Tag Archives: Lights

The Millennium Falcon Guitar


While doing a Google image search for Star Wars Guitar, I came across several photos of this…

Millennium Falcon Guitar | Travis Stevens
Millennium Falcon Guitar | Travis StevensMillennium Falcon Guitar | Travis StevensMillennium Falcon Guitar | Travis StevensMillennium Falcon Guitar | Travis StevensMillennium Falcon Guitar | Travis Stevens

Now, that’s a hell of a guitar.  It’s made from guitar parts (obviously) and an old toy Millennium Falcon.  It’s even got Han & Chewie action figures inside.  How insane is that?  Despite the plastic-laden sound that it gives off (you can hear it in the video below), I’d love to have something like this, just for the sheer oddity and geekiness.  Can you imagine rolling up to a show, and pulling that out of a case on stage?  People wouldn’t know what to think.  (Unless you were in the Phenomenauts and they’d already seen your van.)

Urlesque has a cool initial interview and a nice follow-up about the guitar and the process that Stevens used to put it all together.  Oddity Central has a good article too.  I’d love to see how much this goes for when it sells.  Sadly, probably more than I can afford to drop on a guitar right now… but maybe I’ll hit up some toy shows & build my own.  Ha ha.

The Trans-Siberian Orchestra @ Mellon Arena (Review)


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…












Mellon Arena – Ticket Sales FAIL.


From: Eric Carroll me@myemailaddre.ss
To: Customer Service Mellon Arena info@mellonarena.com
Sent: Mon, November 30, 2009
Subject: Horrible seats for Star Wars: In Concert

Hello Mellon Arena Customer Service & Ticket Sales,

I am taking the time to write to you this evening to express my disappointment in the sale of our seats for yesterday’s Star Wars: In Concert event at the Mellon Arena.

While I understand that we purchased the “cheap” $33 seats (two of which somehow magically totaled $93.40 instead of $66.00 for various dubious Ticket Master fees — including a “printing fee” in which I used my own paper & ink — which are not your fault), I feel that your integrity is to be called into question when considering the vantage-point from exactly where we were expected to sit throughout the show.

I would think that you would be familiar enough with your own venue to know that the seats in section E13, row M are blocked from seeing anything above a certain height at the other end of the house thanks to the lower edge of section F hanging directly above us (and directly in our field of vision). I would also think that you would know what this height is, and that the screen coming in for this particular show was being touted as “a three-story-tall, high-definition LED super-screen — one of the largest ever put on tour.

Apparently I am quite wrong, my friends.

Please see the attached image from my cell phone so you can fully appreciate the vantage point from which we were expected to view the “live music and film elements … synchronized in order to create a full multi-media, one-of-kind Star Wars experience.” You’ll note the bluish-white line behind the orchestra that is the very bottom of the giant partially-visible screen where the movie clips played.

I can tell you that the ushers in our area got an ear-full from several other angry concert-goers (including my wife who had purchased the tickets for me as an early Christmas present). Our row had cleared out of all but 4 people by the time the 2nd song had started. I would have left also, but the concert had started, and I wasn’t about to miss any of what I could actually see by running around like a madman trying to find a seat.

I did notice several rows almost empty down to the right of the floor, while seats to the back & sides were full… surely this is a commentary on the outrageous prices charged for the show? It only made it all the more infuriating that a seat with a better vantage point sat empty during the performance.

In lieu of trying to “sneak down” into the “better” seats, at intermission, we made the trek down & back up to section F and asked an usher there for permission to sit in any unoccupied seats. We were pointed to some open seats, and several others filtered in around us with the same idea as the show came closer to starting again.

From this height, the speaker array on the right still blocked a good portion of the screen, but at least it wasn’t cut in half… and from here, we could actually see the “laser show” being projected on to the ceiling.

While I found the concert itself and exhibits throughout the arena to be an exhilarating experience, the full multimedia-experience in the arena was sadly stained by the poor choice of Mellon Arena to sell seats with a substandard view of the main event.

I have been to countless events over the years at the Mellon (& formerly the Civic) Arena — from concerts, to Penguins Games, to circuses, to I think even a truck & tractor pull with Bigfoot & USA-1 when I was a tiny young lad. They have all been great memories… and this is the only time that I have felt wronged by the venue.

I hope that you take these thoughts into consideration when selling seats for the remainder of shows throughout the last standing days of the arena. You’re making memories for people, please try to make sure that they’re positive ones, and that they’re not marred by poor logistics. I’d ask for our money (or half of our money) back if I thought it would get me anywhere, but I am more concerned about the experience than the money.

Thank you for your time, I hope that this is passed on to the appropriate parties, and I do look forward to a response.

Regards,
-Eric Carroll
me@myemailaddre.ss