Thursday, Nov. 17
Once again, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra provided a show that oohhed and ahhed, as well as stirred up a fevered response among many in the audience.
Last year, I was inducted into the TSO experience, so this year I was able to concentrate on the show, instead of being bowled over for the entire two and a half hours (with no intermission). Of course, the show was as spectacular as ever. My favorite, the snow, which falls from the rafters, made its appearance, as well as the laser-lights, towering flames and the light apparatus - Transformers-like gear that you expect to clang together into some monstrous Christmas mega-bot.
What I had forgotten, or what failed to sink in last year, was the very '80s-like stage theatrics. Men with long hair compete in head-banging synchronicity; wailing, soaring guitar solos allow musicians to strut in the spotlight. The ending takes two of these long-locked Adonises above the audience on a platform that raises them up, smoke swirling around them. Back-up singers sway and snap in unison.
In this hair-band set-up is a string section - made up of local performers no less - and a narrator, who recites poetry. Plus, the band is garbed in formal wear - tails for the guys and slinky black dresses for the girls.
This bizarre juxtaposition of "orchestra" and "hair band" works. The show is more than just a concert. The word "experience" encapsulates the nebulous descriptions that don't do it justice. From Latin chanting in Carmina Burana, to 40ish women throwing the "I love you" hand sign in the air, TSO is something you have to see to understand - or believe.