Daily Archives: December 22, 2021

We Got TSO’d

Since nothing much happened today, I thought I’d repost where we were 4 years ago tonight.

Our attending the Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert got off to a very bumpy star today. In fact for a while it looked like we wouldn’t even be able to go.

During the night I remember just turning over and getting very dizzy for a few minutes. Then when I got up around 10:30 I was very dizzy and nauseated. I told Jan if I didn’t get to feeling better I didn’t think I would be able to go, so I went back to bed.

But when I woke up at 1:40, I felt much better, not dizzy or nauseated, but just a little washed-out. So we were out the door by 2pm,  heading for the Toyota Convention Center in the downtown Houston.

We made really good time, and were at the parking garage about 2:35 and got in the line to enter the garage, where we had already paid for parking. And 30 minutes later we had moved one whole block. The problem was that unlike the location where we got in line with police directing us, there were no cops at the first corner. So you had cars coming from three different directions all trying to get in the line, which led to complete gridlock, with no one moving for minutes at a time.

I was hoping that when we finally made the left turn onto the next street we see would the ‘Yellow’ entrance. But no luck. The line just wrapped around the next corner at the end of the block.

At this point I noticed that, out of the blue, my truck started overheating, so we pulled out of the line and looked for another place to park, maybe one of the many private lots nearby.

We finally found one about 4 blocks away and started walking back toward the Center, finally getting here about 3:30, which is when the performance was scheduled to begin. But there was still one more problem.

We had great floor seats, but we didn’t realize that the arena floor was about 30 feet below ground level with those steep stairs leading down.

Jan doesn’t do steep stairs in the dark very well, but by the time we realized it, we were stuck in line and not able to turn around and look for an elevator.

But finally we were on the floor and in our seats which lucky for us were on the end of the row.

I guess due to all the parking problems they didn’t start the concert until 3:45, about 15 minutes late, so we only missed the first couple of songs, though we heard them coming down the stairs.






TSO 10

TSO 11

TSO 12

it’s been a while since we’ve been to a major concert like this, so the advancements in laser effects was amazing. I figure if they group all these lasers together, they could probably shoot down one of those North Korean ICBM’s that Little Rocket Man keeps lofting.

The first 90 minutes of the show is built around a movie shown on the multiple large screens about a young girl runaway who seeks shelter from the weather in an old abandoned theater.

Watched over by the old caretaker, played by Ossie Davis, the girl is shown dreams of her life, past and future. Interspersed with TSO’s amazing Christmas music and theater effect, the story ends with the girl finding money and a bus ticket in her notebook, and running out the theater to go back home. A real tear jerker.

The last hour of the show was mostly music and lights from some of their other rock opera presentations, like Beethoven’s Last Night, Night Castle, and Dreams of Fireflies.

And you thought they only did Christmas music. What do you think they do the rest of the year?

The staging of the show was just amazing with more movement than you can imagine. Everything tilted, turned, raised, lowered, swung, and spouted flames. There was also fog, glitter bombs, and giant sparklers 10 feet high.

In between the two segments they talked about the staging. The unit travels with 15 Prevost motorcoaches, 13 semi’s, and about 100 people. And this is just the West Coast unit. There is another identical troupe that does the East Coast.

The MC said that at their first date this season, in Omaha, NB, about 6 weeks ago, the crew spent 30 days doing the initial setup and fine turning.

Now they do it in 7 hours.

One funny is that TSO doesn’t actually travel with an orchestra as such. TSO’s performers are the band members, drums, keyboards, piano, guitar and bass guitar, and the violin. Plus about 10 female singer/dancers.

The orchestra, about 15 musicians, horns, saxes, flutes, etc. is recruited locally ahead of time at each location.

Coming home from the TSO concert we had no more overheating problems, probably because it was a lot cooler and we weren’t sitting still in traffic.

But when we stopped for our planned dinner at the Longhorn Steakhouse I could smell antifreeze over the hot engine, so I’ve got a leak somewhere that I’ll have to check out.

Dinner at Longhorn was great, the perfect end to a nice day that started off so rocky. We both started off with salads, Jan with her standard salad,

Longhorn Salad 3

while I got the Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese and Bacon. But while most wedge salads are made with a ‘wedge’ of iceberg lettuce, Longhorn’s is made from stalks of romaine lettuce.

Jan would have gotten the Wedge Salad, but doesn’t like romaine.

Longhorn Wedge Salad

Really good and crunchy.

Jan always gets the New York Strip which Longhorn does perfectly for her, somewhere between Med-Well and Medium, pink with no juice.

Longhorn New York Strip Katy

I, of course always get the Ribeye, Med-Rare, and again done perfectly.

Longhorn Ribeye Webster

Afterwards we spent about an hour just stilling and talking about the concert, before getting home a little before 10pm.

Though off to a rocky start, it turned out to be a very nice day.

Thought for the Day:

A conscience is what hurts when all your other parts feel so good.