Last night we went and saw the Trans Siberian Orchestra for the 4th time. It was, as usual, an amazing show. The only real difference between last night's show and the three previous times I'd seen them was one of the singers that we usually see was not with the group, he must have been touring with the East Coast group this year.
The first time we saw them, I was familiar with their Christmas cd, but I had no idea that it was an actual continuous story. The narrator began telling his story, and I was transfixed. When they got to songs "Ornament" and "Old City Bar" I actually understood the songs for the first time. I began to cry, and didn't really know why. But since that night, the song "Old City Bar" makes me cry.
When we saw them two years ago, it was just a day or two after my mother and I had stood on a sidewalk clutching our flags while the motorcade carrying the body of a fallen local soldier went by. In the middle of the concert, the band stops and does introductions, and then they ask for a standing ovation for our service men and women overseas, and they do this every show and will continue to do it until they all come home. At that moment, I was completely overwhelmed.
Last night the show began, and the moment the narrator spoke his first words, tears came to my eyes. I couldn't believe that the emotion of the story was hitting me so hard, so fast. As the show went on I was so amazed by how talented these musicians are. And I was having a a hard time figuring out what I should be watching, the musicians or all the amazing stage effects. There were lasers, and lights, and flames, and snow, and vidoes. There was an amazing set up of light bars that move in time to the music while different videos and pictures are displayed on them. Then there was the moment when the light bar lowered to the stage and it was a catwalk that several performers walked on to and it was raised back up and they played instruments and danced above the crowd.
Just when I thought I could not be any more impressed with this band, something new happened. During one of my favorite songs, I saw a woman run across the floor along the front of the stage, and then I realized a crowd was kneeling down on the floor near the front of the floor seats. Clearly there was some sort of emergency, which I figured to be medical in nature. I was distracted from the show because I was concerned with what was going on down on the floor. But then I saw the band leader, Al Petrelli, watching the entire situation too. He was wordlessly communicating to the band and the singers to keep going. He kept playing his guitar while watching security, and all the other various personnel who gathered on the floor. He went to the edge of the stage and conferred with the head security guy, and motioned to the band to keep going. He went back to playing for a moment, and then he put his guitar down, slipped off the stage, and walked into the crowd to talk to the police officer on scene. He gathered all the information he needed, and then made his way back onto the stage, without taking attention away from the performers.
They finished the first part of the show, and then when they would usually take a brief break, and then come back and introduce all the performers, and the salute to the military, instead Al took the microphone and asked the crowd to just stay where they were since we had a bit of a situation going. Once the paramedic had the man who was ill in a wheelchair, Al asked the crowd to give a round of applause to the man, and the police and aid workers who were helping him. The crowd cheered as the poor man was wheeled out, and then Al asked for the salute to the military.
He made the comment that they'd never had a night quite like this one, which honestly surprised me. I figured with all the effects used in their show, that surely they would have had some sort of medical reaction in the crowd before this. But he handled the entire situation with grace, and ease.
The momentum of the show was definitely thrown off, but after a few moments, they recovered and went on to finish out a most amazing show! I am already hoping to be able to go see them again next year.