As mentioned in my last post, thanks to Jenni, I had the sweet experience of going to the TSO concert last Tuesday. And man, did we have awesome seats! We were down on the floor, right next to the sound guys, and right next to the hydraulic lift that periodically shot flames from its corners, lifted musicians about 3 stories up to play their solos, or shot fireworks. The arrow in the picture shows about where we were sitting. It may have been one of the most impressive concerts I've ever been to.
If you have any of their Christmas albums, you know that the music sort of follows a story. So the first half of the concert is the band playing along as the story is told by this guy.
They affectionately call him the voice of all voices and it fits him pretty well.
The story (obviously affected by the band's rock influences) is about a guy who goes into a bar on Christmas Eve, strikes up conversation with an unlikely old guy with his own bottle of whiskey who decides to share both his bottle and a story with the first guy. The story is about an angel that comes to earth looking for a prayer to bring back to the Lord. The story pauses now and then to let the band play some rockin' Christmas-themed music at each stop the angel makes along his journey across the world. One of the stories in the story (meta-story?) is also about a scene in a bar where the barkeep gives a stack of money to a girl who has run away from home, but has become somewhat of a prodigal daughter and wants to get home to her dad for Christmas day. There must be some significance of goodness happening in bars for the band. The story part of the show was accompanied by lasers, various singers from different genres, the occasional firework, and even snow. That's right, they made it snow in the Delta Cente... Energy Solutions Arena (sorry, still can't get used to that name change).
Anyway, the show was great, but I was surprised at how little pyrotechnics there were. I also thought the show was over after the Christmas story was done. Boy was I wrong! Once the Christmas story is over, then the party starts. One of the coolest things in the concert was how the lighting becomes part of the show. I'm not talking just about the lasers, Christmas colored lights, giant drapes full of lights to look like stars--although all that was present--but the lights hanging from the rafters moved around to give a new dimension to the show. I don't know how to explain it, so here's a picture of what they did to put focus on the drums.
Pretty sweet, huh? Well, amidst all the lighting, there were also giant flames bursting from behind the band, changing color from red to green to blue to yellow. A pretty sweet accent to hearing strings, guitars, and classical piano play Schools Out by Alice Cooper and even Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's Flight of the Bumblebee. Which is awesome on an electric guitar, by the way.
At one point, the lead guitarist and the electric violinist went out into the crowd to play, and then ended up strapped to a hydraulic platform that lifted them up into the air while they rocked out. I also think one very important requirement to be in the TSO is to have at LEAST shoulder-length hair, along with the ability to head bang for at least 20 seconds straight. Oh, and be awesome while you're doing it.
I bet you think I got some really great photos, huh? while our seats were great, they didn't really let you wonder up to the stage to take pictures (although a little girl and her mom got to go up to the stage at the end of the show and the little girl stood on stage, front and center, holding one of the guitars used in the show). I did try to take some pictures with my phone, but they're not so hot. Here they are below.
books read in 2015
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