Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Peace on Earth and a Little “Stolichnaya”

Yep, you guessed it; I made it to my first Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO) concert. There were some pleasant surprises along with the standard stage performance.

One thing that immediately struck me as I approached the venue was the demographic represented by my fellow concert goers. Not sure what I expected but a heavy concentration of 20 somethings along with a good dose of those of the midlife persuasion and older was not one of them.

The younger concert goers were not simply girlfriends dragging their boyfriends to the concert either. Paul O’Neill and his collaborators Robert Kinkel and Jon Oliva have reached a demographic to die for, pretty much all of them if the concert I attended was any indicator.

They kicked off the concert by donating over $12,000 to local charity; a dollar for every ticket sold. Their informal survey showed that about 75% of the concert goers were returnees from previous years (since we got our tickets at the last minute and were seated in the stratosphere we got a good view of the raised hands). The TSO has established a loyal following.

They performed the story and songs of “Christmas Eve and Other Stories” followed by a mix from their other albums and some covers. All this was accompanied by a dazzling set of lighting and laser effects synchronized with the music.

It seems that anyone who wants to maintain a long term career in the music business needs to continually adapt. The founders of TSO have pulled together a diverse set of influences and created a great product with a loyal fan base.

We’ll be back next year!


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