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JSF Sarasota Resident 40+ Years from Sarasota, Florida
VERY DISAPPOINTING ON MANY LEVELS - BAND & VENUE
We saw Mannheim Steamroller at the Van Wezel 11/17/2018. Venue: Small Seats, uncomfortable, hard to get past people in the rows. I've never seen the Van Wezel look worse. Cables stretched/draped along the top of the entrance doors going back to the console. What an Ugly Site! Performance: No Energy from the band whatsoever. I've never seen such straight faces in a performance before. NO EXPRESSION whatsoever. They looked bored. Pathetic. Sound: Where was the Kick Drum? We don't know, it wasn't in the mix, oh wait, they found it on ONE song, and then it was gone again. There was a string section in their "Orchestra"... couldn't hear them, but there they sat... emotionless, expressionless, not being heard. The center performer, on a riser, the one person who spoke... once, and not so well, was playing some kind of electronic pad thing... it never made a sound. Wasn't in the mix. So Very Disappointing overall. Light show was the best part of it, and that was weak. Show is Outdated.
Bill M. from Riverside, California
THE SPACE SHUTTLE THAT STOLE CHRISTMAS - SONIC BOOM!
I had planned to celebrate this Mannheim Steamroller event for months as a surprise to my wife for Christmas. The evening came. We are seating in the Fox Performing Arts Center - Riverside, CA excited to experience this wonderful group. Before the performers came on stage, we were greeted with an explosive sound from the audio system. We thought, "Okay, they are just have a minor sound check problem". The concert began with an odd NASA Space Shuttle backdrop video; no Christmas music? Hmm,.. okay, the first song from their portfolio began,... BOOM! That sound, again. It's happened every time they performed any of the up tempo songs, BOOM, ...BOOM... It was so loud and forceful you could feel the air blast from the speaker. The pain from the sound was like cannons. The poor musicians we all shock as us. Guests were streaming out the doors. They stopped the performance to fix the problem, but to no avail when they attempted to start. BOOM!! At that point, the concert was over. Our night
Dave Bambaloff from Seattle, Washington
MANNHEIM STEAMROLLER IN SEATTLE - NOT WHAT I EXPECTED
The intro was 10 mins of space and pictures of the Discovery shuttle which hasn't flown since 2011. It was long and really, very uninspiring. This was to simply plug his new CD, "Exotic Spaces". Not buying it. I was watching a cover band. This was Mannheim Steamroller WITHOUT Chip Davis! The sound was terrible. The bass drum and or bass guitar were overdriven a lot. You couldn't see the players in the back nor for that fact, any players in front. They had a jumbo tron but no camera to highlight or show individual performances. And I have a suspicious why that was. There seemed to be a lot of music being played when no one was playing at all! And there were missed notes and stumbles. And to make matters worse, Chip would put in a plug to hock his item via the jumbo tron. Bad taste I thought. Won't go again...Stick to the CD's As for seating, the Paramount could be better. The seats don't stack up to see in front of you.
Mr. Show Critic from Costa Mesa, California
MANN ALIVE! THAT'S WAS TERRIBLE!
The gravity of a traumatic event is often difficult to articulate to those who are unfamiliar with one’s life experiences. I, however, find solace in knowing that I am not alone in my suffering. For I know there have been many others here who have had the misfortune of witnessing the sheer and utter train wreck that is Mannheim Steamroller Christmas. This musical monstrosity, created by Chip Davis, is almost virtuosic in its orchestral incompetence, and irrelevance as an artistic piece. You may find this invective unfair or unwarranted, but please allow me to elaborate. The very idea out of which this show was born was a destined for failure. The show program proudly bills Chip Davis’s unique blend of Renaissance and modern music as, “18th century rock and roll.” Well, let’s first move past the fact that the Renaissance period actually occurred between the 14th and 17th century, and instead indict the ear-twisting amalgam of passé 1980’s synthesizers, flimsy electronic brass sections, harpsichord, lute, dulcimers, and yes, even recorders. The end result is the tonal palette of 1980s T.V. theme song, and musical pieces that sound as if they were written for a forgotten straight-to-video Princess Bride sequel. Secondly, Chip Davis’s tediously bland orchestration and inexplicably frequent use of chimes seem to only be punctuated by irrelevant and dated videos, shameless self-promotion, and pathetic montages of what I assume were the long lost golden years of Mannheim Steamroller. Lastly, and perhaps the most telling, were the use of prerecorded sections throughout the show. Why wouldn’t Chip have live performers for those parts? Why would such a runaway musical phenomenon have trouble attracting talent? Could it be conflicting schedules? Cost Overruns? Lack of musicians talented enough to perform such masterfully written pieces? My guess is that those canaries have long since stopped singing. Whatever the reason for the prerecording might be, they were a blatant reminder of just how cheap and superficial the entire performance felt. After the performance, I felt genuinely shocked that Segerstrom Hall would host such a truly awful show. As a respected stronghold for the arts in Orange County, one might expect an evening at Segerstrom Hall dedicated to the masterworks of Beethoven or Rachmaninoff. However, Mannheim Steamroller stands in contrast as the aural equivalent of a Thomas Kinkade painting. Perhaps even more shocking was the reaction from many in the audience. Rather than a violent horde baying for the blood of Chip and his hideous creation, I witnessed many in the audience who were delighted by the spectacle. I questioned my sanity before finding good company in the negative online reviews (1.5 stars on yelp). So please, if you are planning on attending any future Mannheim Steamroller Christmas performances I beg you to consider donating the money instead to any reputable charity. Together we can spread Christmas cheer by simultaneously helping those in need this season, and ensuring that no one will have to suffer what so many of us have had to endure.
Don Cape from Albany, New York
Worst show ever. Have seen their show many times since the late 80s No special effects , like the horse scene and the renasance scene with stage actors paticipating with movie scene, really neatly done , no special effects, when we saw years back. What has happend to this show?? I have all the old tapes CD's large snow globe with train running around outside of globe. ( still works ) Sorry guys , will not see you again. Your getting old. Retire!
Coloradobuddy from Denver, Colorado
POOR CONCERT, NEVER AGAIN
Stage lacked Christmas decorations, music was okay, but musicians seemed un-interested. Since group has split into two venues, they seem to just want your money. I hope Chip leaves Elyse a large inheritance, she is not going to make a career from singing. I have seen many of their Christmas shows 20+. this one is by far the worst.
Pam from Bourbonnais from Chicago, Illinois
STRANGE AND WEIRD POORLY DONE
Very strange videos ruined beautiful music.. with all the beauty and magic of Christmas.. only a few song’s showed that.. waste of time and money..
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