Mannheim Steamroller: Christmas
Wind Creek Event Center - Bethlehem, PA
Over the years, I've seen the Trans-Siberian Orchestra perform in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Texas, but tonight was the first time I had ever been to a Mannheim Steamroller show.
The first half of the show was made up of a selection of compositions from several albums, including Christmas Celebration, Christmas In The Aire, A Fresh Aire Christmas, Fresh Aire III, and Christmas Extraordinaire. My favorite song of the first half was Faeries, which for some reason reminded me of playing Marble Madness in the arcade when I was a kid.
The second half of the show started off with Wonders. Then, Tom Sharpe introduced each member of the group, and they went into a performance of the entire 1984 album - Mannheim Steamroller Christmas, starting with their rendition of Deck The Halls, which has become a standard for radio stations to play during the Christmas season for over 35 years. After they played the original Mannheim Steamroller: Christmas album in its entirety, they played Fum Fum Fum off of the 2015 album Christmas Extraordinaire as an encore to end the show.
There are two separate groups that are touring this holiday season. This show featured the Red Tour Cast, which included Mark Agnor as the orchestral conductor and on violin and recorder, longtime Mannheim Steamroller member Joey Gulizia on a wide variety of percussion instruments and electronic woodwinds, Anna Lackaff on harpsichord and keyboards, Tom Sharpe on drums, Chris Forte on the electric bass guitar, acoustic guitar and lute, and David Plank on piano, keyboard and recorder.