Tony Vincent in The Music of U2
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Review: Concerts in the Garden 2019 | Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra | Fort Worth Botanic Garden

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The Fort Worth Symphony's Concerts in the Garden celebrated the rock icons of U2, but problematic sound mixing marred the show.

published Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Photo: Fort Worth Symphony
Tony Vincent in The Music of U2


Fort Worth — The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra’s Concerts in the Gardens series is a reliably fun time, and the music of the now-“classic” rock band U2 is full of solid hits. However, Friday night’s concert of symphony accompanied rock songs didn’t exactly bomb, but instead failed to deliver the payload on target.

There are some things in life worth spending top dollar for: quality bed sheets, a good lawyer, decent champagne. Never forget, if the choice ever comes, don’t skimp on a competent sound guy. It is one of the many thankless yet crucial jobs in show business. If they’re unnoticed, they’re doing a good job. But when there’s a problem it can ruin things. Not all was lost but the battle was a long slog. Almost everything from the drums, electric guitar, bass, keyboards and even our beloved FWSO sounded smothered by a gigantic feather pillow. Unfortunately, the submerged-sounding repetitive humming thud persisted all evening. To be clear, this was a definition-level fluke. Pristine clarity of sound is usually standard for CITG. Due respect owed to the hardest working orchestra in the metroplex, here’s hoping a swift remedy is on the way.

It is the Fort Worth Way™ to accentuate the positive. Saving the show was lead singer Tony Vincent. His vocals, coming through perfectly clear, carried the mega band’s catalog back from memory: ‘New Year’s Day” and “Sunday Bloody Sunday” from their 1983 album War; “Pride (In the Name of Love)” and “Bad” from the more ambient and Brian Eno/Daniel Lanois produced The Unforgettable Fire; and “In God’s Country”, “Where the Streets Have No Name,”  and ‘With or Without You” from the landmark masterpiece The Joshua Tree. The album that established U2 into legendary status. Like The Beatles, Elvis, or even Metallica they are on the level of never-not-popular. When in 2014 they were criticized for giving the gift of new music, even users’ encroached iTunes libraries couldn’t erase their legacy of ambition, heart and hits.

Vincent did not imitate U2’s earnest activist singer Bono. He displayed an attractive treatment, stable pitch and confident range throughout and most notably during the night’s brief highpoint during “Bad.” U2 arrived on the world’s literal main stage in 1985 on the planetwide simulcast charity concert Live Aid. Reminiscent of that performance, Vincent impressively echoed Bono’s powerful wolf howl in that broadcast’s climax. Many on the lawn spontaneously relived that television moment by clapping along to Larry Mullen Jr.’s bass drum pulse just as thousands did in London’s Wembley Stadium almost 34 years ago. It was a precious 20 seconds of hope. Small things that go right sometimes bear grateful mentioning.

Many of these garden concerts boast symphony-supported bands that sound very close to how you remember (don’t miss Led Zeppelin, ABBA, and Queen). So reasonable expectations promised recollections of Mullens’ insistent drums, Adam Clayton’s minimalist bass, and The Edge’s signature reverb and delay effects. Presumably the guest musicians Friday evening delivered as much so far as their mic cables traveled. The aforementioned sound mixing failure instead stuffed their efforts deep inside a sonic sock drawer

Thank the Lord for pleasant weather that night.


» Concerts in the Garden runs through July 7 at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. and concerts begin at 8:15. Below is ticketing info, and descriptions for the remaining concerts in the series.





Lawn tickets are $25. Children ages 10 and younger are admitted free on the lawn with a ticket if accompanied by an adult. Table seats are $37-67. Children ages 10 and younger receive half-price tickets in select table section. Festival passes are available to FWSO subscribers and donors. Purchase tickets online at or by calling the FWSO ticket office at 817-655-6000. 

