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Raleigh show notes
#1
Music 
   

Here are some of my notes from last night's show:

  • Unlike last year, there was almost no congestion while parking.  It was still $25 online or $30 in person though.  Way too high.
  • I bought my tickets a couple of days before the show.  I feel like they come to town too early and I am not really in the Christmas mood but I figured I would regret not going.  According to the Ticketmaster site, it was just about sold out.  In reality, there were many nearly empty sections so I don't know what happened.  Their charity check was for about $9200 which means they sold about 9200 tickets.  According to Wikipedia, the arena should hold >18,000 people for concerts depending on setup.  Assuming 1/3 is blacked out for the stage, a sell out should still be about 12,000 people.  It was nowhere close to that and the crowd was pretty dead.  Contrast this number with Metallica's recent local show that broke the attendance record with 20,052 fans.  Metallica set up a boring, flat stage centered in the floor that allows them to sell more tickets.  
  • The volume was SO LOW for the entire show.  So low you could hold a conversation with the guy next to you.  Most of the other shows I go to are so loud and distorted, the sound quality suffers.  There needs be a happy medium.  Either way, such a low volume really took the air out of the room.  Even one of the usual highlights, "O Holy Night" was BO-RING with no volume.  
  • Once again, I was really not impressed with most of the singers or songs with vocals.  I have been a fan since day one and I hate to be "the old guy" but the songs are now played TOO SLOW with an overly dramatic effect.  Play the songs the right away!  I used to think this was a Paul O'Neillism but since his passing, they are still not playing the songs correctly.  So now I don't know who to blame.  
  • Zak got a Savatage mention during the singer introductions and sang a good rendition of Handful of Rain.  His voice never ages.  
  • As mentioned in another thread, they played an old Savatage song named "The Storm" but they only did the first half and renamed it to "Calm Before the Storm", which rolled right into "The Mountain" which they did NOT play last year.  These are both great guitar heavy songs and they really bring the place to life.  More of this, please...
  • I noticed a lot of people leaving after the first half and they didn't look pleased.  Maybe they didn't expect the heavier stuff or heavy metal posing. 
  • There were no risers or lifts this year but they had some type of "Tesla coil" contraption set up on the back end of the floor.  It created some cool lightning effects.  I prefer the lifts and the nerve it takes to get up there since I am scared of heights.   
  • Kayla Reeves sang a long lost Paul O'Neill song called "Can You Hear Me Now".  The song was OK but I was hoping for the Savatage version from the Streets album.  This one still gives me chills.   
  • I was also not a fan of TSO's "Believe" which is sacred ground for many Savatage fans.  They struggle to match the emotion of the original.  
  • I stuck around for the meet and greet which I have never done.  My girlfriend wore my old Savatage Rage and War t-shirt and it was the only Savatage shirt I saw in the arena.  Pretty sad.  The 3 Savatage members loved it, especially Zak who pointed and said, "THAT THAT THAT!".  I mentioned to Jeff, Zak and Chris that I was an old fan and mentioned some of the shows I attended in New York and they lit up.  I asked about the chances of a reunion and Chris said that he and Zak are ready and they are not the ones saying no.  I asked about Jon's health and Chris hesitantly said it was "so so".  I notice Jon has kept himself out of view for a while and I worry about his health...  None of us are getting any younger and I understand all the business reasons why things are they way they are but it doesn't mean I have to be happy about it.  
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#2
(11-22-2019, 04:07 AM)admin Wrote: Here are some of my notes from last night's show:

