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(Kansas.com)   Who knew there was so much angst and controversy over which Christmas-themed rock opera the Trans-Siberian Orchestra decides to perform while on tour   (kansas.com) divider line 42
    More: Strange, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Christmas, Paul O'Neill, angst, Last Falling, William Morris, Christmas music, Christmas carols  
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2829 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 15 Dec 2013 at 9:54 AM (39 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



42 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2013-12-15 10:14:46 AM
Much prefer the story line of Christmas Eve and Other Stories.  Old City Bar can make me cry.  A blues/jazz club doesn't do the same.  And I think, as parents, we can always identify with a child coming home for Christmas.  The disabled child taking care of the babies in the hospital, not so much.  That was the consensus of four of us who have gone to see the concert together every year for probably the last six-seven years.

/second half of show is always better, anyway
 
2013-12-15 10:38:54 AM
I haven't seen or heard them perform as the TSO, but I liked them when they were Savatage.
 
2013-12-15 10:43:58 AM
Folks, if you've never seen TSO perform then you should do so, it's an awesome show.
 
2013-12-15 10:58:53 AM
I've been going to the show for the last five or six years, too. I was a bit concerned when they said they were going to be touring with "The Lost Christmas Eve" for the same reason as in the article; you just get used to the familiarity of the story and the emotions that go with it. Through the first story, I feel emotionally engaged from start to finish. One of my co-workers says that as soon as the singer announces that "she's coming home this Christmas eve," it makes her cry every time.

The current story? It's touching, but has its moments of darkness. The scenes from the club are musically brilliant and beautiful, but don't really advance the storyline along. It feels like most of the story development - the introduction of the father/businessman, the reason for his attitudes, the resolution of the story - comes in the last half of the set. It's emotionally strong, but for a different reason. It has a darker feel to that element, something more sinister and depressing. The end is touching and uplifting, but again, it comes too fast and with little to get it there.

But after they had been touring with the first tale since '98, I was surprised that "The Lost Christmas Eve" was on its farewell tour this time through. I figured they'd give it a couple more years to see how it goes, and then I wondered if it had been a bust for the tour last year. It just means we get something new, exciting and invigorating for 2014. I wouldn't mind a return to the first tale, even though that's artistically boring for the band.

We usually go with about ten or twelve other people, none of us parents. Some of us can go every year and still fall in love all over again; it's metal, fire, lasers and Christmas music, how can you not? A few others like that they've changed the story, so they don't feel like they're paying $60 a year to go see the same exact show. So I can understand the pressure on them to change the formula, and yet the same conflicting pressure to keep it exactly the same.

I'll be getting my group together next September. One of these years I'll make everyone pay me before the show.
 
2013-12-15 11:05:46 AM
Is it PBS pledge drive again?
 
2013-12-15 11:14:11 AM
Saw them for the first time last year.  Found the narrative heavy-handed and way too preachy.  Second half was far better.
 
2013-12-15 11:14:41 AM
BLUNGA DAH DAH BLUNGA DAHH DAH BLUNGA DAH DAH BLUNGA DAH DAH BLUNGA DAH DAH BLUNGLA DAH DAH BLUNG!

/DUN DUN DUN DUN DUN DUN DUN!
 
2013-12-15 11:19:44 AM
I wish they would rearrange their schedule.  Every year they come to Austin on the same days, and every year I'm not at home during those days.  Ugh.
 
2013-12-15 11:25:48 AM
Sounds like a good change, wish I'd known about it because I might have bought tickets again this year.  The wife and I have seen them twice now, once from back in the wings and the second time at front row and center (we actually shook hands with the band after the show, didn't get a pick though...)  It's a great show, but we felt like the second time around was as good as it was going to get if they kept playing the same thing every year.
 
2013-12-15 11:28:29 AM

The Slush: Saw them for the first time last year.  Found the narrative heavy-handed and way too preachy.  Second half was far better.


If you saw them last year, then you saw The Lost Christmas Eve show.  As noted above, it is really a heavier, darker show.  Don't let it put you off seeing them again (after this current year's run anyway).  Wish I could have caught Beethoven's Last Night tour when it came through last year.

pwn3d781: I'll be getting my group together next September. One of these years I'll make everyone pay me before the show.


Lol, you, too?
 
2013-12-15 11:33:41 AM
Is that the crap that is always played at the mall?
 
2013-12-15 11:42:58 AM

StoPPeRmobile: Is that the crap that is always played at the mall?


