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12-01-2004, 12:42 PM
This isn't going to be much of a review since last night was the second time that I have seen TSO. For a full review track down my post from last year (I'd provide a link here but I don't know how and I'm too lazy to try and figure it out).

Once again they provided an outstanding show and I had a great time. The first half of the show was exactly the same as last year. I guess since this part of the show tells a story, there isn't much that they can do to change it. The second half of the show was slightly different, including some of the material from their new CD.

What I found really interesting about last night, that was different from last year was the venue. Last year's venue, Massey Hall, was a much smaller, more intimate historical theatre. This year's venue was about 1/3 of the Air Canada Centre. The main difference here is a show set up for a small theatre vs. an arena set-up.

Well...from a lightshow perspective the arena set-up rocked! The much higher ceiling allowed for them to raise the light standards to music as part of the anticipation leading into their first song. It also allowed for another row of lights coming out in front of the stage, over the audience. It also allowed several extra flash pans on either side of the stage, which were actually set up out into the stands where side-stage seating might have otherwise occured. WOW!

From a sound standpoint, Massey Hall is famous for its great accoustics. The ACC, well it wasn't build for sound. The sound was really good for an arena, but it just didn't have the warmth of Massey Hall.

The show was excellent, as expected. I enjoyed every minute. Although, I do have to say that I didn't like the rendition of Old City Bar. Last year's singer was the same guy who recorded the song. It was a beautiful rendition that brought a tear to my eye. This year, it was a different singer. IMO, he over sang it. The song is supposed to be a story told by an old drunk in a bar. The fella who sang last night just wasn't convincing in that role. He tried to much to put "feeling" into it and, as a result, it lacked soul. But that was the only weak moment in 2.5 hours. Not too shabby.

Would I see them again? You bet! And again, and again, and again.

Five out of five smilies!
:D :D :D :D :D

12-01-2004, 02:29 PM
You say you saw them last year, I didn't see them last year.

The show was good, and the light show was spectacular. I could have done without the fireworks. It's old, and not the sort of thing the mostly baby-boomer crowd cares about.

The band was excellent and they rocked, with two guitarists, bass player, electric violin player, two keyboard players, drummer, and an eight person string section. They used about five singers, plus a narator. That's one big enterage!

The band was loud, and the sound was good. For the most part, the show was rocking versions of Christmas favorites and classical pieces. The overall story being narrated was pretty lame, but at least they tried to link the various songs to a Christmas theme. It didn't feel very Christmassy to me though. I bet it would be better the see the show about two or three weeks from now.

While the first half of the show was structured around a story, the band just kicked ass in the second half, playing a few Zeppelin covers and just having a great fun time. Most of the musicians and singers are classically trained, may with Opera companies in New York. You could tell they were having a blast shredding the classics, including a version of Orff's Carmina Burana, from their forthcoming non-Christmas album.

I thought it was fun and entertaining, and I'm glad I went, but I don't think I'll be going back next year. Maybe if they play Massey Hall.