  • Unlike last year, there was almost no congestion while parking.  It was still $25 online or $30 in person though.  Way too high.
  • I bought my tickets a couple of days before the show.  I feel like they come to town too early and I am not really in the Christmas mood but I figured I would regret not going.  According to the Ticketmaster site, it was just about sold out.  In reality, there were many nearly empty sections so I don't know what happened.  Their charity check was for about $9200 which means they sold about 9200 tickets.  According to Wikipedia, the arena should hold >18,000 people for concerts depending on setup.  Assuming 1/3 is blacked out for the stage, a sell out should still be about 12,000 people.  It was nowhere close to that and the crowd was pretty dead.  Contrast this number with Metallica's recent local show that broke the attendance record with 20,052 fans.  Metallica set up a boring, flat stage centered in the floor that allows them to sell more tickets.  
  • The volume was SO LOW for the entire show.  So low you could hold a conversation with the guy next to you.  Most of the other shows I go to are so loud and distorted, the sound quality suffers.  There needs be a happy medium.  Either way, such a low volume really took the air out of the room.  Even one of the usual highlights, "O Holy Night" was BO-RING with no volume.  
  • Once again, I was really not impressed with most of the singers or songs with vocals.  I have been a fan since day one and I hate to be "the old guy" but the songs are now played TOO SLOW with an overly dramatic effect.  Play the songs the right away!  I used to think this was a Paul O'Neillism but since his passing, they are still not playing the songs correctly.  So now I don't know who to blame.  
  • Zak got a Savatage mention during the singer introductions and sang a good rendition of Handful of Rain.  His voice never ages.  
  • As mentioned in another thread, they played an old Savatage song named "The Storm" but they only did the first half and renamed it to "Calm Before the Storm", which rolled right into "The Mountain" which they did NOT play last year.  These are both great guitar heavy songs and they really bring the place to life.  More of this, please...
  • I noticed a lot of people leaving after the first half and they didn't look pleased.  Maybe they didn't expect the heavier stuff or heavy metal posing. 
  • There were no risers or lifts this year but they had some type of "Tesla coil" contraption set up on the back end of the floor.  It created some cool lightning effects.  I prefer the lifts and the nerve it takes to get up there since I am scared of heights.   
  • "Kayla Reeves" sang a long lost Paul O'Neill song called "Can You Hear Me Now".  The song was OK but I was hoping for the Savatage version from the Streets album.  This one still gives me chills.   
  • I was also not a fan of TSO's "Believe" which is sacred ground for many Savatage fans.  They struggle to match the emotion of the original.  
  • I stuck around for the meet and greet which I have never done.  My girlfriend wore my old Savatage Rage and War t-shirt and it was the only Savatage shirt I saw in the arena.  Pretty sad.  The 3 Savatage members loved it, especially Zak who pointed and said, "THAT THAT THAT!".  I mentioned to Jeff, Zak and Chris that I was an old fan and mentioned some of the shows I attended in New York and they lit up.  I asked about the chances of a reunion and Chris said that he and Zak are ready and they are not the ones saying no.  I asked about Jon's health and Chris hesitantly said it was "so so".  I notice Jon has kept himself out of view for a while and I worry about his health...  None of us are getting any younger and I understand all the business reasons why things are they way they are but it doesn't mean I have to be happy about it.  

Jon has done a few live interviews at The Sound Affect recently. He seems fine. He has ZERO interest in ever touring again, though he might do a residency if it was offered. Savatage and JOP are DEAD. He has no interest in revisting them. The band members have never been the issue. They would do it in a minute.

Both Chris and Al have introduced the new song as "Say, Can You Hear me Now". It wasn't recently discovered since, as Dan has posted, Dino was flying to FLA to record it when Paul died.
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#3
(11-22-2019, 05:26 AM)KISSAlien Wrote: Both Chris and Al have introduced the new song as "Say, Can You Hear me Now". It wasn't recently discovered since, as Dan has posted, Dino was flying to FLA to record it when Paul died.

Nice find on the Jon Oliva interviews.  He does seem fine and I can't blame him for not wanting to tour anymore...
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#4
(11-22-2019, 04:07 AM)admin Wrote: I asked about the chances of a reunion and Chris said that he and Zak are ready and they are not the ones saying no.  I asked about Jon's health and Chris hesitantly said it was "so so".  I notice Jon has kept himself out of view for a while and I worry about his health...  None of us are getting any younger and I understand all the business reasons why things are they way they are but it doesn't mean I have to be happy about it.  
[/list]

