown hair shining with reddish hues in the stage lighting. Her hands weave a pattern giving further meaning to the song. Linda moves with a grace and fluidity that belies her “soft shoe” comment, that “I’m not a triple threat.” She moves as if she could dance. Her face is so expressive, feeling the song and being in the moment. Even after the song ends, she is still feeling its meaning and impact; so, the song never ends. I remember it.
I don’t want this night to end. I try to lock in the moment. I won’t accept that impossibility. Linda sings, “Someone Like You” from JEKYLL & HYDE. This is one of her signature songs. But which song will she sing as the encore? Will she sing, “Climb Every Mountain?” I’ve heard this is awesome. All these thoughts race through my head as I dread the end.
Then it happens. Linda begins singing to the strains of “Climb Every Mountain.” This is when I can’t help myself. I am overcome. I have to connect with someone real, here, now. I tap the shoulder of another fan in front of me with whom I had shared Linda moments. She turned to me, and I recognized we both felt caught up in something magical, ineffable, and truly wondrous. When Linda was singing, I felt the glow of oneness, everyone being connected and all because of one person with a great gift, Linda Eder. This is the night I will never forget.
This time around brings Linda Eder, who is singing her heart out. She looks happy and fabulous. She shares her stories. She is funny and natural. She allows her fans to get close to her. She is always becoming more, and she invites us to become something more right along with her. She receives us after her performance, and with true emotion, she listens to our stories of love and devotion. She poses for our cameras and winds up in our photo albums. We treasure being with her, looking at her. For a little while, she includes us in her life. We are messengers now, spreading her name and songs wherever we go.
As for her encore, it was “Man of La Mancha.” I think Linda would have kept on singing were it not for a plane waiting to take her home.
Gregg Heyer from California writes…
| Linda and Fan Gregg Heyer
What an amazing evening at the McCallum Theatre here in Palm Desert, California! There was laughter, tears, more than a few chills brought to the spine, and the most incredible voice I have ever heard. That voice gripped me like no other one before. The woman who graced the stage was beautiful, captivating, and in total control of everyone in the theatre.
That is how I felt 17 years ago when JEKYLL & HYDE did the preview performances here. I had just moved from Milwaukee, Wisconsin two months before and thought I’d buy a ticket for the show. I had no idea at the time who was playing Lucy, but I could not wait for every song she sang. Then they killed her before the show was over! I immediately bought the CD and tickets to two more performances.
That started what some would call my obsession with Linda Eder, from Palm Desert to San Diego, LA, Thousand Oaks, and even Milwaukee. If I could get there, I wouldn’t miss it.
On February 17th I sat anxiously at the McCallum waiting for my 20th concert with Linda. She entered the stage to thunderous applause and began her first number. Shortly into “I Will Wait for You,” I knew something was not quite right. After singing a few more songs, she turned to the audience in tears and apologized that she could not go on with the show. She had a cold and her voice was not there. We gave her a standing ovation and wished her well. Slightly disappointed, I was thrilled that I got to see her again, for those few brief moments. Two days later, I received the call from the McCallum saying Linda would return on April 2nd.
The much anticipated night arrived. It was 85 degrees outside, but things were about to get even hotter in the McCallum Theatre. I and everyone else in the audience sat in anticipation as the lights dimmed, and Linda walked onto the stage to thunderous applause once again. She looked stunning with a big smile on her face and strolled to the microphone. Some wondered if she was fully recovered and back in good voice. Her band began “I Will Wait for You,” and Linda laughed and said, “Take 2.” There she was, back in full voice, even holding a note exceptionally long, with a big smile and that way she has of raising her eyebrows. She let us know she was O.K. She soared during “Blue Skies” and then brought those of us old enough to remember to that shining moment on Star Search when she sang “Through the Eyes of Love.” I had just watched the video on youtube a few days before. Now, her voice and technique, even more refined, brought chills to my spine once again. When quiped about that time, I even recalled when Ed McMahon announced her as Linda EEDER. Next up was “Stormy Weather” followed by the first song she ever sang at her parents’ restaurant in Minnesota, “I’m Not Lisa.”
