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 Oklahoma Review

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IStumbleN
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Number of posts : 57
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Location : St. Louis, MO
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PostSubject: Oklahoma Review   Mon Dec 01, 2008 3:52 pm

Jeff's performance is listed as a highlight, yay!

Holiday entertainment goes heavy metal at Trans Siberian Orchestra show
Comments 5By Heather Warlick Staff Writer
Published: December 1, 2008


Trans- Siberian Orchestra: From left, Robert Kinkel, Al Pitrelli and Paul O’Neill. File photo


If you love all things Christmas—carolers on a blustery winter’s night, stockings hung by the chimney with care, month-long all-Christmas radio stations and heavy metal hair band Christmas rock operas, then Trans Siberian Orchestra’s performance Sunday night at The Ford Center was a must-see.

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Just days after Black Friday drove Christmas shoppers into a bargain-induced frenzy, TSO drove holiday rockers to a near holiday melt-down.

Before the show, the set alone was a harbinger of what was to come.

Three ginormous light trusses flanked the stage and as the house lights came down, the trusses came to life like a monstrous transformer about to eat the audience with its blinding lights. All colors of laser lights burst from the stage and for a moment, it felt like The Ford Center was about to lift off in a 2008 space odyssey.

Enter: Trans Siberian Orchestra. Not a subtle entrance, either. Several band members rose from platforms hovering above the audience. “NED/March of the King”s boomed as TSO took the stage for the holiday rock opera portion of the evening.

The rock opera was the story of an angel in search of the real meaning of Christmas—or something like that. I kind of zoned out on what the narrator, Tony Gaynor, was saying because his deep, baritone voice was so sultry-smooth it could melt chocolate and pretty much everything he said sounded like pure romance.

The band, which consists of what seems like dozens of instrumentalists and singers, punctuated the angel’s story with TSO’s trademark heavily electronic orchestration. Some of these highly recognizable songs such as “Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24)” pop up in holiday television commercials and Christmas movies every year and get played on the mainstream radio daily during December.

Almost all are based on traditional holiday songs or classical tunes but are TSO’d into heavy metal rhapsodies of titanic proportion.

Through a series of meaningful soliloquies in song and the story of a bar-owner who empties his cash register so a random little girl can get in a cab headed to JFK Airport, the angel discovers that “the things we do in life will always end up touching others” and everyone in the bar gets drunk free that night.

Highlights of the rock opera: Jeff Scott Soto delivered a scorching “Prince of Peace.” That guy can SING. Bart Shatto’s “Old City Bar” tugged heart strings with a bum’s-eye perspective of the meaning of Christmas and fake snow (actually fresh-smelling scrubbing bubbles, I think) flowed as musicians ran from one end of the stage to the other like emo-elves on Christmas crack.

After introducing the massive band, TSO moved on to perform some of their less angels-on-a-wintry-night-in-cold-winds-spreading-Christmas-wishes tunes to their shredding-adaptations-of-classical-songs-you-know-but-can’t-name set with plenty of flaming stage effects and even some real fireworks in the finale. TSO’s composers Paul O’Neill, Robert Kinkel and Jon Oliva have a real talent for taking a memorable riff such as the one from “With a Little Help From My Friends” or “Flight of the Bumblebee” and turning it into a hair-band-tastic epic.

For me, the real beauty of a TSO performance is the technical prowess that goes into coordinating the lasers and light show, exploding pyrotechnics, fireworks and monstrous stage craft with the perfectly executed musical spectacle that keeps TSO fans coming back year after year.
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fourt9rkim
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PostSubject: Re: Oklahoma Review   Tue Dec 02, 2008 11:27 am

Thanks for posting that....it's AWESOME that Jeff is getting some well deserved recognition here in the States! Very Happy
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Nath
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PostSubject: Re: Oklahoma Review   Wed Dec 03, 2008 12:22 am

Great! Very Happy
Thanks for posting it.

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