Are you SURE you want to do this?
Gradually the rain lightened to short, sharp showers. By the afternoon of Black Friday pent-up energy needed to be spent…
“Are you SURE you want to do this?” Cal Son asked as he outlined the options. “Peace and quiet at home for a couple of hours – or solid noise and sweaty children?” Bravely, rashly, Boatwif opted for the latter. It was an informed choice though as there had been a previous Skyzone visit some years ago. Toddlers and kids, teens and adults pay to bounce – to bounce on squares, to swing across assault courses, to bounce up to basketball nets, to bounce and avoid the dodge balls. Yes, it was noisy but fun.
Then, come Saturday, (yes, “SURE” we wanted to do this), there was a totally new experience. It involved about a two hour drive north to Ontario, a city east of Los Angeles, for, well, a sound and light extravaganza. Cal Son had bought family tickets for the west coast winter tour of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra back in August, acquiring two more tickets a week or so ago. His briefing notes were very helpful:
- The Toyota Arena has a 10,000+ seating capacity
- It’s a multi-use large space, used for sports events, concerts and as an ice rink
- There will be security and bag checks on entry to the building
- The performance will be loud
- There will be fire and smoke
- There will be Christmas music, but not as previously heard…
- The show involves about a dozen performers but requires a technical crew of 100
- Americans at concerts are inclined to get out of their seats and go and buy some food…
Travel time up to Ontario initially went well – passing untamed terrain, a resort town and the higher mountains topped by snow. There was time for a Panera Bread lunch stop at Corona.
Ten minutes later with most of the audience seated the show began.
Traces of Christmas carols and classical music, revamped, rock-style. (See promotional video here: )
It was sheer visual and aural overload…
But then sheer magic took over – against a tightly timed musical score and in a magnificent bass voice a narrator began to speak. Phillip Brandon with great presence and charisma delivered a Christmas Eve story, largely in verse – an angel had been sent to earth on Christmas Eve to discover the good of humanity.
And when the show was over there was a bare 75 minutes before it would all roll through again for that evening’s performance.
Overnight the rig, stage and equipment were to be dismantled, packed into 20 trucks and driven eastwards to Phoenix, Arizona to set up for two shows before moving on to El Paso in Texas… (The Trans-Siberian Orchestra, with two complete outfits, is playing their 21st Winter Tour concurrently as an East Coast and a West Coast Show. This year there are 110 TSO dates playing in 36 States…)
If the aged parents had been at all uncertain about submitting themselves to a “prog rock” concert there were no regrets: what a sensational experience it was! It was also a first for Cal Guy Jnr – and he enjoyed it too!
Could eyes and ears survive a third day’s assault? Well yes, though the Sunday event was more spectacle than assault. In warm sunshine the local population perched kerb-side waiting for the annual San Marcos Holiday Parade to progress past the San Marcos Number 1 Fire Station along the traffic freed West Mission Road to the Civic Center.
More on that next time…