From my understanding, it may not even be Oliva that is holding up any forward progress on Savatage. Paul owned the Savatage name and brand, and he was the decision-maker on when, if, and how Savatage would be presented. My understanding is that ownership still rests with either Paul's kid and/or the TSO management - so it is not up to Savatage to release something new or tour. Paul and his management guys that run the Show want Savatage songs to be presented by TSO.
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#5
I attended the Raleigh show and to tell the truth; I have seen better performances from them. The show lacked energy from the performers and whoever runs the show is more interested in wowing than a well produced show. CEAOS was supposedly to be performed in its entirety...it was not. Form the beginning I was disappointed. The opener as in previous seasons has nothing to do with the Christmas theme. I still do not understand why they choose a song to open their Christmas show that is not a Christmas song? Great opener would be "Nut Rocker" to get the crowd into it...the Raleigh crowd is one of the least enthusiastic concert crowds I have ever seen in my life...I have seen more hype seeing Belinda Carlisle at the Minnesota State Fair in a band shell than I saw at this show...really. DDB singing 'An Angel came down" was just not good, and then the adding of guitar riffs and other changes did not help the effort, same goes for the instrumental of "O Holy Night"...what a mess it was. "Prince of peace" was not what I was expecting and I was really missing many of the older crew during most of the songs...James Lewis, Rob Evan, Jay Pierce, Jennifer Cella, Tany Ling, Luci Butler, Alex Skolnick, Anna Phoebe, Erin Henry, Mark Wood,...they are all missed. Alex Skolnick is a perfect fit for TSO, as were the others mentioned. I am glad I had the chance to see and am able to remember when they were on the TSO stage. My wife stated she will never see another TSO show but I will. I may be able to get a front row seat next year only needing one ticket. I hope some from TSO management peruse these sites once and awhile to get a clue to what the fans really want. I witnessed so many people leaving in the middle of CEAOS, and watched others playing with their smart phones seemingly bored by the showed...I know I was. This was the first year since 2004 that I have gotten up and left before the finale. Hoping for a better show next time around.
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#6
(11-24-2019, 02:21 AM)TheBigTBone Wrote: I attended the Raleigh show and to tell the truth; I have seen better performances from them. The show lacked energy from the performers and whoever runs the show is more interested in wowing than a well produced show. CEAOS was supposedly to be performed in its entirety...it was not. Form the beginning I was disappointed. The opener as in previous seasons has nothing to do with the Christmas theme. I still do not understand why they choose a song to open their Christmas show that is not a Christmas song? Great opener would be "Nut Rocker" to get the crowd into it...the Raleigh crowd is one of the least enthusiastic concert crowds I have ever seen in my life...I have seen more hype seeing Belinda Carlisle at the Minnesota State Fair in a band shell than I saw at this show...really. DDB singing 'An Angel came down" was just not good, and then the adding of guitar riffs and other changes did not help the effort, same goes for the instrumental of "O Holy Night"...what a mess it was. "Prince of peace" was not what I was expecting and I was really missing many of the older crew during most of the songs...James Lewis, Rob Evan, Jay Pierce, Jennifer Cella, Tany Ling, Luci Butler, Alex Skolnick, Anna Phoebe, Erin Henry, Mark Wood,...they are all missed. Alex Skolnick is a perfect fit for TSO, as were the others mentioned. I am glad I had the chance to see and am able to remember when they were on the TSO stage. My wife stated she will never see another TSO show but I will. I may be able to get a front row seat next year only needing one ticket. I hope some from TSO management peruse these sites once and awhile to get a clue to what the fans really want. I witnessed so many people leaving in the middle of CEAOS, and watched others playing with their smart phones seemingly bored by the showed...I know I was. This was the first year since 2004 that I have gotten up and left before the finale. Hoping for a better show next time around.

Hear Hear! So it wasn't just me... Sometimes I feel like maybe I am just bored because I have seen it so many times. I want more crunch and spontaneity... Lots of people left in the middle of the performance.

Did you also notice the volume was so low? That did not help with the boring factor.
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#7
(11-24-2019, 02:41 AM)admin Wrote:
(11-24-2019, 02:21 AM)TheBigTBone Wrote: I attended the Raleigh show and to tell the truth; I have seen better performances from them. The show lacked energy from the performers and whoever runs the show is more interested in wowing than a well produced show. CEAOS was supposedly to be performed in its entirety...it was not. Form the beginning I was disappointed. The opener as in previous seasons has nothing to do with the Christmas theme. I still do not understand why they choose a song to open their Christmas show that is not a Christmas song? Great opener would be "Nut Rocker" to get the crowd into it...the Raleigh crowd is one of the least enthusiastic concert crowds I have ever seen in my life...I have seen more hype seeing Belinda Carlisle at the Minnesota State Fair in a band shell than I saw at this show...really. DDB singing 'An Angel came down" was just not good, and then the adding of guitar riffs and other changes did not help the effort, same goes for the instrumental of "O Holy Night"...what a mess it was. "Prince of peace" was not what I was expecting and I was really missing many of the older crew during most of the songs...James Lewis, Rob Evan, Jay Pierce, Jennifer Cella, Tany Ling, Luci Butler, Alex Skolnick, Anna Phoebe, Erin Henry, Mark Wood,...they are all missed. Alex Skolnick is a perfect fit for TSO, as were the others mentioned. I am glad I had the chance to see and am able to remember when they were on the TSO stage. My wife stated she will never see another TSO show but I will. I may be able to get a front row seat next year only needing one ticket. I hope some from TSO management peruse these sites once and awhile to get a clue to what the fans really want. I witnessed so many people leaving in the middle of CEAOS, and watched others playing with their smart phones seemingly bored by the showed...I know I was. This was the first year since 2004 that I have gotten up and left before the finale. Hoping for a better show next time around.
Yes I did notice the lower volume levels. I usually wear ear plugs because I have tinnitus really bad, and even with the ear plugs in, the sound was usually great. This year I actually pulled out the plugs because of the weak levels. I hope TSO management give the fans what we really desire...just once.
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#8
(11-24-2019, 02:21 AM)TheBigTBone Wrote: I attended the Raleigh show and to tell the truth; I have seen better performances from them. The show lacked energy from the performers and whoever runs the show is more interested in wowing than a well produced show. CEAOS was supposedly to be performed in its entirety...it was not. Form the beginning I was disappointed. The opener as in previous seasons has nothing to do with the Christmas theme. I still do not understand why they choose a song to open their Christmas show that is not a Christmas song? Great opener would be "Nut Rocker" to get the crowd into it...the Raleigh crowd is one of the least enthusiastic concert crowds I have ever seen in my life...I have seen more hype seeing Belinda Carlisle at the Minnesota State Fair in a band shell than I saw at this show...really. DDB singing 'An Angel came down" was just not good, and then the adding of guitar riffs and other changes did not help the effort, same goes for the instrumental of "O Holy Night"...what a mess it was. "Prince of peace" was not what I was expecting and I was really missing many of the older crew during most of the songs...James Lewis, Rob Evan, Jay Pierce, Jennifer Cella, Tany Ling, Luci Butler, Alex Skolnick, Anna Phoebe, Erin Henry, Mark Wood,...they are all missed. Alex Skolnick is a perfect fit for TSO, as were the others mentioned. I am glad I had the chance to see and am able to remember when they were on the TSO stage. My wife stated she will never see another TSO show but I will. I may be able to get a front row seat next year only needing one ticket. I hope some from TSO management peruse these sites once and awhile to get a clue to what the fans really want. I witnessed so many people leaving in the middle of CEAOS, and watched others playing with their smart phones seemingly bored by the showed...I know I was. This was the first year since 2004 that I have gotten up and left before the finale. Hoping for a better show next time around.