As Linda has said, early in her career a critic called her a Barbra Streisand wannabe. After she finished singing, “Sam, You Made the Pants Too Long,” I wondered if Linda had done it first, would Barbra have been called a Linda Eder wannabe. It was fresh and playfully done.
I’ve also wondered if Linda would have been around in the ‘60s and ‘70s, how many shows would she have have starred in on Broadway. After hearing her sing “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina,” “On the Street Where You Live,” and her second to last number,“Climb Every Mountain,” I imagined her in all of them, plus many more. On “Argentina” and “Climb Every Mountain,” she sang with power and conviction and hit notes I thought only dogs could hear.
It was after “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” that I heard the woman sitting in front of me say, “I’ve never seen her before and I didn’t know I was coming to see the greatest singer I ever heard.” After the show was over, I said, “That’s why I come and I would pay to hear Linda sing the yellow pages.” We both laughed and Linda has another fan.
On the song“Mad Hatter,” penned by Frank Wildhorn and Jack Murphy, from the very short lived WONDERLAND, she was sassy and raucous and it didn’t matter that, as she said,” I screwed up the words.”
There is not a musical genre Linda cannot sing as she took us to the country with Patsy Cline’s “Crazy”and “Walking After Midnight.” Just before “Crazy” Linda sat on the stool and said, “I’m really just a tractor wearing (Linda giggled), I mean jeans wearing, tractor riding country girl.” Then she rocked the house with Adele’s “Someone Like You”and“Rolling In The Deep.” And then, within a few minutes, you could hear a pin drop in the theatre during her moving rendition of “Over the Rainbow.” Next it was on to “Charade”and one of my favorite Linda Eder songs (maybe because she wrote it), “Waiting For The Fall,” in which Billy rapped some words I’ve never heard before. Then came the very moving “More Than Heaven,”“Someone Like You” (JEKYLL & HYDE), and “Climb Every Mountain.” It was time to say good night. She wasn’t going to get away without doing one more, and after a few minutes of very loud cheers they were answered with “Man of La Mancha.”
Any evening with Linda Eder is something I and everyone in the theatre will remember forever. Those few brief moments on February 17th showed her conviction to her audience and her art and that she is human like the rest of us. This time she brought me to tears. I’ve always said that going to a Linda Eder concert was like riding the world’s greatest rollercoaster (I’m a rollercoaster fanatic). You’re breathless, trembling, throat soars from whooping and hollering and you can’t wait to do it again! The highlight of the night was being able to thank Linda in person for coming back to the McCallum and say “See you soon. You’re the best!”
Janna Koch (Janna 08 L A Loves Linda) from California writes…
ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA and PALM SPRINGS, CALIFORNIA TAKE 1 and 2
A 25TH “FAN-ANNIVERSARY” VALENTINE TO “OUR LINDA”
| Linda and Fans Janna Koch and Cathy Burtis
February 14, 2013
ONCE UPON A VALENTINE'S ... The FABULOUS Linda Eder came to town and dazzled us with songs sparkling like jewels... her voice lovely, expressive and strong.
It was clear from the very first song... “The clock will tick away the hours, one by one..." that we would be seeing “the sassy side” of Linda - teasing us with long held notes, funny faces and flashing eyes! The even sassier “Blue Skies” followed and her singing was off to a firecracker start.
But having seen Linda in 19 previous concerts (never enough!), the moment she stepped on stage, I felt that something was not quite right. She looked pale and although her songs were perfect, she seemed to need the comfort zone of her “tried-and-true” audience patter - rather than being the more spontaneous Linda I have enjoyed in certain really fun concerts.
It was my first time hearing the "Songbirds" line-up, and it was great! If Linda keeps on singing “At Last,”she should amass boyfriends galore - Etta would have approved! (The ironic note of the evening was that Linda's iconic and wildly romantic “Vienna” was given the night off.) Patsy was done proud, suiting Linda's voice “to a T” with “Crazy/Walking After Midnight.” Barbra's “The Summer Knows”was beautiful, but I confess to wishing that it was “Songbirds” because that is a favorite of mine.
