Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Wow. We had an AMAZING time at the Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert. This was our second year going to see them. Last year, we sat up in the nosebleed seats and thought it was amazing, but this year we managed to get 5th row center through the pre-sale for their fan club members and…just wow. We were so close to the stage. Honestly, I felt like they were playing just to me, which is an awesome thing to feel in such a big venue. They really did an amazing job. The music was great again and the performance had so much energy. There was no meet and greet for the 3 pm show since there was another show only an hour after ours ended, which was kind of a bummer after meeting them last year, but we were so close during the show it really doesn’t matter (I did kind of want more guitar picks for my collection though – I got 3 last year! They threw some at the end of the show this year and apparently one almost hit me, but the cow next to me got it. Ahem…did I say cow? I mean lovely older woman).

There weren’t too many changes from last year in terms of songs played, but I certainly don’t mind! I come for the music I like and I liked what they played! There were a few changes made to the band – swaps between the 2 sub-bands. I didn’t know until about a week ago that the band split into 2 (TSO East and West) years ago, I believe in order to play more shows. Most of the changes I didn’t really feel had any impact on the show at all (female singers, new keyboard girl), but I thought the swap in violinists (stringmaster) was pretty good. We had a guy last year, Mark Wood, who I don’t seem to remember very well, but it was hard not to notice the girl this year, Anna Phoebe. She was really energetic and interacted with everyone. Our friends got the impression that she was a bit of an attention stealer, but I didn’t really mind. The only change I felt was negative was the bassist. We got Johnny Lee Middleton this year, who is the original bassist of the band, the one who recorded the albums, so musically he wasn’t bad (though I didn’t think any better either). It’s just that he completely blended into the background. I read that he sometimes looks a bit bored when he plays, and he does. He finally seemed to get into it a bit during the second half of the show, when they were playing less Christmas music. West can have Middleton back. Bring back Chris Altenhoff next year!! He was so much fun to watch – he had lots of energy and was a better performer for it – that’s kinda the point of a live show, right? But overall, the show was great!

And now some pictures:

Violin face-off between Anna Phoebe and Roddy Chong (at one point, they were throwing their bows back and forth!)

Violin face-off between Anna Phoebe and Roddy Chong (at one point, they were throwing their bows back and forth!)

Johnny Lee Middleton, Chris Caffery, Anna Phoebe, Alex Skolnick, Roddy Chong

Johnny Lee Middleton, Chris Caffery, Anna Phoebe, Alex Skolnick, Roddy Chong (and also the head seen in half my shots)

Some of the singers and Chris Caffery

Some of the singers and Chris Caffery

Steve Broderick dressed as a bum for Old City Bar during the story half of the show

Steve Broderick dressed as a bum for Old City Bar during the "story" half of the show

Johnny Lee Middleton - yawn...

Johnny Lee Middleton - yawn...

Chris Caffery, Anna Phoebe, Alex Skolnick

Chris Caffery, Anna Phoebe, Alex Skolnick

Guitarists on the little outcropping at the front of the stage - do you see how close we are??

Guitarists on the little outcropping at the front of the stage - do you see how close we are??

Go here for my flickr set of a bunch more shots if you’re interested!   (EDITED 7/25/09 – broken link should be fixed, please let me know if it isn’t working)

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