Who said it was supposed to be in its entirety? They said they were bringing back an all new CEAOS.

They played the same 12 songs off of it that they have always played when they presenting this story. They have never done "A Star to Follow".  "The Silent Nutcracker", and "The First Noel" have only ever been played a handful of times.
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#9
(11-26-2019, 03:42 AM)KISSAlien Wrote:
(11-24-2019, 02:21 AM)TheBigTBone Wrote: I attended the Raleigh show and to tell the truth; I have seen better performances from them. The show lacked energy from the performers and whoever runs the show is more interested in wowing than a well produced show. CEAOS was supposedly to be performed in its entirety...it was not. Form the beginning I was disappointed. The opener as in previous seasons has nothing to do with the Christmas theme. I still do not understand why they choose a song to open their Christmas show that is not a Christmas song? Great opener would be "Nut Rocker" to get the crowd into it...the Raleigh crowd is one of the least enthusiastic concert crowds I have ever seen in my life...I have seen more hype seeing Belinda Carlisle at the Minnesota State Fair in a band shell than I saw at this show...really. DDB singing 'An Angel came down" was just not good, and then the adding of guitar riffs and other changes did not help the effort, same goes for the instrumental of "O Holy Night"...what a mess it was. "Prince of peace" was not what I was expecting and I was really missing many of the older crew during most of the songs...James Lewis, Rob Evan, Jay Pierce, Jennifer Cella, Tany Ling, Luci Butler, Alex Skolnick, Anna Phoebe, Erin Henry, Mark Wood,...they are all missed. Alex Skolnick is a perfect fit for TSO, as were the others mentioned. I am glad I had the chance to see and am able to remember when they were on the TSO stage. My wife stated she will never see another TSO show but I will. I may be able to get a front row seat next year only needing one ticket. I hope some from TSO management peruse these sites once and awhile to get a clue to what the fans really want. I witnessed so many people leaving in the middle of CEAOS, and watched others playing with their smart phones seemingly bored by the showed...I know I was. This was the first year since 2004 that I have gotten up and left before the finale. Hoping for a better show next time around.

Who said it was supposed to be in its entirety? They said they were bringing back an all new CEAOS.

They played the same 12 songs off of it that they have always played when they presenting this story. They have never done "A Star to Follow".  "The Silent Nutcracker", and "The First Noel" have only ever been played a handful of times.
Local classic rock radio station giving out free tickets advertised "see Christmas Eve and Other Stories in its entirety." Tell it to them. I would prefer to see the whole thing done in its entirety. When I hear and see the advertisements for CEOAS, am I expecting too much to want to hear the whole thing? It can be done (they do just about everything else with the pyro, lighting, risers, tesla coils, etc) and to me it should. I feel like I am being sold short when they don't do the whole thing. BTW, whats new with CEAOS? The only new thing is how this particular show is produced and executed...which to me is lacking this year. Again, just my opinion and I still am a die hard TSO fan, and will continue to go to their shows until they either stop touring or I am dead. Hoping for a spring tour of BLN/NC combined.
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