The most interesting thing of the evening to me was watching Linda channel Adele. The songs were fabulous choices for her voice and she was having fun “stepping outside the box!” (You go girl!)
“A New Life"” and “Someone Like You” made the Jekkies happy, and I heard “Anthem” live for the first time which was great! And what Linda fans aren't happy to hear the also iconic “Man of La Mancha” again (great DIVA move, Linda, at the end of the high descant- perfect!).
Linda is always “our Valentine” when we come to see her, but a Linda-concert is better than “long stemmed roses in a Gucci vase,” “chocolate and champagne chilling at the door” to a fan! This night every song was a Valentine from Linda to us and we loved it!
She had an interview and backstage guests that night, and I was the last of her adoring fans to see her outside. I told her that I would not keep her out in the chilly weather but a minute, since I would see her Sunday in Palm Desert also. I wanted to bring her a “Happy Valentine's Day” wish from all the fans. After she hugged me, Linda told me she was sick and to “keep my fingers crossed” for Sunday!
FEBRUARY 17, 2013
Well, you know how that turned out! Linda left a lot of her energy on the stage that night, still didn't feel warm (even in California), ran up to even chillier San Francisco to fit in two shows for the lucky fans up there, and hurried back down and all the way out to Palm Desert for our concert at the beautiful McCallum Theatre where I have seen her several times before.
Another irony. This night Linda looked perfectly healthy and beautiful when she walked out on stage to a big welcome! The extra-long notes were gone from “The clock will tick away the hours, one by one...” “Blue Skies” was still quite sassy, the talking was quieter still, the rest sounded good, but notes kept disappearing like the mike had a short in it. “Now” got cut from the line-up on stage, and after Patsy she was done. Mind you, Linda in this state is still better than hearing anyone else, but she strives for perfection and her tears when she bowed out of the rest of the concert (to a very big ovation) touched all our hearts!
As super-fans, Lauryn (angelofmusic on the fan board) and I would NEVER let Linda leave in tears without checking on her! We waited after the show with two very nice newbee concert-going guys who really wanted to meet Linda. And who can blame them? The first time that I met Linda is still one of my most favorite moments in life. I still call it my “Little Miss Sunshine” moment. If you didn't see the movie, picture running through the house screaming at the top of your lungs about the most exciting thing that has ever happened to you kind of giddy! I was trying to be calm. Linda held my hand, and it was very sweet! Since I live just south of La-La Land, I actually have met famous actresses and actors before. It was not the “famous- thing.” Linda is just in another class and special because I had admired how talented she is for so long!
So we waited... I told them the quarters story. The head of security for the theatre came out and told us that Linda might not be up for seeing anyone, but that he would check. So we waited some more... and a theatre worker came out and asked about the quarters so I told the quarter story again. Long-time bass player, the very nice Dave Fink, stopped by for a chat about how this had never happened and how much he has always liked working with Linda. And so we waited... the security man came out again and said if we wanted to wait just a little longer, Linda would be able to talk to us. So... back to not sending Linda home in tears... we gave her throat lozenges, moral support and hugs. She very nicely signed the guys’ programs, and gave us sniffly smiles, hugs, and her cold! But we love you anyway, Linda!
I made it through the next few busy days at work. It's not easy selling furniture with a post-concert scratchy-from-cheering /coming-down-with-a-cold-voice! Lo and behold, Lauryn texted me “LINDA RESCHEDULED HER SHOW!” The McCallum box office called and left a voice mail before I could pick up the phone. I called them back and ended up talking to Jeremy, the manager, instead of the box office. I proceeded to tell him that coincidently the Mc Callum was celebrating its 25th season, and many of Linda's fans had also loved her singing for 25 years. I date being a fan from the first 5 seconds of Linda's first song on Star Search! We talked about how badly Linda felt to not be able to finish her show, how many times I had driven out to the desert to go to her concerts, and how much her fans adore her! And “you betcha” I would be back on April 2nd, because it took me 5 years to get that fabulous front row seat, and it's such a beautiful theatre too!
