You may have read my earlier posts about the seats for Star Wars: In Concert, and how complaining about them eventually translated into two free seats for yesterday afternoon’s Trans-Siberian Orchestra show.
Our seats were in the EI-2 section, row L. We were ridiculously close to the stage and not so far up & to the side that we couldn’t appreciate the view. I need to write to Mr. Scalzott again for providing the free tickets and hospitality of the arena.
I’ve got to say, this was an excellent show… and I’d love to go back if I can afford to next time they’re in town. The TSO really knows how to put on an event. The Star Wars: In Concert crew could learn a lesson from them in lighting, lasers, fog machines, floating remote stages, hydraulics, and pyrotechnics. Actually, they could learn a few lessons. I can imagine a hybrid of the two that would be absolutely ridiculous. Maybe I need to write to the TSO, John Williams, and George Lucas. Ha ha ha.
A few things surprised me about the show… I had no idea that there were vocals & power-ballady type songs, and that there was a cohesive story for the most part. I feel like it kept it entertaining for all types of people. The narrator & vocalists were awesome. Sadly my prior knowledge of the TSO consisted of an mp3 with an incorrect ID3 tag, mislabeling “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24″ for “Carol of the Bells” (which it arguably is… along with “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”).
I had no idea that Alex Skolnick or the other guys from Savatage were associated with this. Skolnick wrote articles for just about every guitar magazine that I ever picked up back when I was learning to play & read tab. They made the show like a metal concert at times… I thought one guy in the front was going to have a heart attack and die when he threw metal with both hands as Alex was molesting the fretboard in front of him. When the show reached it’s second half, they introduced some stuff from the new album, Night Castle. I swear they snuck some Sabbath & Metallica riffs in there. There was even an old-school 80′s-rock drum solo… and I think I loved the fact that old ladies were watching the solo in abject horror as much as I liked the spectacle itself. They also had a girl playing the electric violin… I saw it more than I heard it… but it was visually pretty cool element, like the spinning keyboard.
I didn’t know that it had heavy religious overtones. I mean, I knew it was a holiday concert… and I’m certainly not opposed to religious ideals. I just didn’t know, and found it surprising… especially with tightly clothed women dancing like strippers in front of fire. I think it’s cool that they can integrate the stuff, maybe some overzealous idiot out there got the message to loosen up a bit. While they played a medley that included the melody of “Canon in D”, the girls were dancing scantily-clad on the stage… and I asked my wife Bethany if we had to call t “Canon in Double-D”.
Like I mentioned before, it being entertaining to everybody… I mean everybody. There were all kinds of people there… classes, ages, stereotypes, whatever group you want to name, they were there (except maybe race… it was all crackers up in there). I did see an extraordinarily high amount of mullets though. I’m talking prize-winning specimens like the comb-over on top/hair down to my ass & the trimmed up top/pony tail in the back.
I can’t say anything negative about the show itself, the seats, or the arena… except (you knew it was coming) that I found the parking rate to be amusing. By looking on the Arena website, it listed parking in the lot where we parked as $7, but it does note “Event parking rates differ for each Mellon Arena event. Check your event’s information page on this website for specific parking rates”. The funny part is that it said nothing about parking on the event page other than the fact that no pre-sold parking would be available. Parking was $15… more than double the normal rate, which is fine, but there was no prior indication. I paid in mostly $1′s and even some quarters.
I hope the TSO and the Mellon Arena don’t mind if I share some crappy quality cell phone photos…