**First, a note. Please, Minnesotans, quit being so dang boring! When you are at a concert this powerful and amazing, it is only proper that you give some energy back to the band. Clap your hands, wiggle a bit in your seat, tap your toes, anything. Nothing is more difficult for a musician than putting your all into a performance only to have your audience sit in their chairs like black holes of energy suckage. Have you no heart? How could you not be moved to move?!**
Okay, on to the good stuff.
All night at work I had been concerned that I would just be too ill to go to the concert. My head hurt, my throat hurt, I was coughing and sneezing and blowing my nose like crazy. In short, I was miserable.
I kept pumping cold medicine into my system, and by the time I got home from work I felt I would be able to go.
We left at noon so we would have time to get something to eat before the 3pm show. As we moved further into the city, I was struck by how many people must really live in the cities. Things are so crowded! But that is a subject for another post.
We arrived at the City Center, found parking, and took the skyway over to Applebee's in the building across from the Target Center. For those of you not from MN, the skyway is an amazing system of elevated sidewalks in the city that are completely enclosed. This allows us to walk to many places in the city without ever going out in the cold. Pretty darn cool, huh?
Anyway, we ate, then walked across the street to the Target Center. Once inside, we found our seats easily. OH. MY. GOSH. My Mom got us the MOST AMAZING SEATS!!!!! We were just barely above stage level, very close to the stage and off to the side a bit. We could see everything so clearly! It was just amazing. As we were sitting and waiting for the show to start, my heart began to flutter with anticipation. I was so excited. From where we were sitting, I could see some of the crew moving around on stage, making final checks to make sure everything was perfect for the start of the show.
Our timing was perfect. We didn't have to wait very long at all before the show began, and it was just incredible.
When the show began, any lingering discomfort from my cold completely disappeared. They began by running through the songs from the album "Christmas Eve and Other Stories". They tell the story of an angel sent to earth on a mission from God "to find out the worth/ of everything that/ his children had done/ since that winter night/ the birth of His son". The story follows his travels over the earth and all the acts of kindness, hope, and love he observes. Some of my favorite songs are part of this story, the best being "Old City Bar".
Anyway. The music was so powerful, so beautiful, I was in tears through much of this portion of the show. I felt like one of those girls from the old Beatles footage. I just listened in complete awe with tears streaming down my face (goodbye, mascara!). The performers are all amazing, high energy, and so TALENTED!
The light show was fabulous, though we sat close enough to the stage that it was difficult to get the full effect. I was perfectly fine with that, since the trade-off was being able to see, up close and personal, how the musicians interacted with each other. I could see their expressions as they really got into their music. It was amazing. I gotta give kudos to their light and sound techs, because the show looked incredible.
I need to find some more adjectives, I am getting repetitive.
After they finished the story of "Christmas Eve...", the performers were introduced (with a little humor), and they began the second part of the show. This is where they play samples from the other albums and (just one or two) cover songs (with their own spin, of course).
If anything, they intensified the show at this point. It was like a physical force. The children in the audience were bouncing and clapping (so was I), lights and lasers were going at a frantic pace, the musicians were pounding out some of the most amazing music I have ever had the privilege to experience.
Right at the height of the madness, when it seemed that the entire world must be shaking with the power of the music, suddenly it went quiet.
Yup, they blew the power circuit.
The crew were amazing, and had the show back up and running in about 10 minutes. Any of you who have ever done professional music or lighting (even on a small scale, you know who you are), know that this could NOT have been easy. Everything has to be shut down, the problem found and fixed, then everything started back up again. It was all accomplished quickly and without much fuss (that we could see in the audience, though I am sure the air was blue with curses backstage). With a quick and sincere apology, the show began again with just as much power (and more audience involvement) as before.
All too soon, the show was over in a blaze of pyrotechnics, flashing lights, and heart-stopping music.
I was drained. Completely. My head felt stuffed full of cotton, my throat was SO sore from all my screaming and cheering, even my teeth hurt. I hadn't even noticed throughout the show, but I sure felt it after!
The show was so emotionally powerful, so unbelievably touching, I don't know how TSO had the energy to do it again an hour after we left (there was an evening show). Beloved DH suggested we hide out in the bathrooms to try to sneak into the evening show, but I didn't think that was a good idea. I would hate to ruin such a fabulous time by being thrown out by security, you know?
So, we came home with the satisfaction of having seen one of the most amazing musical shows available in today's world by some of the most talented musicians of our time. We got home, sent the Sprouts to bed, and snuggled in ourselves. As I lay there waiting for sleep, I realised I was still smiling. Now THAT is the mark of a wonderful day.