APRIL 2, 2013
So it's “Linda Eder Day” once again. That means listening to Linda for 6 hours in the car, and another 250 Linda-miles on the odometer.
“The clock will tick away the hours, one by one, then the time will come when all the waiting's done...”
Linda walks onstage, the notes play... she can't start her song because her Palm Desert audience will not stop clapping for her... and the stage glittered with quarters!
The McCallum Theatre program had included Linda collecting quarters in her bio. This time as Lauryn writes L E with her quarters and I am putting my usual heart in quarters plus another because Linda and the band (thank you!) flew all the way back out to see us again, people started coming up and leaving quarters on the stage and giving them to me once they saw me making hearts. Thank you, everybody! She had to move some over with her foot not to step on them and gave us one of her “AWWWs” (so sweet). Finally, the crowd will let her sing. She holds up two fingers and quips, “Take 2” and we are off on another fabulous concert!
I guess I was not the only one thinking about 25 years. Apparently Linda had been musing about her singing past and now the set list has some “new-but-old” mile-stone songs in it. Star Search fans were given “Through the Eyes of Love,” which is still a winner! Linda's version of “ClimbEvery Mountain” from her high school’s production of The Sound of Music was exquisite and touching! Apparently because we clapped so much and the show ran long we missed out on “If I Had My Way,”(double-darn!) which I consider to be one of the most memorable musical moments ever on TV. It would have been fabulous! We were treated to “Sam You Made The Pants Too Long” from her pre-Star Search days (the song that almost made her stop singing because it once started 5 keys too high on stage), and she now had a lot of fun with it!
Although it was actually my 3rd time hearing it in concert, I will always remember “MoreThan Heaven” from this one. The crisis at Sandy Hook and the other disasters in the last decades affected Linda, many of them too close to home. (I am typing this the day after the Boston Marathon incident.) We all feel the cumulative effects of these events, and this time in concert I am sitting by the speakers in the front row, the sound surrounding and cradling me in the meditative “oomm” of the underlying orchestration to Linda's simply beautiful, prayerful melody floating above. Heavenly! Another “chills down the spine” moment.
We all have our favorites, and I know Linda's concerts of course, cannot be three days long to sing them all, but it never ceases to amaze me that whatever you sing, Linda, you have such an ability to draw me into the music. I have sung the music from Evita myself, and as you finished “Don'tCry For Me Argentina,” I realized that once again, I had been sitting there spellbound! Bravo!
After 21 1/2 concerts along Linda's musical journey, it is the “memorable moments” that I especially love and it is a privilege to have been there for them! When year 20 as a fan rolled around, I gave Linda a little sign that said “Life is not measured by the breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away.” I know we all have had many of them and that is why we are such fans! Besides meeting Linda, favorite memories include my first concert (It's Time!) when Linda blew us all away even though she was quite sick (where she acquired my nickname Ms. Fabulous!) in Costa Mesa… being there and cheering Linda on for some of the very early TOSOM performances… the lovely Christmas concert in Tuscon (Linda is the best Christmas present ever too!) some years back… our super-fun like a party Fontana concerts… hearing what I insist is “The-Best-Ever” sung “Gold” in Las Vegas at The Suncoast… meeting a lot of really nice and fun “Linda-fans”… and now these last concerts that I will always remember for the love passed back and forth between Linda and her absolutely adoring fans!
Listening, to you sing, Linda, I heard a beautiful voice that expresses so much! A Jekkie fan who sat next to me on Valentine's said, “Every note she sings is like a work of art,” fitting words for one who has learned so many genres to captivate us and who still amazesme with her talent, and most importantly, still loves to make beautiful music for us!
Watching you sing, I saw a beautiful woman, proud but humble, who has learned that she does not have to fit into a mold, that she can create a life and a musical career to please herself as well as fans across the country and beyond, and who is still learning that she can be vulnerable onstage and trust her audience.