Depends - if you hear the angry version of "Carol of the Bells", then it's Trans-Siberian Orchestra
But if it's a jazz-synthesizer new-age version of "Deck the Halls", then that's Mannheim Steamroller
 
2013-12-15 11:49:02 AM
The one that everyone knows them for is Christmas Eve Sarajevo

If we're gonna talk rock opera though, I'd LOVE to see them perform Jesus Christ Superstar.
 
2013-12-15 11:50:09 AM

BiblioTech: pwn3d781: I'll be getting my group together next September. One of these years I'll make everyone pay me before the show.

Lol, you, too?


I think it was probably easier in the days when people actually used and carried checkbooks. I had three people pay me back the day after I bought the tickets. Everyone else was the week leading up to the show, save for three; one hit me back with cash after the show, the others I'm still chasing (but they're in the middle of a move so I'm more lenient, I know they're good for it). Ideally, I'd just make everyone pony up before I even buy the tickets. If I have a big enough group (this year, 16), I can go through Group Sales and get my purchase in before general sales open, which saves me from standing around at the box office on Saturday (plus, TicketBastard won't sell you more than 8 in one shot, and the BO won't sell you 8 and immediately sell you another 8). So everyone has plenty of warning to give me cash or a check beforehand.

Had one couple last year who never paid me back. She was unemployed at the time, and I'd ask every now and then if a check was coming. Sometime around May, she stopped responding. Needless to say, they weren't on the invite list this year. I figure they got a nice wedding gift a year early, and that's that.
 
2013-12-15 11:56:51 AM

FrancoFile: StoPPeRmobile: Is that the crap that is always played at the mall?

Depends - if you hear the angry version of "Carol of the Bells", then it's Trans-Siberian Orchestra
But if it's a jazz-synthesizer new-age version of "Deck the Halls", then that's Mannheim Steamroller


To be honest, I like some of the Mannheim Steamroller interpretations. I went to see them live a few years ago and it felt like they were phoning it in. It's not just the direct comparison to TSO and the lack of lights, lasers and fire; it felt like we were just another stop on the tour, nothing more. Also, for the second set they put a big semi-translucent screen down and showed video of people in a great hall celebrating a medieval-era Christmas feast. It works for some of the songs, but I came to see musicians play, not watch a video behind which some musicians are playing.

They're back (or were back, Wednesday) at a smaller venue this year, and maybe that's more their style than a half-amphitheater setup, but I wasn't about to pay $90 a seat to find out.
 
2013-12-15 11:57:14 AM
Got to see them in Albany a few years back for the Christmas Eve show. The Christmas story part was meh; the hour-long encore of them just rocking out to Mozart riffs and old Savatage stuff was amazing.
 
2013-12-15 11:58:31 AM
Count yourself lucky if you were fortunate to see the shows in the years with Daryl Pediford and the single tour group.
 
2013-12-15 12:04:21 PM

pwn3d781: To be honest, I like some of the Mannheim Steamroller interpretations. I went to see them live a few years ago and it felt like they were phoning it in. It's not just the direct comparison to TSO and the lack of lights, lasers and fire; it felt like we were just another stop on the tour, nothing more. Also, for the second set they put a big semi-translucent screen down and showed video of people in a great hall celebrating a medieval-era Christmas feast. It works for some of the songs, but I came to see musicians play, not watch a video behind which some musicians are playing.


I worked at a venue that MS played at last year. Yup, they pretty much are just phoning it in at this point. Highlight of the concert was a video of Chip Davis surrounded by hot chicks in bikinis sarcastically telling us how much he wished he was here in person to play for us. We didn't miss him.

Personally, I find their homogenized Hooked-on-45-style renderings of public domain tunes more boring than the regular Muzak we get the rest of the year in elevators around the world.
 
2013-12-15 12:09:13 PM

pwn3d781: They're back (or were back, Wednesday) at a smaller venue this year, and maybe that's more their style than a half-amphitheater setup, but I wasn't about to pay $90 a seat to find out.


I've seen MS once and found it rather boring live.  One thing that I like about TSO is that they actively try to keep their tickets more reasonable and then give a portion of the proceeds back to local charities to boot.
 
2013-12-15 12:39:14 PM
"Play 'Takin Care of Business'!"
 
2013-12-15 12:39:58 PM
Finally saw them this year in DC. REALLY WISH I'd caught the BLN tour, as it's one of my favorite cds. I loved the show, but found out later that DC makes them tone down the pyro. So I'll go to Hershey next year.
 
