I cannot write much today, for I fear I have been flattened by a cultural juggernaut. Kate’s birthday present from her aunt in Defiance was a ticket to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra Sunday afternoon, in Toledo. Of course we went, too.
Living in a lefty NPR cultural cocoon as I do, these things tend to take me by surprise. Terry Gross keeps me up on the latest interesting lesbian singer-songwriters, but a group that’s sold more tickets than the gross national product of Tanzania? I say, “Oh, is it a Russian thing? Sure, we’ll go.”
Truth be told, I wasn’t quite that ignorant, but I didn’t know much. Christmas. Synthesizers. That’s about it.
(Alan, too. We were eating lunch before he realized this wasn’t Mannheim Steamroller we were about to see.)
Three hours later, having had my hair blown back by something that resembled Emerson, Lake and Palmer meets Disney by way of the Super Bowl halftime show, I can say: Ignorant no more! Lasers, snow, a story hokey enough to embarrass Red Skelton read from the stage, more lasers, acrobatic fiddlin’, hair-flippin’ chick singers, hair-flippin’ male guitarists, a salute to the troops and am I forgetting anything? Oh yeah: FIRE. Tons of fire. And fireworks! The house lights came up in a haze so thick the smoke alarms kept going off, and I have to think someone was keeping the sprinkler system on manual override — otherwise we’d all have been soaked.
I’m no photographer, but one crappy cellphone shot from the cheap seats:
And while I’m sure Dave Weigel would never count them among his beloved prog-rock practitioners, you can’t deny the influence.
Walking out, listening to the chatter, I gathered many in the audience come to this thing every year. Well, the Rockettes can’t go everywhere.
And it was fun.
Otherwise, it was a good weekend. Birthdays — the world an always use a little more cake.
Bloggage? Sure, some:
“What can be worse than to sell your soul and find it not valuable enough to get anything for it?” — Garry Wills on guess-who.
I have nothing to say about Hostess, except that I don’t eat that crap myself. Twinkies. Bleh.
A short week for most of us, I expect. Enjoy it, whatever its length.