Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Concert Review: The Ghosts of Christmas Eve Tour, Hartford, CT

We are back in the office after an exciting weekend. For me anyway. I traveled to the Big City of Hartford, about an hour away. Big is a relative term, however. A lot of New England is big compared to my small town. The occasion was the Ghosts of Christmas Eve Tour at the XL Center. For the uninformed that is the title of the current Christmas Tour of Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Though I don't want it to be, it is one of those Once in a lifetime opportunities.

First, the negatives. Hartford is a mess of a city. And Google maps turned what should have been a 5 minute scoot turned into a half hour lost journey because Google says staying on 44. The venue was unprepared for a sold out crowd because people herding was poor. And everyone got patted down. Fortunately I got seated soon after hearing Brian Hicks bellow "ladies and gentlemen, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra." So I didn't miss much. That can't be said for a lot of people as the lines were massive to get in. Some didn't get in until the second half began.

Time For the Show. The Acronym OMG seems to pale in comparison. I saw Mannheim Steamroller Live, but this is way bigger. Band, Singers, Local String Session Players, Lights, Lasers, Smoke and FIRE. Yes you heard correctly, Fire, as in Flamethrowers. Yours truly was on the floor and I can testify that it got fairly toasty when those went off. I can only imagine the heat on the stage.

The Ghosts of Christmas Eve (incidentally, a song of that name is part of The Christmas Attic Tour) is the "Christian Tour". Though Christmas is highlighted on both tours, the songs on this tour are "traditional" (March of The Kings, O Come All Ye Faithful, O Holy Night, Good King Joy (Wencelas), and What Child Is This frame the Programs first half. The story line is a Christmas Remake of The Prodigal Son, or in this case the Prodigal Daughter. A teenage runaway is shown the True Meaning of Christmas (and yes, it is Jesus, not Santa). Consider this lyric from Good King Joy  

"It was long ago
In a foreign land
When the Lord looked down
Said to make a stand
So He sent His son
And said, 'through him you'll know me!' 

Compare this scripture. Colossians 1:15
Berean Study Bible
The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.

Or for 2 or 3 witnesses, try Hebrews 1:3

New International Version
The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

In other words, "Through Him (Jesus) You'll know Me (God, The Father)" Sometimes the Best Sermons are preached by Rock Music.

The Second Half of the show is the Rock Show, which has very little Christmas Music (except for the classic A Mad Russian's Christmas (Nutcracker Improvement) , Wizards in Winter, and Christmas in Sarajevo (the Grand Finale). The singers and dancers steal the show, especially the ladies. And jestingly My Current Crush is Kayla Reeves, who at 24 could be my daughter, so that is a cold water on fire. Still, hearing her growl her way through "Not The Same" and "Night Conceives", she is my Ultimate Rock Chick. And watch for the impromptu "candlelight service" via cell phones. Very cool.

It took me longer than I wanted to do this review, but It is done the way I wanted. I can't leave you without a TSO Classic. Christmas Canon Rock, with Georgia Napolitano, Lisa Lavie, Kayla Reeves, and Natalia Rose. Enjoy. I am Awaiting Your Reply.