I hope you know that you have made friends as well as super- fans, that you have done this smile by smile... show by show for all those years! I still think it is “so cool” to get to see my musical “heroine” after the show! I love the hugs, and I am always going to be in your cheering section!
Happy 25th “Fan-anniversary” Ms. FABULOUS! As always, you have stolen our hearts, song by song once again and have become “Our Linda!”
And for the future, thank you in advance for our Christmas present this year! We still have lots of things on our “wish list” from you, but the only really important thing is that you remember that we love you “out West” and everywhere else too! Come back soon!
“The clock will tick away the hours one by one... then will come the time when all the waiting's done...”
Already can't wait!
Lauryn Stewart from California writes…
|Linda and Fan Lauryn Stewart
Linda Eder Encore
Flashback to February 17th, we could tell Linda’s voice was struggling to hit those soaring notes she always seems to hit with ease. She looked more nervous than our fierce Linda has ever looked before. You could hear quiet whispers through the audience, some asking what was going on and some saying this isn’t looking good. Linda was able to make it through about ten songs until our fears became a reality. Linda whispered something to Billy Stein and then slowly stopped the show after singing “Stormy Weather.” She walked to the middle of the stage, her head down, and told us she was not going to be able to continue. Our dear Linda then started to cry. Something I have never seen her do. Some audience members were crying with her and we could all feel her pain. She wasn’t upset because she didn’t feel well; she was upset because she thought she was letting us down. Linda left the stage to a standing ovation from people who love her. We all wished her well on her Facebook page and some even on her website. She didn’t let us down; she just let us know that behind the star she is to us, she is also a human being who gets sick too.
Flash forward to April 2nd, we had all gotten calls from the McCallum Theatre saying Linda Eder had rescheduled her show from February. I could not have been happier in my life. We got to use the same tickets from before, even though I decided to upgrade one row closer. The day of the show came; I had seen Linda for my voice lessons a few weeks before. She told me to keep my fingers crossed that she would be healthy, and boy did I cross everything on me that could be crossed! I had been talking to a few other fans, who are more like family to me now. They told me they were sending Linda to Southern California in good health and voice. They also expected her back the same way they were sending her to us, as Linda would be moving on to the 54 Below shows when she got back.
Before the show started, I got to talk to some of my LE family like Janna Koch and Cathy Burtis. We chatted for a while, then worked our way in to put our quarters on the stage, and then went to our seats. The show started promptly at 8 p.m. with the lights dimming and the announcer saying, “Ladies and Gentlemen, Linda Eder.” She graced the stage wearing what she had worn that night in February, a black wrap around blouse, long black pants, and crazy high heels. You could feel the energy blasting from the stage. We had our Linda back! She was in such good spirits, smiling all around and cracking those jokes that will make you fall out of your seat.
The last show we were going to see was titled “Songbirds,” but this time Linda was taking a walk down memory lane. The first of those songs was “Through the Eyes of Love.” This, of course, was a song she sang on Star Search, where Linda took the win of the whole show. The song was amazing then and you can only imagine how it sounds now. The next song she sang was a song she used to sing at her father’s restaurant back when she was a little girl. It was called “I’m Not Lisa,” and you could tell it was an endearing song. The next song from memory lane was called “Sam, You Made the Pants Too Long.” This song had an interesting introduction; Linda said some years ago she was in a duo with a guy she had known for a while. She said she was young and didn’t really know you could tell people what key she wanted the song in. Well, the guy in her duo pitched the song five keys too high. Cut to Linda walking off the stage, fuming mad and she vowed she would never sing the song again. When she sang it for us, it sounded amazing.
