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Trans-Siberian Orchestra - Elf M. Sternberg
Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Kouryou-chan had an assignment from her art teacher: attend a public performance. While she's been to plenty of little shows in the past, including local favorites Vixy & Tony, Uffington Horse, and Sooj, as well as the Seattle Gay Men's Chorus annual shown, Omaha and I decided to take her to her first rock concert: Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

I've actually never been inside Key Arena. I wasn't aware of just how small the place was. It's tiny! Then again, it's primary purpose was as a basketball arena, so I guess it doesn't have to be that big. When I saw the stage, I realized just how much this was going to be a light show: there were six cages hung from the ceilings and elevated platforms at the back of the arena.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra isn't a rock band: you're not going to watch people play their art. You're going to watch performers perform work written and assembled by commercially-oriented craftsmen of the highest caliber; this is a production-oriented show. There are two TSO's-- one for the east coast, one for the west, and they perform their Christmas shows every year for two months-- and make most of their cash in that time. Every once in a while, the original line-up (which is also the line-up for the ancient prog-rock band Savatage) tour together in the "off-season" to present new material to fans who remember TSO before it became a Hollywood production.

The first half of the show featured a deep-voiced narrator standing in front of a microphone between pieces from their album The Lost Christmas Eve. Three guitarists, two keyboards, drums, a line-up of eight backup vocalists, a ten-member string section, and an electric violinist. Strobes, lasers, smoke, fire, sparks, the whole kit and kaboodle of a modern sensory overloading rock show.

My one disappointment was that only two guitarists were given even brief solos. The violinist would continue to strum her instrument even at times when it was obvious she had nothing to do, which was terrible form-- it led to the suspicion that she wasn't actually contributing anything at all, and her instrument was tuned such that it sounded like just another electric guitar.

Kouryou-chan thought it was very loud, it being her first, but she was energized and a little exhausted by it all, especially by the flamethrowers in the back of the auditorium. I was impressed with the pace of technology; the servos on those lights are fast, the strobes are fully tunable both in speed and color, and the positioning amazingly precise. Timothy Leary, later in life, explained how "the light show" of stained glass was the first attempt to routinize a psychedelic experience, and this show was a crowning example.

We drove home exhausted.

Tags: , ,
Current Mood: satisfied satisfied
Current Music: Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Wizards In Winter

1 comment or Leave a comment
halloranelder From: halloranelder Date: December 2nd, 2012 08:25 am (UTC) (Link)
I have to admit I am very jealous of you, for seeing TSO live.
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