2013-12-15 12:57:12 PM
Adding a children's choir to Pachelbel's Canon in D does not a Christmas carol make.
 
2013-12-15 01:10:37 PM
I like my Christmas music groups the same way I like my vodak:
Straight, No Chaser.
 
2013-12-15 01:17:36 PM
Stopped attending after Anna Phoebe stopped touring with them.

media.pennlive.com
 
2013-12-15 01:28:45 PM
Will be at the show this afternoon in Milwaukee.  Will let you know how good it is.  I have seen each tour in the last 6 years, including all of the BLN shows.  I hope like hell we get the West coast group.  East coast just doesn't have the same energy.
 
2013-12-15 02:13:26 PM
I mean this with no snark or sarcasm at all. This is one of the most fascinating threads I've ever read on Fark. I had no idea a loyal and knowledgeable fan base existed for these type shows.
 
2013-12-15 02:16:29 PM

REO-Weedwagon: I mean this with no snark or sarcasm at all. This is one of the most fascinating threads I've ever read on Fark. I had no idea a loyal and knowledgeable fan base existed for these type shows.


Bronies aren't looking so crazy now, are they.
 
2013-12-15 02:55:55 PM

houstondragon: The one that everyone knows them for is Christmas Eve Sarajevo

If we're gonna talk rock opera though, I'd LOVE to see them perform Jesus Christ Superstar.


Epileptics must freak right the fark out at their shows.
 
2013-12-15 03:00:18 PM
Never seen TSO or MS but I did get to see the Brian Setzer Orchestra twice this past week. Went with different groups of people. And his show was quite the change up from last years. Good times.
 
2013-12-15 04:15:59 PM
Saw them one year and loved it.  I really want to go again this year but it ain't happening.  They be coming on the 26th of december and I can't take it off without costing me my holiday money which sucks.  This thread did remind me that I needed to replace to BLN cd since it got lost and I just picked up the new dreams of a firefly along with it.  I haven't heard it yet, I hope it's good.
 
2013-12-15 04:16:08 PM

John Buck 41: Epileptics must freak right the fark out at their shows.


I actually wondered about that, because one of the guests at this year's show has some degree of epilepsy. But apparently she was unaffected.

REO-Weedwagon: I mean this with no snark or sarcasm at all. This is one of the most fascinating threads I've ever read on Fark. I had no idea a loyal and knowledgeable fan base existed for these type shows.


I sometimes have these little pangs of guilt for enjoying TSO as much as I do. I like to say that some of the best concerts I've seen are those that don't rely on glitz and glamour and pyrotechnics and gimmicks to entertain, the shows where it's the artists, the music, and the crowd. And then there's TSO, the complete opposite of that.

But what's not to like? You have good musicianship and writing, solid storytelling and scripting through song (the rock-opera set features a rotation of vocalists to play the different characters of the story), plus the style of the music is more to my liking (sorry, but guitars reach to my heart more than woodwinds, though give me a violin in a rock band and I'll be a happy boy). You get the story in the first set, and the second set that has a mix of their Christmas offerings, their not-so-seasonal specialties, and some complete randomness just for fun. And then you have pyrotechnics and lasers and lights and video effects all on top of that. Three of my best hours every Christmas are in the arena at that show. It just ticks all the boxes.

Not every show or performance you see can be Yo-Yo Ma. What's dinner without dessert? And while I'm not a big fan of dessert, sometimes you just want a delicious Key Lime pie blended with a cheesecake or something, and that's TSO.

If it matters, here's my concert list for the year, started short but actually got longer as we went along. Your opinions may vary, but I might as well suggest I'm not that one-dimensional...

The Roots (technically last December, but close enough)
Maroon 5
"Weird Al" Yankovic
The Eagles
A Flock Of Seagulls (yeah, really...free tickets)
Huey Lewis & The News
"Weird Al" again (one of the last shows of this tour)
TSO

It's been a very, very good year.
 
2013-12-15 05:12:04 PM

docmattic: I like my Christmas music groups the same way I like my vodak:
Straight, No Chaser.


Did you have Christmas down in Africa?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Fe11OlMiz8&feature=share&list=PLDBDA 71 71903E6BD1
 
2013-12-15 06:58:28 PM

RINO: I haven't seen or heard them perform as the TSO, but I liked them when they were Savatage.


DAMN SKIPPY!

