Nikki and I saw the Trans-Siberian Orchestra last Saturday (the 8th) at the Key Arena, and WOW. The show was incredible! I’d heard one of their CDs before, but it’s similar to hearing recorded bagpipes – the music loses a lot in recording. The vocals were awesome, and the electric violin was great. The show is described as a “rock opera” – a narrator tells part of the story, and then a song (a combo of strings/vocals/metal) tells more story. The narrator was introduced well, too – as the man who could read you the phone book and have it sound like the best story ever. The special effects were great too – there was a snow machine for one part, and all the lighting changed and moved during songs. Toward the end, there was also fire and fireworks. I got tired of the strobe light in my eyes pretty quickly, but the rest of it was all so awesome I ended up not really caring about the strobe.
I really liked after the “story” part was over and all the musicians/singers were introduced and shown off. One guitarist kind of got into some guitar-dueling with one of the other guitarists (who is also the conductor). The keyboardists were the best for the showing off part though. Both keyboardists were introduced by the conductor as pianists because he said he felt that “keyboardist” didn’t do them justice. He said that the first time he heard the male keyboardist play he could swear time stopped, and the first time he heard the woman play, she stopped his heart – and six months later had the “great misfortune” to marry him and that ten years later they’re still going strong. When they were showing off at first, one would play, then the other. I swear the woman’s hands almost moved too fast to see! The best part (in my opinion) was when the guy whipped a cloth off a bust of Beethoven and started playing the Peanuts theme song like Schroeder. I cracked up. At one point during the next song, he ran off from his keyboard to the woman’s keyboard, and the two of them ended up playing the same keyboard with arms overlapping.
Nikki and I couldn’t figure out why the conductor had spent the entire show sitting down save for standing once, but that was explained during the introductions – apparently with the multi-level stage, he’d jumped down to a somewhat lower portion four nights before, and shattered his left knee and tore his ACL. And, according to the guy introducing him, never missed a single note laying there on his back. He’s either nuts or has an amazing pain tolerance – probably a little of both. Yeesh.
Anyway, after that long ramble – Trans-Siberian Orchestra was awesome in person, I’m going again next year! Oh, and avoid the “Center House Bistro and Bar” in Seattle Center. Food was so-so, service was terrible.