Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mmm, Christmas in the Aire

Oh man! I am so pumped right now! I just had the most wonderful experience, and I'm going to quickly record it in my blog so that I don't forget. I'm hurrying because I've been a bad child this week and haven't done so great with getting to bed on time so I'm extra tired. But I'm going to be fast, well I hope I will anyway. :)

Tonight my very dear Smirk and I had the wonderful opportunity of going to see Mannheim Steamroller in concert. I hope you're familiar with them, but if not, they're most known for their Christmas music which is a mix of traditional music with technical wizardry. I'm sure that sounds strange but if you ever hear them, you'll probably recognize them because they have a distinct sound.

Unlike some musicians, I'm proud to say that Mannheim Steamroller sounds just as wonderful live as they do on their CDs. They included some interesting elements to the concert, such as a screen behind the orchestra that often showed videos to accompany the music. I can't remember if it was "Catching Snowflakes on Your Tongue" or "Messengers of Christmas" but one of the two songs had an entire ice skating routineperfectly choreographed to the music. I thought it was pretty darn cool.

I could feel it as soon as the music started: the formation of the big stupid grin on my face. Such a look usually means either I'm REALLY happy about something or I've been mischievous. Since there wasn't any tricks going on during the concert, pretty much this look meant I was stoked for the entire two and a half hours I sat in Abravenal Hall.

The concert started out strong with "Hallelujah", "Feliz Navidad" and "Deck the Halls." They harmonize so well, and I love it when they start slow and build up. The entire group is so talented but I was especially impressed with the drummer. I thought I was going to be sad for the slower songs, but instead, the opposite happened. As the orchestra started into its rendition of "Away in a Manager", I felt goosebumps forming on my arms. And then as I let the music wash over me, thinking of its true meaning, tears started rolling down my cheeks. I wasn't sad, just touched.

The second half was quite interesting because it featured several of the band's more Middle-English sounding carols such as "Gagliarda", "Wassail, Wassail" and "In dulci Jubilo." For most of the second half, the orchestra had a screen in front of them showing videos of a Middle English style feast with nobles eating and servers popping in and out. I have to be honest though: it was trippy to have the picture up on the screen and then have the bottom half illuminated enough so you could see the orchestra through the picture. Tres interesante, but still a cool effect.

The concert ended with one of the group's most famous songs, "Carol of the Bells." It was pretty stinkin' awesome, except for the three screens in the background that had corny black-clad dancers. Oh well! This was supposed to be the last song of the night, but of course they did an encore and performed Smirk's favorite, "Silent Night" and now I can't remember the last song. Darn! It was an appropriate ending though.

Sorry this post is so long, but I just wanted to share my excitement and enthusiasm right now while it's fresh in my memory. G'night everyone!

1 comment:

Sarah Roberts said...

Tammy - I'm so jealous! My family and I went to a Mannheim Steamroller concert for Christmas one year and it was fabulous! I love love love their music. I grew up with it and whenever I hear the music, memories come flooding to my mind. Yay for you! What a neat experience!