Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

And how did I like that classical music concert? December 30, 2012

A FEW WEEKS AGO, my husband phoned from work. He’d just won two tickets to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert at the Xcel Energy Center, compliments of Power 96, KQCL, a Faribault radio station. (Some of you may remember this from a previous post.)

Oh, my gosh, was I excited. I love classical music.

But as apparently everyone on this earth knows, except me, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra is a rock band. Who would have thought with a name like that?

So I figured I may as well confess my lack of musical knowledge, which I did in a December 12 post. For those of you who have not read that first amusing story, click here for a good laugh.

Secondly, you should know that I have not attended a rock concert in perhaps 30 years, the last one being a performance by The Moody Blues at the old St. Paul Civic Center.

Just sayin’ that I’m not exactly a music expert.

A view of the stage in the background and performers in the foreground elevated onto tiny platforms. I apologize for the horrible images, but DSLR cameras are not allowed into a concert venue and I don't own a compact camera. This image and the second were taken with my cell phone.

A view of the stage in the background and performers in the foreground elevated onto tiny platforms. I apologize for the horrible images, but DSLR cameras were not allowed into the concert venue and I don’t own a compact camera. This image and the second were taken with my cell phone. You can only imagine how many times I repeated, “I wish I had my camera.”

So what did I think of “The Lost Christmas Eve” concert by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra? In all honesty, I was more impressed by the light and pyrotechnics show than by the music or the storyline.

I know. I know. Those of you who really, really love the Trans-Siberian Orchestra will wonder, “What the heck? Did she attend the same concert as me?”

Apparently I prefer my music quiet, as in the outstanding “O Come, All Ye Faithful” solo by one of the band members versus the drum banging, steel guitar blazing mashed sound of a song I can’t even understand. I found it interesting that the reverent solo I most enjoyed received the loudest and longest audience applause of the concert.

Yes, there were a lot of gray hairs attending the show, along with a mix of other ages. Just sayin’, we may have favored Led Zepplin in our days (that would be you, Chuck, our concert neighbor), but now some of us wear ear plugs to rock concerts. My husband and I are raising our hands here. I bet the woman from Prior Lake sitting behind us wished she had brought hers, too.

Again, a bad photo, but at least it gives you some idea of the amazing light show and fabulous showmanship of this concert.

Again, a bad photo, but at least it gives you some idea of the amazing light show and fabulous showmanship of this concert.

For awhile there, until my eyes and brain adjusted, I also wondered if I should have brought sunglasses. Those strobe lights were pretty intense. But, once I settled in, I was enamored by the light show and the fire. The flames were so high and intense that the heat wafted to the back of the auditorium where we were seated.

About those seats…we were directly facing the stage; the location could not have been better. But who planned the width of these seats and the leg room? Honestly, I felt wedged into my chair and worried about knocking our large-sized $9.25 shared beer from the cup holder.

I worried, too, a bit about the performers who were elevated onto tiny towering platforms both on-stage and near our end of the concert venue. I bet they really felt the heat when fiery jets flamed near them. That was pretty cool even if it was hot. Got that?

All in all, my husband and I reached this conclusion: The Trans-Siberian Orchestra presented a good concert. Our tickets were free. We were happy.

But would we pay to see this group perform again? Probably not.

© Copyright 2012 Audrey Kletscher Helbling