Christmas, Up to 11

Taking a break from the ornaments to give a quick run down on yesterday’s Super Fantastic Family Christmas Celebration.

It was September when MQD bought tickets to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.  So we had been looking forward to this afternoon for a long time.  We got dressed up in our Christmas gear. 

Snowman outfit for Emily. New Christmas tie for MQD.

Red feather headband for me.

I was hellbent on this being a Fancy Good Time.  I wore heels for fuck’s sake.

I really don't need to remind you that I am 34 weeks pregnant, do I?

If you’re not familiar with TSO they are a progressive metal band formed in the early 90’s.  Think rock opera meets epic Christmas music.  Add some pyrotechnics and a LOT of hair flipping and some girls in glittery cat suits and a light show.  And then turn it up.  In between the face melting guitar riffs and the explosions and the lights and the super fantastic vocals add in…. about two and a half hours of what feels like a strange Christmas special on a cruise ship.  Or a fundraiser for public television?

Yeah.  That was probably not where you thought I was going with that, huh?  It wasn’t exactly what I expected, either.

But don’t get me wrong. My face was melted.  Angus Clark spins his hair while playing what looks like a Flying V (upon googling I find it is a Japanese made Jackson Randy Rhoads, but you get my point.)  From a hundred yards away it is a sparkling V shaped guitar being ravaged by a man that belongs in Pantene commercials.

Chris Caffery, their front man, made me feel a little bit like a 12 year old me had I had the chance to see Sebastian Bach in his Skid Row days.  He was pretty, even from a distance.  His hair spinning is unrivaled and his vocals make you want to simultaneously drive too fast and make out.  Bang your head and slow dance.  It’s that beautiful place where glam metal and real music meet.

And Roddy Chong is incredible.  My two years in the elementary school orchestra never taught me to play violin while running back and forth across a catwalk suspended from the ceiling.

Image Courtesy of

And the lasers.  The LASERS.  Until Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon Lasershow tours at Christmastime it is the only laser show you are gonna get to take your family to see in lieu of the Nutcracker or The Rockettes.

There was fire.  Tons of fire.  And big, huge teeth-like stage apparatus shooting that fire with screens above it featuring menacing creepy red eyeballs. At one point there was a thousand marching nutcrackers, over 30 feet tall, made out of a million tiny red points of light.  And lasers going everywhere.  And that ruled.  Emily said later “This was the best day I have ever had in my whole LIFE!”  This was after telling me that “kind of a lot of live real rock stars have long hair, Mom.”

I asked her why it was the best day of her life, considering she had cried through about the first twenty minutes because it was too loud, even with ear plugs.  And she cried for about ten minutes in the middle, because she really had to pee and I mistakenly thought eventually there would be an intermission.  “I have never been that scared of anything in my life” was her reason.    Fair enough.

But in between the face melting guitar and the fire… it was like that moment on a cruise ship where you wonder if you are drunk or bored.  But you know you kind of want to take a nap.  There is talent.  And spectacle.  But you’ve just had a huge meal and forty five drinks and you start to wonder how long this show lasts.  But you’re really glad you came.  Really.  You are.

Like so many things that MQD and I have done together we sat back on the couch last night, laughing.  I said “We can add that to the list of things I don’t think we need to do again, but I am really glad we did.”

How are you celebrating Christmas with your family?  I hope it melts your face.

4 responses to “Christmas, Up to 11

  1. Pingback: Simply Red | Excitement on the side

  2. Shannon, I was at risk of peeing my pants on a dozen separate occasions.

  3. Ha! Mark planned a date night years ago before we had kids and told me we were going to see a Christmas orchestra show. I had NO idea who TSO was and evidently neither did he. We both got dressed up and went to the theater and I kept looking at the mullets and leather jackets walking down the street and I was thinking “they aren’t going to the orchestra, are they?” Well, when the lights went off and the show started, I about fell out of my seat from jumping so high from the noise. Then when the head banging started I started laughing so hard I was crying and I just couldn’t stop. Then it got worse when Mark got mad at me from my inability to pull it together and asked if I just wanted to leave. That combined with the stink eye I was getting from the other concert goers just made me laugh harder. It turned out to be a great time, just for the sheer comedic effect. My stomach hurt the next day. Mark hasn’t been in charge of many date night since…

  4. I got kind of scared just reading about it. Your description was so lifelike and entertaining I feel like I don’t ever need to experience it in real life and I’m sorta happy about that.

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