December 2, 2000
Kansas City, MO
TSO West kicked off with their Kansas City show last night. Funny thing happened on the way to the forum, lol. We had tickets as bad as they could get, top row, top balcony. I went down to the rail to see if I would be able to get good pictures from up there with the zoom and decided it was ok. When I went back up to where the wife and daughter were, there was this guy talking to them with long hair and leather jacket. I didn't recognize who it was until he signed the back of a pass. Paul O'Neil had just given my wife two tickets for the floor seating! In all the pictures that I've seen of him he had a beard. The wife decided to let me and the daughter have the tix so we made are way down just as the concert was starting. We ended up standing in the back the whole time anyway so I would be free to take pictures.
The only ones in the band I recognized were Johnny Lee and Tom Faresse. (Having Tom there more than made up for the lack of Savatage members) They had another male vocalist that sang most of the songs that Tom didn't on the cd's and two female backups. The guitarist were adequate for the most part. I noticed them skipping notes on the faster runs on Sarajevo 12/24 and flight of the Bumble Bee, but also heard them add their own riffs on a couple of songs that sounded good.
The Set List goes something like this:
They went straight thru Christmas Eve and Other Stories, INCLUDING narration with the exception of the songs Star To Follow and the postscript songs.
After Chrismas Eve they did a few from Christmas Attic. Unfortunately they didn't do Music Box Blues. I'm not that familiar with Christmas Attic to remember which songs they did.
Then they did some from BLN, I can't find the CD to tell you what they are called on it, but the songs were Ode to Joy, Flight of the Bumble Bee and the 5th, Requiem.
They also did the Whoville Medley with Jon's voice sampled.
They ended with an encore of Sarajevo 12/24.
Total time was about 2 hours.
Many other interesting things happened that night. People kept asking who I was taking pictures for. I said for me, but was planning on posting them on the Savatage site. I took about 60 pictures. Paul came up and gave me a photo pass to get closer to the stage. That was nice, but with the equipment I have I didn't really need it.
When they did curtain call, Paul was up in the top balcony again visiting fan and missed it. After two more songs he finally made it onstage.
The funniest thing that happened to me was that afterwards, people kept mistaking me for Paul!!! I guess the long hair and leather blazer contributed to that.
Tom and Paul were out in the lobby afterwards signing autographs, Johnny didn't make it that far before being surrounded.
To sum it all up, it was everything I hoped for and more. My first experience live with TSO/Savatage, and a night I will always remember.