If I was a trust fund baby with no responsibility, I would be a TSO groupie! I waited six weeks for yesterday. It was like being ten and anticipating Christmas again, and Trans-Siberian Orchestra was worth the wait. After seeing them last year, Eric and I knew we had to take the kids this year. They didn’t open with Wizards In Winter this time; they didn’t play that one until the second half. The show was fantastic, though, and Alex spent two and a half hours alternating between laughing and saying things like, “No way!” and “How????” and taking his jaw out of his lap. Part-way through the first song, I pointed out key members to him. Al Pitrelli was center stage, Angus Clark at the far end, and Jane Mangini, Al’s wife, on the keyboard with her back to us, and he nodded politely and added, “And Al Pitrelli is playing a Les Paul.” I thought he would come out of his seat when Angus left the stage briefly and reappeared with a King V, which he obligingly came to play on the platform nearest us. I think his reactions made the show more fun for me! Of course, he identified every guitar on the stage; to me they’re all guitars. Then again, to me, a Lamborghini is just a car! What do I know? (At least I can identify a dangling participle.)
One of the things I noticed last year, and that Alex identified on his own this year, was that everyone on stage looked like they were having the best time. By yesterday, they were on their eighth show in five days, but they acted like there was no other place they would want to be. I can’t even imagine that schedule!
We decided last night to add a TSO line item to our budget. Frankly, by the time you get tickets, T-shirts, and dinner, it’s an expensive family outing, but they (the band and the kids) are worth every penny. We won’t have too many family Christmases left. In five years, Alex could be on active duty and may not be able to be home. Making TSO concerts part of our family tradition is one way we can bridge the miles between us when we can’t be together.