Trans-Siberian Orchestra

The Trans-Siberian Orchestra, as Wikipedia puts it, is a progressive rock band formed in 1996.  They tour mainly around the holiday season and do rock interpretations of classic opera and holiday songs.  I first heard of them during the holiday season in 2008 while I was listening to the radio when I was working as an automotive test driver in Southern California.  This year, I wanted to see them live since I’ve heard that they put on a really good show.

Due to its isolation in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, it’s uncommon for musical acts to come to Hawaii.  I saw them in Toronto since they were going to be performing at the Air Canada Centre.

After arriving in Toronto, I took the TTC to downtown and walked to my hotel.  It was a rustic hotel on Sherbourne St.  It worked for me since it was cheap and didn’t plan on spending much time there anyway.

A few days before the show, I met up with my friend Armando, an old childhood friend from Mexico City, who is now living in Toronto with his wife.  We met up at Jack Astor’s Bar and Grill at Yonge and Dundas St for food and drinks.  I equate Jack Astor’s in Canada to Chili’s in the USA.  It’s not a bad place, but nothing to write home about.

I hadn’t seen Armando since 1993 when he came to visit my family and I in Miami.  I was a bit nervous about meeting up with him after so long because I’ve found that most people change over time.  I’ve definitely changed, so I wasn’t sure if a friendship with him was still going to work.  But I must say that it was a nice reunion.  I was nice to see him and catch up and reminisce on the days when we tormented everything and everyone around us.  His wife is a lovely lady with a nice, open-minded personality.

The show put on by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra(TSO) was the first concert I attended since 2010.  The last concert prior to this one was when I went with my friend Elvis to see the group ‘We Are The Fallen’ at Sound Academy.  Though I think that venue is now known as Rebel.  My friend Karan went with me to see TSO.  I asked several people to come to the show but he’s the only one who said yes.  It’s their loss because it was a great show.

Karan is one of the very first people I met in Toronto when I first moved there in 2009.  One of my most interesting memories of him is from when we first met and we sat on the sidewalk up against a building on Church St and just talked for about an hour.  We didn’t go to a coffee shop or a bar.  We just sat on the sidewalk and against a building.  Weird I know, but I love it.  He also came to visit me in Hawaii after I started working there.

Before the show, I went over to his condo to pick him up.  He has impeccable taste in home decor and has a nice view of downtown Toronto from his balcony.  Over a glass of wine, we talked and caught each other up on what was going on in our lives.  I also filled him in on who exactly the Trans Siberian Orchestra was since he’d actually never heard of them.

When we got to the Air Canada Centre, the security staff requested that I check my Zuiko 35-100mm F2 lens.  As it turns out, they have a focal limit of 75mm in the stadium.  Whatever.  The joke is on them because my camera has a crop sensor; which means that the M.Zuiko 75mm F1.8 lens that I used during the show has a field of view equivalence of 150mm on most other cameras.

The seats I got were pretty good.  They weren’t so close to the band that the peformance would have been deafening, but not so far that I would have needed binoculars to enjoy it.

The Trans-Siberian Orchestra put on a fantastic show.  Over the years, I’ve seen a number of concerts.  I’ve seen Evanescence, Lifehouse, The Fray, Korn, Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, and We Are the Fallen.  None of those groups put on a show as good as TSO.  It was easily the best concert I’ve been to.

Toward the ending, all I could think of is how much I love life and how much I didn’t want the night to end.  Karan enjoyed the show too.  He’s a great guy.  We talked about possibly seeing TSO again next year as well as the possibility of being travel partners on future trips.

I do not own the rights to the video clip below.  But it is a short fan video of the ending of the show I was at.

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