December Fridays 2018
Friday 12/21/2018 3:30 PM & 8:00 PM
This annual holiday traditional tour moves TSO into Houston's Toyata Center with two performances. The orchestra has been doing this for 20-years now.
TSO is excited to celebrate 20 years on the road this winter with an all-new production of ‘The Ghosts of Christmas Eve’ featuring the Best of TSO and more!!
It all started with an idea:
When the late Paul O'Neill first conceived Trans-Siberian Orchestra, his goal was as straightforward as it was incredibly ambitious. "The whole idea," he explains, "was to create a progressive rock band that would push the boundaries (of the genre) further than any group before... Way, way further."
With more than 10 million albums sold, TSO has inspired generations of fans to rediscover the multi-dimensional art form of the rock opera. Meanwhile, on the road, they have become one of the world's top acts, with Billboard magazine naming TSO as one of the top touring artists of the past decade -- a $20 million-plus production that has played to over 100 million people in 80+ cities, selling more than $280 million worth of tickets and presenting $11 million to charity.
O'Neill, a New York City native grew up, "with a wide-ranging world of (rock) musical influences." But, O'Neill also soaked up sources such as Broadway musicals, Motown and singer-songwriters such as Jim Croce and Harry Chapin, while authors such as Oscar Wilde and Robert Graves fueled his literary tastes. He began his career playing guitar for touring productions of Jesus Christ Superstar and Hair, then went to work in the late '70s for Leber-Krebs Inc., the Manhattan management company whose clients included Aerosmith, Ted Nugent, AC/DC, Def Leppard, the Scorpions, the New York Dolls, and scores of others. In the '80s, O'Neill became a major concert promoter in Japan as well, but returned to the States to start writing and producing full-time.
O'Neill helmed Aerosmith's Classics Live I and Classics Live II albums before beginning a fortuitous relationship with the band Savatage that led to conceptual pieces such as Hall Of The Mountain King, Gutter Ballet, Streets: A Rock Opera and Dead Winter Dead. Producing introduced O'Neill to Jon Oliva, Bob Kinkel and Al Pitrelli, as well as reconnecting him with legendary studio engineer Dave Wittman, who all became key original collaborators in O'Neill's grand vision - Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
"My original concept was that we were going to do six rock operas, a trilogy about Christmas and maybe one or two regular albums."
"I wanted to take the very best of all the forms of music I grew up on and merge them into a new style," O'Neill says. "Basically I was building on the work of everybody I worshiped: the rock opera parts from bands like the Who; the marriage of classical and rock from bands like Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Queen; the over-the-top light show from bands like Pink Floyd... I always wanted to do a full rock opera with a full progressive band and at least 18 lead singers."
O'Neill took the idea to Atlantic Records which, to his surprise, went for it and financed the creation of Romanov, which was initially to be TSO's first release. "We were very fortunate," he says. "It was one of the only labels left that still did an 'old school' kind of artist development. My original concept was that we were going to do six rock operas, a trilogy about Christmas and maybe one or two regular albums."
However, when Romanov got temporarily put on the back burner, the first installment of the Christmas trilogy, Christmas Eve and Other Stories became TSO's debut album. Fueled by the socially conscious single "Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24," the album was certified double platinum. More platinum certifications followed with 1998's The Christmas Attic, and the final installment of the Christmas trilogy, The Lost Christmas Eve in 2004. In the midst of completing the trilogy, TSO released their first non-holiday rock opera, the gold certified Beethoven's Last Night.
But TSO really cemented its following in concert. The group hit the road in 1999, beginning an annual November-December extravaganza that O'Neill takes pride in being, "as over the top as we can make it. We have, two stages --with pyro, light and lasers-- on both sides of the arena, as well as in the crowd and the best sound we can find... There's no second-class seats at a Trans-Siberian Orchestra show. I want people to walk out of our shows speechless and still not believing what they have seen was possible."
TSO's latest album, Night Castle, released in October of 2009 debuted at #5 and was certified gold by year's end. A sweeping two-discs of genre-bending epics, Night Castle is an affecting story that takes the listener around the world, through time and to points beyond. O'Neill and company will eventually give Night Castle its due in a live setting just as they have Beethoven's Last Night in spring '10 with a new hybrid form of concert they called "Rock Theatre"-- just one of many multi-media avenues TSO will be exploring in the near future...
"We spend a lot of time planning," O'Neill confesses with a laugh, "and people are always telling me, 'Paul, stop writing and start recording!' It's working out great, though. I feel lucky that it's gone this long and that we get to do what we love for a living. The arts have incredible power, and with that comes incredible responsibility. Someone once said that if you want to change the world, don't become a politician -- write a book, write a great song. I believe in that, and that's what Trans-Siberian Orchestra is about."