The next song was from a musical that I have loved ever since I was a little girl called EVITA. I had never imagined Linda singing this song. She took on “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina.” Two words, BLOWN AWAY! Linda had turned this simple song into a masterpiece. I was in tears with the rest of the audience at the end of this song. Her voice was echoing through the theatre with the huge notes she placed between the song. I have heard many versions of this song from Madonna to Sarah Brightman to Glee. Linda’s was by far the best; of course, maybe I am just biased because she is my favorite singer. We got another special treat that night. Allison Cornell was there to help Linda sing backup vocals and play the piano and fiddle. They did a duet on the song “Falling Slowly.” The harmonies on this song were like none I have heard. Of course, when released on her SOUNDTRACK album a male voice harmonized with her, but to me two female voices sound perfect. The last surprise of the night was when Linda sang “Climb Every Mountain” from THE SOUND OF MUSIC. Linda had said she always wanted to be Maria, but she was too tall to play the part so they made her Mother Abbess. This song was amazing as were all of the other songs Linda performed that night. She left us with “Man of La Mancha” ringing in our ears as the whole audience was up and dancing during this number.
The show was extraordinary! Linda sounded and looked better than ever, and it was so nice to have her health back to 100%. I got to chat with Linda after the show for a little bit. She recognized me from the voice lessons and graciously took a few pictures with me. We took a nice picture and then I asked her for a funny picture which she was happy to take, and it turned out pretty funny. Linda told us “If I Had My Way” was supposed to be in the set list, but the show started to run a little too long so she skipped it. Oh, how I would have loved to hear her sing that song live. I always love seeing my LE family at the shows and meeting new people too. Until the next show in Southern California, for which I hope we don’t have to wait long. To Linda, we love you and you never cease to amaze us with what you can do.
The Set List
“I Will Wait For You”
“Through the Eyes of Love”
“I’m Not Lisa”
“Sam, You Made the Pants too Long”
“Don’t Cry For Me Argentina”
“The Mad Hatter”
“On The Street Where You Live”
“Crazy/Walking After Midnight”
“Someone Like You/Rolling In The Deep”
“Somewhere Over The Rainbow”
“Waiting For The Fall”
“More Than Heaven”
“Someone Like You (JEKYLL & HYDE)
“Climb Every Mountain”
“Man Of La Mancha”
Lisa Gwasda from New York writes…
| Linda and Fans. Left to right: Ericka Leonard, Sherri Hudson, Lisa Gwasda, Linda Eder, Amanda Hudson Schulze, Jackie Golden, Natasha Schulze
For those of you who know of Linda Eder, you must know that not only is she notorious for her incomparable voice and kind heart, but for her loyal fan base, many of whom have forged long-lasting friendships through the years. This past Saturday night I had the pleasure of enjoying a rare treat- Linda Eder in concert with pianist and Musical Director, Billy Stein. The performance was a part of the 10th Anniversary of the restoration of the historical Smyrna Opera House. It was a thrill to share that night with some of my best friends, including the Hudson family who (yes, you guessed it) I met through Linda Eder.
More than 10 years ago, I remember going to visit my new friend, Amanda, whom I had met on Linda Eder's message board, in small town Smyrna, Delaware, and we saw what was going to be the new opera house. Some friends and I stood on what would be the stage and tested the acoustics by belting out our silly renditions of Linda Eder's "Gold." "Imagine if Linda Eder performed at the Opera House," was the thought that we often would say every time we visited, or performed there. Well, here it is, a 10+ year dream, and better than we could have imagined!
This past weekend, my friends and I were certainly not the only ones sharing in some wonderful memories. Ms Eder's new set list is filled with surprises, as she takes a walk down memory lane herself, with songs that are special to her and hold some kind of significance. The show is full of music that keeps the audience roaring for more! In fact, after three standing ovations, it was clear that Smyrna, Delaware (and the folks who traveled from across the country to see this show) never wanted it to end!
I really enjoyed the range of styles in this show. The audience was kept on the edge of their seats with jaws dropped as Ms Eder belted notes higher and longer in each song she sang! They were captivated by her glorious head voice as she sang descants on songs that rang with overtones. They were move to tears with her beautiful classical rendition of some classic musical theatre pieces, showcasing her voice in a different way, yet again. (I won't spoil the surprises for you)! I would be remiss if I didn't mention what a treat it was to hear her alone, with the amazingly talented Billy Stein! Not only can he play that piano like nobody else, but his smile is truly contagious, and you know that he is having a blast up there with Linda. It was a delight to have them both showcase their talent. They were the perfect duet!
