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(12-14-2018, 02:28 AM)admin Wrote: [ -> ]The crowd was subdued for sure.  Some random show notes:
  • Trying to park was brutal with a terrible traffic jam.  Because it took so long to park, we missed most of the first song.  The tickets said showtime was 7:30 and they started at 7:30 sharp.  This was different than what I was used to at Nassau Coliseum in NY where they would start at 8:15.  
  • I think Night Enchanted is a terrible show opener.  It seems flat.  Bands usually open a show with a higher energy number. 
  • During the singer intros, Chris Caffery's voice sounded weird like his tongue was numb or he had a cold. 
  • O Holy Night was great.  That's always one of the show highlights for me.  
  • The club level seats were better than the typical seats but the experience in Orlando was much nicer.  At PNC, they give you a leather seat with more room side to side and a ledge to put your crap.  The floors on the concourse are carpeted but there was no waitress service or exclusive elevator though.   I was not able to read the seat numbers so I sat anywhere in the row and luckily, I had almost the whole row to myself for the whole show. 
  • It was great to see Zachary Stevens and his velvet voice is ageless.  Chance was one of the show highlights for me even though I normally don't care much for the song.  The song does well with the TSO treatment.  I was hoping to see a Savatage S flash on the screens but no such luck.  
  • The burning TSO logo on the far end of the floor was a cool touch. 
  • By the end of the show, I was on Lazer Overload and my eyes were bothering me which has never happened before.  I must be betting old.
  • I was not impressed with a couple of the female singers this time around.  They sounded flat.  I really found myself missing Jennifer Cella and Daryl Pediford.  
  • Kayla Reeves nailed her song though!  It is a weird song though and it felt out of place.  In general, song selection and show flow seemed odd to me... 
  • Paul O'Neill got a nice mention from Chris before Kayla's song.  
  • Bob Kinkel was not there and they had another keyboard player who was introduced as the musical director.  What happened to Bob?  Did I miss something with all the lineup changes?
  • Chris had the nerve to utter the word "Savatage" during the singer intros when introducing Zachary.  A couple of weak cheers from the crowd.   TSO needs to do more to make sure their fans know the history of what they are seeing.  The TSO story would make an amazing Behind the Scenes or movie.  
  • Chris did not do the intro with a hometown sports jersey.  I thought he always did that... ?
  • They did NOT do The Mountain but replaced it with some other similar song.  This was a disappointment to me since The Mountain is a nod to Criss Oliva-era Savatage and it comes across great live with all the fire and heavy metal effects.  I thought Chris liked to carry the Savatage torch... 
  • Wish Liszt was another highlight.  Very heavy live with lots of guitar heroics, hair swinging and cheesy choreography. 
  • I have seen them live so many times it was blah and predictable to me but I always think of the people who are seeing it for the first time.  They must be amazed at the spectacle.
  • My friends were sitting in the very last row, upstairs, center stage.  They said they were actually great seats since you can see everything that is going on.  
  • No mention of a meet-and-greet, new album, live DVD or non Christmas tour.  
    And so the wait begins for next year...
Caffery did mention the meet and greet during the band intros and he stated he could not remember where it was going to happen. They played "Tracers" and it's been the first time in years that they have. That was the song where it started out with a Pink Floyd tune and the four lifts were in action. I was getting bored with the mountain and Tracers was a nice surprise. Caleb sounded just like DDP doing "Three Kings" and I feel he may be Russell Allens replacement, but the kid is good and if Allen leaves Caleb's got it. Kayla Reeves has been doing that tune for a few years now and as soon as she started, I am the guy that turned my phone light on and got the other people to follow suit...that is an awesome site to see and that started in Greensboro a few years back and it was before Paul died. I was about 7 rows from stage on Dereks side right on the hockey boards. Greats eats and a great show and to me it was one of their better ones while performing TGOCE.
(12-16-2018, 12:55 AM)danfromnj Wrote: [ -> ]Bob has never gone on public record on the reason for his departure.  I did an in-depth interview with him back in 2013 and we talked about it.  The answer that he was okay with putting out there was "It's complicated".

This is the interview, if you're interested - we touched on a lot:

That is a great interview. I found this question and answer especially interesting since I often complain about the choreography, saying the show does not feel organic... almost too scripted. But there is good reason for it!

DR: I wanted to ask you about how the show has changed over the years. Some long-time fans and former performers alike have noted how the show today is a lot more scripted and choreographed than in it's earlier years. Can you comment on that?

BK: Well, the stage direction evolved over the years; "Who's gonna stand here?" and things like that. We went from a theater show, where basically no matter where you are, you're lit, to an arena show, where if the lighting guys don't know where you're going to be, there's no way they can keep a light on you. It really necessitated thinking what the flow of the stage is. When we started adding pyro, lasers and the cues, you really had to start taking the production aspects more seriously. You had to be in the right spot, or you'll be playing in the dark.

As the show grew, it necessitated more stage and placement direction. For instance, we would watch to make sure no one is blocking someone else and that everyone could be seen. And then we started adding staging in the back of the arena; the TSO shows are just a massive undertaking. There are about 130 people on the road, per tour. You'll have 26 performers on stage, but then you'll have 18 semis worth of equipment, a generator truck because a lot of buildings don't have enough power for all of the lights. You have nine tour buses. So that right there is 28 people just in drivers. And then you have your lighting crew, the laser crew, the pyro crew, the rigging crews, the backlines guys, the production manager, stage managers, tour managers; all of these people are out there. It's a huge team of people that it takes to put on one of those shows.

So again, if you're doing something in the back, and the performer has to come to the front, you can't just go back there - there's people going up on lifts, there's safety issues; it's complicated. There's live fire on the stage - you do not want to become part of a barbecue. [Laughs]

You have to know where you are, so just the evolution of the size of the stage and the massiveness of the show dictated a lot of that happening.
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