The FWSO is now offering festival passes for Concerts In The Garden, which allow patrons to attend multiple performances at a discount. Two package sizes are available: A full festival pass, which includes all 14 programs or a mini-pass, which includes the patron’s selection of 5 programs. Festival pass-holders enjoy numerous benefits, including Savings of up to 15percent on concert tickets, early access to tickets and parking passes, priority entrance lines at the garden, and discounts on FWSO apparel at the gift shop.


Friday, June 21 | Asleep at the Wheel

Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra

Michael Krajewski, conductor

The 10-Time GRAMMY Award-winning country music group Asleep at the Wheel returns to the Fort Worth Botanic Garden for another amazing appearance at Concerts In The Garden. The “Kings of Texas Swing” will be backed once again by your Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, and they love it when you get out on that lawn and kick up some dust!


Saturday, June 22| Classical Mystery Tour

Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra

Michael Krajewski, conductor

Roll up for the Classical Mystery Tour and enjoy The Beatles’ timeless classics paired with beautiful orchestration by the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. Enjoy your favorite hits by the Fab Four, including “Yesterday,” “Hey Jude,” “Eleanor Rigby,” “All You Need is Love,” and much, much more. You’ll be sure to “Twist and Shout” the night away.


Sunday, June 23| A Tribute to Elvis with Kraig Parker*

Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra

Come hear Kraig Parker and his Royal Tribute Band pay homage to the one and only Elvis Presley. Parker has toured with Presley’s original vocal groups The Jordanaires, The Stamps Quartet, and The Sweet Inspirations, and critics have called this show “as close as it gets” to the real thing. Long live the King!

*The orchestra will not perform on this concert

Friday, June 28 | The Music of Pink Floyd

Brent Havens, conductor

Randy Jackson, vocalist

With psychedelic tunes and philosophical lyrics, Pink Floyd exploded onto the scene in the late ‘60s and became one of the most successful bands in the history of popular music. The FWSO and a full rock band bring back some of the band’s classics from iconic albums like Dark Side of the Moon, The Wall, Animals,  and much more.


Saturday, June 29 | The Music of Queen

Brent Havens, conductor

Brody Dolyniuk, vocalist

“We will, we will rock you” when The Music of Queen returns to Concerts In The Garden. Experience your favorite hits by the classic rock band including “I Want It All,” “You’re My Best Friend,” “We are the Champions,” and the chart-topping “Bohemian Rhapsody” in the beautiful setting of the Fort Worth Botanic Garden.


Sunday, June 30 | ABBAcadabra*

“Mama Mia! Here we go again!” It’s time, once again, to break out your bell bottoms and dust off your disco ball, because the music of ABBA is returning to the Garden with timeless favorites like “Super Trooper,” “Dancing Queen,” and “S.O.S.” You won’t be able to sit still when ABBACADABRA performs the ultimate ABBA tribute!

*The orchestra will not perform on this concert 


Wednesday – Thursday, July 3-4| Old-Fashioned Family Fireworks Picnic

Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra

Miguel Harth-Bedoya, conductor

Corrie Donovan, soprano

Mark your calendar for another round of the best fireworks in town. The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra honors our Independence Day with a brilliant display of musical patriotism. Pack a picnic, bring the whole family, and join our annual all-American July 4th celebration at the Old-Fashioned Family Fireworks Picnic.


Friday – Sunday, July 5-7 | Star Wars & Beyond: A Sci-Fi Laser Light Spectacular

Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra

Miguel Harth-Bedoya, conductor

The force is strong in Fort Worth! And this year we will close out the 2019 Concerts In The Garden summer music festival with three performances of Star Wars & Beyond: A Sci-Fi Laser Light Spectacular led by Miguel Harth-Bedoya in his final CITG appearances! On the first half, behold favorite melodies from the realm of Sci-Fi films and television. Then after the sun sets, fire up your light saber and enjoy some out-of-this-world music from the Star Wars franchise, enhanced by a stunning laser light show. Thanks For Reading

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The Fort Worth Symphony's Concerts in the Garden celebrated the rock icons of U2, but problematic sound mixing marred the show.
by Rob Laney

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