The first time

Upon seeing the Winter 2011 Tour visit Manchester this year, I have spent a lot of time, maybe too much time, reflecting on my experiences with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. I can’t help but return to the first time I saw them. It was only their 2nd tour at the time and I couldn’t wait to go see them live. I have copied a list of the 2000 Tour stops from the Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s website. You will notice the number of dates, and the size of the venues, has grown exponentially since 2000.

2000 Tour

  • Dec. 1st – WILKES BARRE, PA (Kilby Theater)
  • Dec. 2nd – WILKES BARRE, PA (Kilby Theater)
  • Dec. 2nd – KANSAS CITY, MO (Memorial Hall)
  • Dec. 3rd – MINNEAPOLIS, MN (North Rop)
  • Dec. 3rd – CLEVELAND, OH (Palace Theater Playhouse)
  • Dec. 4th – CLEVELAND, OH (Palace Theater Playhouse)
  • Dec. 4th – GREEN BAY, WI (Vets Memorial)
  • Dec. 5th – CLEVELAND, OH (Palace Theatre)
  • Dec. 5th – MILWAUKEE, WI (Riverside)
  • Dec. 6th – CLEVELAND, OH (Palace Theatre)
  • Dec. 7th – COLORADO SPRINGS, CO (Pike Peak)
  • Dec. 8th – DENVER, CO (Magness)
  • Dec. 8th – ALBANY, NY (Palace Theater)
  • Dec. 9th – HARRISBURG, PA (Zembo Mosque)
  • Dec. 10th – DAYTON, OH (Memorial Hall)
  • Dec. 11th – GRAND RAPIDS, MI (Devos Hall)
  • Dec. 12th – PORTLAND, OR (Schwitzer Concert Hall)
  • Dec. 12th – DETROIT, MI (The Opera House)
  • Dec. 13th – SEATTLE, WA (Paramount)
  • Dec. 13th – ST LOUIS, MO (Pagent Theater)
  • Dec. 15th – AKRON, OH (Civic Theater)
  • Dec. 16th – PHILADELPHIA, PA (Tower Theater)
  • Dec. 17th – PROVIDENCE, RI (Perf Arts Center)
  • Dec. 17th – PHOENIX, AZ (Webb Theatre)
  • Dec. 18th – NORFOLK, VA (Chrysler Hall)
  • Dec. 18th – EL PASO, TX (Convention Center Hall)
  • Dec. 19th – AKRON, OH (EJ Thomas Hall)
  • Dec. 19th – Ft WORTH, TX (Bronco Bowl)
  • Dec. 20th – HOUSTON, TX (Aerial Theater)
  • Dec. 21st – BOSTON, MA (Orpheum Theater)
  • Dec. 22nd – TAMPA, FL (Mahaffrey Theater)
  • Dec. 22nd – WASHINGTON, DC (Constitution Hall)
  • Dec. 23rd – NEW YORK, NY (Beacon Theatre)
  • Dec. 23rd – ATLANTA, GA (The Tabernacle)

I have selected the two dates I went to see them in my first of twelve years attending their shows. December 8th, 2000 will always be my first. My competitive side wishes I had known more about them in 1999 because I would be able to say I have seen them on every single Winter Tour. One has to start somewhere though, and I am glad I did. December 8th is also my mother’s birthday so this was a special day already.

I first heard Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24 on WAAF, a Boston radio station. I immediately fell in love. In my life long pursuit of the best, well performed, Christmas songs, TSO’s signature song catapulted onto my list. I remember calling the station and requesting the song once I had heard it. Then it was a rush to the store to buy the CD’s. I listened. I shared. I listened some more. I read the stories. I read the lyrics. I fell in love with this crazy band I’d never seen, called the what? The Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

Once in a while this happens. I will be writing a paragraph and a rhythm to the writing just kicks in. That just happened here in this post so I have replaced the next paragraph with a poem that emerged instead. I hope this will do justice to where I was as a person and the way I felt as I started my relationship with TSO.

Where did these guys come from and how did they know?
That I wasn’t in the right place, though I knew where to go
My path was missing something and I knew it was all wrong
When all of a sudden direction showed up in the form of a song
Nobody that I knew had played Christmas songs in this manner before
Wow! It was so beautiful. I had only an idea of what was in store
I couldn’t dismiss the shrill of those guitars, so sharp like a knife
Shredding all the familiar notes of the songs I’d loved my whole life
My emotions balanced on every note, each one brought me closer to peace
The artist held me in limbo; his fingers played with a master’s ease
Holding me there, waiting, for the note I knew was coming next
Without fail the note is played perfect, always better than I expect
The sounds are so timely, so crisp, so pure and unrefined                                
Etching new meaning to the words that always play in my mind
I feel these emotions; they’ve been building since I was a boy
It’s undeniable, overwhelming, it’s pure Christmas joy
As the tunes grew on me I started to focus on each word
Somehow I still managed to avoid all the truths I had heard
I took daily struggles and somehow turned them to years
I caused myself and others so many unnecessary tears
The music accompanied me everywhere I would go
And though I wandered all over, I never missed a show
God’s grace followed me though I made it a most difficult task
I always knew, but ignored, to get help I need only just ask
A few years were damaged and I hope not all was waste
Eventually I made my way from that dark and lonely place
I keep these memories close to me as tough as they are
It wouldn’t be healing if I didn’t make time to recognize the scar
And it wouldn’t be learning if I was to somehow forget
The lessons I have learned and I am not done yet
Though the words are familiar they still offer a welcome surprise
Every time I am lucky enough to see TSO live

I am not sure where that all came from but I am glad it came out the way it did. Maybe it’s more information than anyone needs to know, although it is a very real perspective to me. I know that no matter where I was, or what I was doing, I would still enjoy TSO and their music. It all has a much deeper meaning to me, knowing the path I have traveled since I saw them the first time.

3 responses to “The first time

  1. Pingback: Sunday Series – Inside the first time | 1inawesomewonder

  2. Pingback: Thanks #24 (Trans-Siberian Orchestra) | 1inawesomewonder

  3. Pingback: TSO – Chris Caffery Friday | 1inawesomewonder

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