AND IT WAS AWESOME. :D
This was my fifth TSO concert, and like the previous five times before this, I left the show feeling a sense of amazement and awe at what I had just seen. The show is truly mesmerizing, from the way the lights and sounds sync to the music, to the sheer energy of the band on stage. Everything comes together in a sensory overload that really needs to be seen to be believed.
So, yeah, I had fun.
Like every TSO show I’ve seen, the concert begins with a story. Each concert tells the story associated with one of the band’s Christmas albums, and this one was the story associated with The Christmas Attic. The concert began with a video showing a dark house from the eyes of what I assume was a small child, as they climb a set of stairs to the titular attic. Once inside, they find a kind of treasure trove of old and nearly forgotten items, including a trunk in the back. The video showed the trunk being opened, just as the curtain on stage lifted. Behind that curtain was a huge version of the trunk from the video, which slowly opened to reveal a stage where the band emerged from. The way the music synced with that moment made my jaw hit the floor.
After a strong opening number, the story began in full with a narration from a kindly, deep voice. The story goes that a young girl explores her attic on Christmas eve, and finds the trunk on stage. Inside, she finds some old toys, a singe Christmas wreath, and a stack of old letters addressed to various people. She starts to read the letters, and each letter’s story is told to us through song. Some are simple, like the one about the first snow, and others are more complicated, dealing with an uncle’s story to his nephew, or of love lost. It’s a bit contrived by the end, but it has a kind of magic to it that one comes to expect around Christmastime. It can be a bit tricky to follow, but having seen the band perform before (Though, not performing this story), I knew what to expect.
What really steals the show, obviously, are the songs and performances. Every TSO show I’ve seen has had some kind of large set of lights, lasers, and pyrotechnics, each set to sync beautifully with the music. It can be a bit headache inducing at times (lights should never flash from red to white and back in rapid succession), but it’s always a sight to behold. I find the best moments are when the lasers light up the room in bright colors, spinning along with the song.
The story ends around an hour and a half in, and some people started to leave after that part. They clearly had never been to this kind of show before, because that’s only the first half. Once the story is complete, the band unleashes a set of random songs from other CDs, including non-Christmas ones. They play these songs without interruption, and things really heat up (literally, as this is where the pyrotechnics go off). It all culminates in a pulse-pounding rendition of the Carol of the Bells, which is arguably their most popular song.
So, yeah, I really enjoyed it. It’s very likely that I’ll be back to see them again before long—it’s just such a spectacle that really needs to be experienced. If you ever get the chance, go see them. You won’t be disappointed.