Saturday evening at the Smyrna Opera House in small town Smyrna, Delaware was a walk down memory lane not only for Ms. Eder through her set list, but for everyone in the audience that night, including all of the friends and folks who have enjoyed the growth of the Opera House, friendships, musical journeys, and life in general through the years.
Thank you, Billy and Linda!
Ericka Leonard from Maryland writes…
The first Linda Eder song I ever heard was “Children of Eve.” I remember it vividly because the lyrics resonated so deeply with me. At the time, I was struggling with my own “shadows on the wall,” and praying that I would see no “dragons at dawn,” so to speak. From that moment on, I have found healing again and again through the music of Linda Eder. And April 6th, 2013 was no exception. On that evening, Linda Eder helped to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the re-opening of the Smyrna Opera House in Smyrna, Delaware. Only an hour and a half commute from Baltimore, I was excited to make the trip for another chance to see her perform.
Out of the countless times that I have seen Linda in concert, this stood out as quite a memorable performance. The venue was intimate and perfectly small… in Linda’s words, it was like going down the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland where everything was in miniature form. The crowd was enthusiastic and ready for an evening of celebration, and that’s what we got! From Linda’s signature songs like “Man of La Mancha,” “The Mad Hatter,” and “Someone Like You” to hits like “Rolling in the Deep” and great renditions of Patsy Cline’s “Crazy” and “Walking After Midnight,” every song proved to be an absolute crowd pleaser. Linda closed the evening with a flawless, angelic rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” leaving the audience captivated, once more, by her mesmerizing talent and pure voice.
During the show, Linda’s beautiful performance of “More Than Heaven” offered us an opportunity of reflection, both as a collective society, as well as on an individual level. The level of emotion that Linda portrays when she sings is incredible. This is why I love her so much. Is she incredibly talented? Undoubtedly. Does she have the voice of an angel? Few, if any, could argue otherwise. Yet, while she possesses these amazing talents, it’s her ability to be real that makes her truly stand out. Every time I see Linda perform, I witness this on some level, whether it was seeing her perform “More Than Heaven” soon after the earthquakes in Japan in 2011, or her performance of “If I Had My Way” in the weeks following the tragedy in Newtown. It is that vulnerability that not only takes her music to the next level, but allows and encourages us in various ways to find deeper meaning that I truly appreciate. Brené Brown wrote, “Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.”
Thank you, Linda, not only for giving us another entertaining performance that WOWed the audience, but for being able to, time and time again, be a shining example of authenticity, and for showing us that how to walk the path as well.
Amanda Schulze from New Jersey writes…
| Fan Lisa Gwasda, Linda and Fan Amanda Schulze
The April 6th concert at the Smyrna Opera House was extra special for me. The first reason being - it was in the town that I grew up in. My parents and I have been involved in the Opera House since the very beginning, even before it reopened 10 years ago. I’ve also performed there many times myself, and I know what a thrill it was for the community to have someone like Linda perform there. It’s an evening
that my hometown will be talking about for a long time.
The other reason it was a special night was because I’m 8 months pregnant and it was exciting for me to feel the baby moving and kicking while listening to Linda. I think her favorite songs based on movement were “On the Street Where You Live” and “Rolling in the Deep.” :-)
I love the new set list and show theme of “going back through memory lane.” The song selections made it easy for existing fans as well as the newbies to get sucked right in because so many of them are recognizable. Also, the new set really showcases her belt as well as her head voice… the best of both worlds! As always, Linda leaves the stage with you wanting more, and you go home to look to see when is the next time you can see her. How does she do that every time? We’ll never know!
Thanks to Linda and Billy for coming to our little gem of a theater and making the 10th Anniversary celebration something we will never forget!
|Photos courtesy Amanda Schulze