The first few rows of the audience cheered with exuberance as the show began.
Bright voices of the six men in Celtic Thunder rang out through the Tennessee Theatre. After the first song was finished, the predominately female section shouted in approval.
With appreciative smiles, the ensemble launched into their two-hour performance.
Tuesday night's concert was put on by UT's Cultural Attractions Committee.
Celtic Thunder reigns from Ireland, and with the exception of George Donaldson's Scottish roots, the men represent various Irish cities.
After airing the first special in 2008, PBS has exposed thousands of people to the male ensemble.
"I was sitting at home one night, and I was just flipping through the channels when I saw the name 'Celtic Thunder' on PBS," Debi Henley, Knoxville resident, said. "Our ancestry is Scottish, so I thought, 'Oh, alright, I'll watch this.' As soon as I heard the singing, I was captivated."
When Celtic Thunder made a trip to Atlanta, Henley took her daughter to the show. They found two of the members performing a smaller set in a local pub. Mother and daughter both greatly enjoyed their first experience and have attended multiple other performances since.
"The crowd is not quite as rowdy here as it is in some places," Henley said. "It's probably just a lot of people's first times."
Each tour, Celtic Thunder offers a different set of songs in order to keep fans interested. The Mythology tour incorporates more classic Celtic tunes, including the number "Voices."
The song stands for the historical sounds of the group's ancestors, evident in the lyrics "Voices call from the old days / voices tell from the past / ancient laws and ancient old ways to recast."
The set design added to the Gaelic atmosphere. Projected sketch illustrations danced upon two large stones set next to a large Celtic cross during some of the solo songs. Soft, yet colorful, stage lights and a cloud backdrop added to the atmosphere.
Celtic Thunder is an ensemble of soloists, each capable of captivating an audience with one voice. While the solos serenaded distant lovers and lost time, the group performances varied between upbeat, and slow, steady tempos.
Some of the ensemble pieces were classic Irish folk tunes, yet others came from a more modern time. One of the songs was performed in Gaelic, and the group even featured classic American tunes, including "The Boys are Back in Town."
Despite the obvious capacity to entertain an entire audience independently, the ensemble benefits from the band tucked behind them. Composed of classic band instruments like drums, guitar and a piano, as well as traditional Irish flutes and string instruments. One of the band members played the uilleann pipes, an instrument that resembles the bag pipes but is operated by elbow, during one song.
The Henleys' admiration for Celtic Thunder is shared throughout Knoxville, and the CAC banked on that fact.
"Our focus as a committee is to bring acts we think students would like to see," said Dylan Liverman, a junior in music. "Even though I'm not the biggest Celtic Thunder fan, I think it was a great decision to bring them here because the theater was pretty much packed."