With that pesky election out of the way and Thanksgiving looming, the only next logical step seemed to be attending a rock opera based around Christmas November 13 at the E-Center.
Who or what is Trans-Siberian Orchestra? A simple Internet search fills in the blanks quite nicely.
Picture this: three men surrounding a piano, standing atop keys from another piano. Black suits and long flowing hair seem to be billowing in a breeze against a backdrop of blue sky and lightning!
So, obviously, I recognized straight away I was in for a treat. Call me trans-curious.
Now, I've been to shows at the E-Center many times, but when I saw the amount of traffic cluttering up the whole area, it put a serious damper on my pre-holiday cheer. I did not know that this production had droves--DROVES--of fans.
I arrived at the show early to have dinner, a prospect that grew dimmer each time I walked into a restaurant to be greeted by hordes of hungry patrons. I swore off Chili’s for life, and like most things I swear off for life, that only lasted two weeks as I found myself inside of a Chili’s asking which beverage they had that contained the most amount of booze.
For those of you who wonder why I drink, it's because I'm constantly trying not to go mad when put into situations where I am crammed together with strangers.
After dinner, I headed to the show which started with a narrator telling his tale, his voice resonating with a deep, booming, cautionary tone. Not sure how much booze my waiter put in my margaritam, but it must have been ample because I couldn't tell whether the narrator was talking about Jesus, Santa, or just some guy in general.
Who cares? Once the fog machines and fake snow came rolling out along with copious amounts of blinding lights, no story could compete with such awesome stage effects.
Then a troupe of guys and girls passionate about music and Christmas alike rocked out a bunch of carols to the fullest extent possible of American holiday law. It was Christmas on steroids, in a wife-beater.
How intense was the show? If you wanted to make it with Christmas, if you want to pound your holiday cheer while people stand by yelling “Chug it! Chug it!” this was the place to do it.
Each Christmas song, whether it be “Deck the Halls” or “Angels We Have Heard on High” featured a shredding guitar solo and a shot of foreboding undertone.
Apparently, the prerequisite for being in Trans-Siberian Orchestra is long flowing hair, the ability to flip that hair while playing, a stance of legs wide open whilst playing, and the black suit with white sleeves popping out of it. That and a violin shaped like a Flying V. Oh, and a willingness to jump across the stage only to jump on top of a box with pure unadulterated zest and rock the fuck out.
Just when I though that it couldn’t get to be more extreme than that, I saw some face to face guitar playing, a violinist pointing at the crowd with her bow and yes, back to back rocking out. This was very reminiscent of any time that I was in my room alone, had a good song on and decided to air guitar it out while nobody was watching. Except here, this was in front of God and everyone.
Some crescendos inspired the crowd to clap and bob like a Christian revival group. Most of the kids, though, looked totally confused (don’t worry I was too) and I think if I were a parent I'd probably call the babysitter before rocking out with Trans-Siberian. I don’t think any child should be subjected to such an intense Christmas layout. They may think they were on Santa’s shit list that year. My favorite part was when the lead singer of the rock opera came out dressed as a homeless man and the whole crowd erupted into laughter. I had no idea the homeless were so hilarious! I will remember next time to point and laugh next time they are digging through my dumpster.
All right, I don’t want to be the jerk of Christmas here, I have no problems admitting that the Orchestra is talented, and that the light show was pretty damned intricate and perhaps I can see why the masses would come out and enjoy this, but I think I enjoy the calmer type of Christmas shows past, for sometimes there is a sweetness in all of us that only a honey sounding holiday hymn can bring out.