Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Seeing Red and the Christmas Season Begins

November, 2010, was a busy time, although I admit some of the business was of my own making. There were a lot of concerts I really wanted to attend, but I was called back to work in October, and I hadn't been furloughed yet, and sometimes a girl does have to stay home once in a while. If time and money were no object, I would have certainly spend the first few weeks in November at a concert nearly every night sometimes more than one on the same night.

So, I found myself missing Circa Survive, Sara Bareilles, Lifehouse, and others that I would loved to have seen. I especially hated to miss Sara Bareilles on November
17, but I was working in catering/hospitality for the Red concert the following day, and I still had not been furloughed. I not so secretly hoped that I would be let go at the close of business on the 16th, but it wasn't to be. Instead, I was furloughed on the 17th, and was able to use leave to work only half the shift. This left me some time to prepare for Red. On the way home, I stopped at Wal Mart to pick up a few items I still needed to prepare the food. I also had to clean the kitchen thoroughly and make sure it was all ready. I fixed potatoes for potato salad, made huge fresh green salad and potato salad. I still had potato soup and chicken noodle soup to prepare. It was a long night, and I didn't make it to sleep until after 3:30 a.m. Somehow I managed to sqeeze in a full 3-1/2 hours of sleep before I had to finish up, load up the car and head for The Avalon to set up. I was running a bit late, but as frequently is the case, the timing all worked out and lunch was ready pretty much on time. I was still a little nervous about timing later in the day, though as I needed to leave around 3:30 p.m. to see Trans-Siberian Orchestra's 4 o'clock show. I had to leave, watch the show, drive back for the rest of the Red concert and hope not to miss too much and then help with clean-up, etc. It was enjoyable getting to meet everyone and make sure they were taken care of. Everyone I met on the tour was really nice and appreciative.

Soon, 3:30 came around and I took off to the Energy Solutions Arena to see TSO. This was the 5th or 6th time I have seen TSO's performance, but to me the Christmas season officially begins when TSO is here. I had a few small glitches getting to the venue, but made it in time. Once I got inside I found the merch vendor, purchased a program and then headed down to my Floor 3, Row 6 seat. Just as I was heading for the stairs, I saw a sign that said photography without flash was allowed. This was a first for TSO here, and since I'd been short on time I decided to leave my camera in the car. I tried, in vain to get permission run out to my car, but alas there was no re-entry allowed, so I ran down to my seat instead and sat down just as the show was starting. I really missed my camera, but I took a ton of bad cell phone pics, so at least I have something. As always, TSO was dazzling, moving, fun and beautiful all around. The first part of the show primarily centers around a storyline about a father praying for his girl to come home and an answer to that father's prayer. There is a portion where a bum sings and tells a part of the storyline. On the West coast tour, the bum is Bart Shatto, and he does an amazing job. He added a little humor in his portrayal this time and he did an moving and memorable job of the part. I always look forward to seeing him onstage.

The vocals were the best I've heard, and that's saying a lot. Then the story finally ends, and the concert continues with rock meeting the classical, and a light show complete with laser lights and fireworks. It's really impressive. The day after Thanksgiving used to mark the Christmas season for me. Now it is seeing Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Usually I attend the later show, and wait in line for the meet and greet after the show. I love telling Bart how much I loved his portrayal of the bum, teasing Angus, and always love meeting Tommy Farese. I really did miss that this year. I would have loved to have met the new narrator this year, Phillip Brandon, and tell him what a fantastic job he did.

Too soon the show came to an end and I ran out to where my car was parked. I didn't see my car at first so it took me a bit to find it, but then I headed out on the road. Traffic wasn't at all bad which really surprised me, and I was back at the Avalon just after Silverline's set. I hated to miss Silverline, but I could't be 2 places at once. I went to check on the hospitality area and everything was fine. While I was there I took a photo of one of the guys in Head in his "V" mask, because he said I could. Then he got so close to the camera I wasn't sure it would turn out well, but it did.

I was curious about the upstairs window overlooking the stage since I attend a lot of concerts at The Avalon. I asked about it and was told as long as no one was up there I could check it out for a little bit. Jay went up with me and we watched a bit of Brian Welch and Head from the window and took a few photos. Then I grabbed all of my camera gear and headed out towards the front. Security escorted me to the balcony which was awesome. I didn't really think I would like Head much, but I liked them better than I thought I would.

Disciple set up to play next and I really liked their set a lot. They prayed before the played, and were pretty upfront about their beliefs even doing an appeal for Compassion International child sponsorships.

After Disciple finished playing, it was time for Red to set up. I got a kick out of the fact that they taped things down with red tape. I had one of the best spots in the place and it felt odd, but wonderful. While there were no barricades, people were not right at the stage, so I had plenty of room to walk around and take photos. Oh, I still did plenty of clapping, cheering and moving to the music in between photo shots. The lighting was difficult because it rotated and changed so frequently and drastically, but I did get a few decent shots.

After Red completed their set(and after their Encore) I went back to work on cleaning up a bit, getting my things in order, and making myself a cup of hot tea while I was at it. There was a lot of left over potato salad, and some leftover green salad among other things. The soup disappeared long before. I started talking to one of the guys from Silverline and tried to help him out with something. I ended up talking to the Silverline guys a lot in the back of the venue and outside. I bought their cd and we got pics together.

Then I stopped goofing off and went back to work, counting and hunting down towels, sweeping the stage, and eventually loading my car. It was freezing outside so loading wasn't my favorite part. LOL While I was sweeping the stage, I pulled up some red tap to find an All Time Low Guitar pick (the played The Avalon on May 4.) There is a gal at work that loves All Time Low, so I think I will give it to her when I return to work.

Finally, Eleanor and I both drove out of the parking lot in our respective vehicles and headed for home. I was very, very tired, but the drive home went well over all, except for me stopping fast to avoid running a yellow light with a cop behind me. I was definitely ready for a good night's sleep and I would definitely do it over again.

God bless..

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