"I've always believed that music has the power to transport and transform," O'Neill explained. "The original concept of Trans-Siberian Orchestra was how to make music have the most emotional impact. We always try to write melodies that are so infectious they don't need lyrics and lyrics so poetic that they don't need a melody, but when you combine the two together they create an alloy where the sum of the parts is greater than the whole. Once those songs are woven together into a tapestry they create a story which gives each song a third dimension."
"That was so much in the spirit of Trans-Siberian Orchestra," O'Neill explains. "This is a group --a constantly morphing group-- of extremely creative and talented individuals who are always trying to raise the bar of where a band can take its audience sonically, visually and emotionally. With that as our core ideal, the possibilities are endless."
@The Heights Theatre
Friday 12/21/2018 8:00 PM
With a recording career that has spanned more than 20 years, Jack Ingram has maintained a reputation for uncompromising, personally charged song craft and energetic, charismatic performances, earning him prominent stature in a prestigious tradition of iconoclastic singer-songwriters. It’s what we can expect this weekend (December 21, 2018) at The Heights Theatre. Ingram’s prior work has won him a fiercely devoted fan base as well as reams of critical acclaim, and now Midnight Motel marks a creative milestone for the veteran artist, his sound ever evolving while showcasing some of his most expressive, emotionally raw songwriting to date.
Ingram made Midnight Motel independently to avoid outside influences and have creative freedom to write and record. “It was really important to me at this point in my life to avoid thinking about any commercial decisions about the music,” explains Ingram. “Every night after my kids went to bed, I’d go into my music room and stay in there until about three or four, just working out the songs like I did at the beginning of my career. Or while on the road, sit up late at night writing in motel rooms. I wanted to bring people into that space with me.”
And so, Midnight Motel turned into an album that is as real and honest as it could be. “Signing with Rounder Records to release this album was a perfect fit because of their expertise and love for good music, no matter the genre,” Ingram says.
His eighth studio album, and his first since his 2009 smash Big Dreams & High Hopes, Midnight Motel features spare, stripped-down instrumental arrangements that highlight the intimacy and urgency of such new originals as “I’m Drinking Through It,” “Nothing to Fix,” “Can’t Get Any Better Than This,” and “All Over Again.” The album’s organic late-night vibe is perfectly suited to the material and brings out the emotional edge in Ingram’s deeply felt vocals.
The creators of Shen Yun have been saying for years the government of China has to put it mildly frowned on their continuing to present these performances. But this annual dance spectacle is worth an outing to see. Its this weekend (December 28, 2018) at Jones Hall downtown Houston.
Through the universal language of music and dance, Shen Yun weaves a wondrous tapestry of heavenly realms, ancient legends, and modern heroic tales, taking you on a journey through 5,000 years of Chinese culture. Its stunning beauty and tremendous energy leave audiences uplifted and inspired.
@Revention Music Center
Friday 12/14/2018 8:00 PM
6lack's music focuses and at times is based on personal and business relationships frequently, especially the topic of heartbreak. 6lack has said that his songwriting is influenced mainly by his personal experiences and failed relationships. Billboard has described 6lack's music as "moody hip hop" that "spotlights vulnerability and honesty in a way the emoji generation can understand." 6lack has cited Sade, T-Pain, The-Dream and Usher as his influences.
6lack is currently signed to Love Renaissance and Interscope Records. He then went on to release his debut studio album, Free 6lack, which peaked at number 34 on the Billboard 200 chart. The album's single "Prblms" peaked at number 73 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and became his first platinum record.
On that album cover feature 6lack with a big bear, contributor,Jacob Moore of Pigeons and Planes asked the singer/songwriter how that came about. "It’s crazy because we knew we wanted the bear for the ["Prblms"] video shoot. We didn’t know it would be the cover. It was like, we’ve got a bear here, we’ve been trying to figure out the cover, and it was just the perfect opportunity. Right on the set, we were like, “Let’s get the album cover.”
"To get the bear was easy. To actually get the bear to do what I needed him to do, that was a whole different story. The first day, the first six hours were dedicated solely to the bear walking in the room and looking around. Everyone was kind of holding their breath, hoping the bear would do what it was supposed to do. You can't make a bear do anything."
In April, he released the single "OTW" with Khalid and Ty Dolla Sign, which has reached at number 57 on the Billboard Hot 100. In September, 6lack released his second studio album, East Atlanta Love Letter, featuring guest appearances from Future, J. Cole, Offset and Khalid. The album's release was preceded by the singles "Switch" and "Nonchalant."
6lack launched a worldwide tour with Tierra Whack and Boogie making their way to Houston's Revention Music Center this weekend.
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