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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Trans-Siberian Orchestra blows the roof off

--posted by Tony Garcia on 12/28/2005

For those of you who have been wondering where the latest post has been I have to tell you that I have been incredibly busy at work and at home. Last night was one of the things that took up my entire evening.

The Trans-Siberian Orchestra came into Minnesota last night for their annual show. What can I say? It rocked. The band was made up of guitarists Angus Clark and Al Pitrelli, keyboardists Carmine Giglio and Jane Mangini (Pitrelli's wife), drummer John O. Reilly, bassist John Lee Middleton, violinist Anna Phoebe, vocalists Jill Gioia, Bart Shatto, Michael Lanning, Jennifer Cella, Kristin Gorman, Guy LeMonnier and narrator Anthony Gaynor.

Their opening number (Wizards of Winter) I can only assume was a tribute to the incredible publicity they have received via Carson Williams light display.

The first half of the show was their "Christmas Eve and Other Stories" performance...which if you pay attention will bring at the very least a tear to your eye.

The second half of the show was the "show off" part. Medleys that highlighted songs from their other albums including a forthcoming "Night Castle" were spectacular. My favorite was the medley of Requiem and Beethoven which included pyrotechnics of color...green fire, purple fire, blue fire, yellow and orange as well. The lights were, of course, great.

How great was the concert? The girls behind us were belting out (off-key) every word of every song...and no one cared. Two teen boys were around us whining about being dragged to the show...and left stunned (in a good way).

There are only two improvements I would suggest. The first is to improve the showmanship. The "Prince of Peace" is a heavy gospel vocal. I would prefer a Nell Carter look/sound alike over the Britney Spears looking Lita Ford sounding singer. The second is a pet peeve of nearly everyone I have spoken to and is common in many concerts. Thank you for acknowledging the city. The anecdotal stories are fun. Please, please, please don't incorporate the city name into a song. Thanks.

Back to the good stuff...

What could be the highlight of the show (though there are so many to choose from) would be the Dueling Pianos. The duel included Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor and Vince Guaraldi's "Christmas Time Is Here". Trying to win larger applause than the other keyboardist was a great show. Then Carmine ripped his tuxedo off to reveal a Kevin Garnett Timberwolves jersey before ripping into "Linus and Lucy" which brought the whole band back onto the stage to enter into Franz Liszt's "Hungarian Rhapsody."

The best part was the encore...where we were told that if we pretend we had been cheering for 10 minutes they would simply launch into the encore right away. I agree...the idea of the encore is stupid.

Certainly the show is worth the annual attendance. I highly recommend it for next year.


Blogger Douglas said...

I'm listening to TSO as I write. I'm glad you enjoyed the concert.

December 29, 2005  

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