After battling through an endless line of parking, and giving sufficient "birds" to drivers that feel the need to cut in line to increase tension in an already tenuous situation, I finally get to walk in the doors of the Pacific Coliseum.
Making my way through the smoke infested arena, I find my way to my seat and take it.
The show starts. No one opens for the band, they simply play without introduction.
As the orchestra sits in the back, and Guitars whale, the thing I notice most is the two violin players; a white girl and an Asian boy. Their energy is astounding.
As the show goes on, and we hear Classic Christmas Tunes, and Revamped Beethoven, these two Violin players just run...everywhere. They are jumping and leaping, all while playing incredibly difficult music.
Out of all the spectacle of the show, as the stage actually morphs, and raises the guitarists into the sky, my attention is still brought back to these incredibly energetic and talent Violin players.
They were the highlight of my night.
The band plays for almost 3 hours, and through that time I let it soak it.
I let soak in the dazzling light show. I let soak in the Pyrotechnics that light a good portion of the stage on fire; I can feel the heat and it makes me sweat. I let soak in everything.
And I only have a few complaints.
Firstly, the drumming was very simple, and even with the drums as my secondary instrument, I feel I could have played everything that happened on stage. Having a certain "unattainability" can really do a lot for my enjoyment of a performance.
When put in comparison to the Guitars, which were often shredding through intense and complex arpeggio sweeping, the drums paled in comparison.
Second, I felt there was a lack of...let's say "personal feel".
And I think the thing that is most strange about that part, is that the musicians often attempted to interact with the audience. We would have the violin players rushing to the sides of the stage and waving the crowd on.
Yet I still felt as though I was watching a DVD. Isn't the point of the concert to get the personal feel?
I will also mention that it could have been a bit louder, but now I'm just nitpicking (although as a critic, I think I'm supposed to do that).
Overall, it was an excellently executed performance.
Even though it must have cost well over $100,000 to put on, I still received more enjoyment out of the Porcupine Tree Tour that I saw this year. The music and heart of the musicians was simply for authentic.
I felt like I was there with the band as they expressed themselves, rather than the canned performance that The Trans-Siberian Orchestra showed.
If you are into shredding solo's and energetic performance, then this concert is for you. You will enjoy the throwbacks to 80's KISS-styled performance, and the hair metal will likely get your attention.
If you find yourself to be a connoisseur of original music though, you may find yourself turned off by many of the cheesy gimmicks in the show, even though some of the special effects were still objectively high-budget.
My name is Andrew Muller. I love creative art, music, television shows, movies, video games, and a good story.
If you had to find me somewhere, you would probably find me down at O'neils home cooking eating an organic sweet-potato bun breakfast sandwich with ham.
Among my friends, it's a "Muller Classic Move" to eat Mcdonald's at 2am because it's cheap and open 24/7. The joke here is that I'm an idiot.
I play drums, guitar, piano, and I write & perform music for My Goal Is Telepathy. Take a listen to the latest sound here.