A Kase of… A Long, But Rocking Christmas Season

24 11 2010

I am NOT a person who starts celebrating (or decorating for) Christmas on November 1st.

Christmas + Guitars + Long Hair = TSO

Somewhere in the past decade it’s as if nearly 20% of every calendar year is dedicated to Christmas.  Really? REALLY? Aside from the fact that most of this non-stop Christmas hoopla is mainly for commercial consumer reasons (a whole blog post unto itself), I do make one exception:  Going to see Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO) concerts.  Yes, that’s concerts, plural.

To better understand my 12-year history with TSO, check out my blog post of Dec 22, 2009 “It’s One For the Bucket List”.  For the past few years, TSO has started their tour in Youngstown, OH (often very close to, if not on, Nov 1st) and this year was no exception.  As the band is kind enough to put me on the guest list,

Mary & I were in the front row!

I always try to bring a newbie to the show so they can get the experience of TSO live.  This year’s lucky guest was my friend Mary Sutter, and she really lucked out in that they put us in the front row

For those of you who have never seen TSO live, it really is unlike other concerts. The first third of the show is a sort of “Christmas Pageant”, complete with a narrator who tells the story of an angel visiting earth on Christmas Eve and the magic and special events which ensue.

Fire! Fire!

The second segment of the show is TSO rocking out to both Christmas and non-Christmas music, combined with some of the most comprehensive special effects – lights, smoke, lasers, video, and LOTS of pyro!

This year marks a lot of changes in the band – several previous members (many of whom have toured with TSO for over 7 years) are not with the East Coast troupe this year.  Alex Skolnick, Stevie B Broderick, Bob Kinkel, Anna Phoebe, Alexa Goddard, Danielle Landherr, Mee Eun Kim, Rob Evan, and Valentina Porter were missed, but many of them are working on new individual, original projects/bands and it will be great to hear them in their own element.

Chris Caffery bringing the crowd to their feet

Purists, don’t fret – TSO staples Chris Caffery, Jeff Plate, James Lewis, Tim Hockenberry, Roddy Chung, and Brian Hicks are back; Jay Pierce has segued to a behind-the-scenes position of coaching the vocalists, and, in the fun surprise of the year, Dave Z is back on the bass!

Dave Z is BACK!

There are some changes to the show as well – I don’t want to give away too much, but I was very disappointed that they dropped Carmina Burana from the show.  That was probably my fav tune live! 😦  Maybe it will be back in the show by the time they come to Cleveland this Sunday…  and speaking of upcoming shows…

Yes, TSO has two shows this Sunday November 28th; a 3pm matinée and a 7:30pm evening show, both at The Q.  As of this writing, the shows were not sold out, but selling well.  I actually found Club seats still available for the evening show, while the matinée only had seats in the upper area.

Tim Hockenberry doing “Believe”

Check out Ticketmaster; there are sometimes some seats which get released day of show once the stage gets set up. BTW, if you’re going to be at the evening show, tweet me before (@KaseyCrabtree) and maybe we can do a quick tweetup before or after the show!

TSO Youngstown, OH 11/03/2010

For those of you outside of Cleveland, check out the TSO website for various cities… they will be touring through December 30th.  In the world of Christmas, I think Trans-Siberian Orchestra has the longest season of all!