In the HALL OF THE MOUNTAIN KING!!!
OH YEAH!!!

RIP Criss Oliva
 
2013-12-15 07:05:45 PM

pwn3d781: I like to say that some of the best concerts I've seen are those that don't rely on glitz and glamour and pyrotechnics and gimmicks to entertain, the shows where it's the artists, the music, and the crowd. And then there's TSO, the complete opposite of that.


I like to get my money's worth.
If you're charging me $50 or less. I'll feel satisfied with a great 90-100 min show with just the artist/band doing their thing.
North of $50, they better play a 2.5 hour show or something better be on fire or shooting lasers or something.

TSO never disappoints in musicianship or theatrics.
Get your money's worth every time
 
2013-12-15 08:03:02 PM

houstondragon: The one that everyone knows them for is Christmas Eve Sarajevo



And it's not even TSO - it's a Savatage song.
 
2013-12-15 09:56:31 PM
I much prefer them when they were Savatage. Power metal classics!!!!
 
2013-12-16 01:49:28 AM

5 star chef of tv dinners: Saw them one year and loved it.  I really want to go again this year but it ain't happening.  They be coming on the 26th of december and I can't take it off without costing me my holiday money which sucks.  This thread did remind me that I needed to replace to BLN cd since it got lost and I just picked up the new dreams of a firefly along with it.  I haven't heard it yet, I hope it's good.


dreams has 5 songs - one is truly excellent in a Sarajavo/Wizards vein, one is okay, one is a weepy ballad, one is kind of annoying, and one is the typical TSO lulabuy song they have seemed to have done on every album since "Dead Winter Dead" when they were Savatage.

/BTW got the Narrated version of "Streets" Imported from Britain, it's excellent. Has some unreleased tracks, including the original, much softer version of "Jesus Saves".
 
2013-12-16 01:54:03 AM
I personally prefered "Christmas Eve and Other Stories" to "Lost Christmas Eve" - I think "Lost's" Greatest sin is that too much of the story is done in the narratives. THe album lingers way too long on non-plot parts, which is fine because it's my favorite TSO album, but the story? I much prefered "Other Stories" very direct, simple, smaller story.

That said, "Lost" has Christmas Canon Rock, which is my favorite TSO song.

I'm wondering they go back to "Other Stories" ,or try to do the Christmas Attic, or do something new. I hope new - Attic is too small of a story.
 
2013-12-16 01:56:32 AM

Primitive Screwhead: RINO: I haven't seen or heard them perform as the TSO, but I liked them when they were Savatage.

DAMN SKIPPY!

In the HALL OF THE MOUNTAIN KING!!!
OH YEAH!!!

RIP Criss Oliva


Amen. He never got the respect he deserved. He's one of the best guitarists ever.

My hope is some rock-loving hipsters find him, they get popular, a Savatage song is put in a commercial and then the band gets huge again. THat'd be fitting.
 
2013-12-16 06:08:21 AM
I've seen TSO live twice, and loved it both times.  Their live shows really are impressive to behold. The musicianship is great and they use more special effects and pyrotechnics than a KISS concert.

saintstryfe: I'm wondering they go back to "Other Stories" ,or try to do the Christmas Attic, or do something new. I hope new - Attic is too small of a story.


I hope they don't do Christmas Attic.  IMO it's by far the weakest entry in TSO's Christmas Trilogy.  I've never been a very big fan of it.
 
2013-12-16 09:22:27 AM

Rick_Slick: Stopped attending after Anna Phoebe stopped touring with them.

[media.pennlive.com image 432x305]


I miss Anna big time, but her replacement, Caitlin Moe was a great followup.

bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com

/now I miss them both....
 
2013-12-16 09:40:20 AM
And TSO is probably one of the the most fan-friendly group touring these days.

1. Their fan club is free to join. And fans get to buy good seats before they go on sale to the public.
2. After each evening performance the entire band comes out for a free meet-and-greet and signs autographs and talks to anyone that wants to come.
3. They do their best to keep ticket prices low. Last couple years I've sat in the first and second rows for less than $60.00.
4. They actively do what they can to discourage scalpers.
5. a percentage of each show's ticket sales go to a local charity.
6. They use local musicians as backup musicians in each city when possible.
7. There's probably more examples but I'm still on my first cup of coffee.

/Between the two touring groups and BLN, this year will be my 12th time seeing them since 2006.  If you haven't seen them live, I highly recommend it.
//FEEL THE HEAT!
 
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