Sara from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
If you're looking for an over-the-top sensory assault like TSO, this is not the show for you. This is, however, an outstanding concert with top-notch musicians and beautiful renditions of Christmas classics and original compositions.
Ashley from Kenosha, WI
My husband and I, with a few of our friends, went to see the show and weren’t that impressed. I expected it to be more of a Christmas show. They played some Christmas songs, but some I didn’t recognize. The weird NASA video in the very beginning was strange and had nothing to do with Christmas. There were many other weird videos playing behind them on the screen which I felt took away from watching their performance. The videos were old and outdated. It was an ok night, but will probably never pay to see them again. I’ll just stick to listening to their CDs because I enjoy that more than seeing them live, unfortunately.
Robert from Jackson, Mississippi
I was disappointed in the performance. The musicians were ok, but this was billed as a Christmas performance. They only played a few Christmas songs and I am not sure what the other songs were about. The video footage behind the band had little to do with Christmas for most of the show. Very disappointed.
from Providence, Rhode Island
Saw this group in Providence last night. Our first time seeing, we had high expectations based on their reputation. Agree with many above re the head scratching NASA opening, dated video behind during many of the songs, and lack of engagement with the audience. There were a few songs that sounded amazing, and during these the performers seemed much more energized, but during others they had pretty low energy and appeared bored. The violinist was highlight of the show. Also liked some of the lighting affects and the setting--Providence Performing Arts Center--is always beautiful. Glad we went (as always wanted to see them) but would not go again.
S. doherty from Portland, Oregon
I found the severely dated videos/lightshow arrangement to be woefully annoying. Nothing made sense and the quality of the visuals were horrid. It was confusing, as if someone found a stash of unrelated 1980 videos and threw them in for background activity. It's unfortunate as the live music was delightful but between the videos and odd intrusive light show it took away from the musicians and concert. I witnessed other audience members covering their faces with their show programs and hoped nobody was going to be triggered into a seizure by the random flashing lights. My ticket was $65. I hope the producers of this program use some of that money and HIRE a professional artist to update their program and save their reputation/future.
James from Wilmington, Delaware
We were disappointed and left wanting after seeing Mannheim Steamroller at the Grand in Wilmington, Delaware. For those who are expecting a TSO type performance, is was not a close comparison. The quality of the the music was good in a low key type fashion, but the visuals in terms of musician performance and the video backdrops were downright poor. Was expecting much more.
Rapidsrider from Grand Rapids, Michigan
We saw/heard this show in Grand Rapids, MI, leaving at intermission. We were most disappointed. The musicians appeared bored and did not engage with the audience on any level, We found the music artificial, plastic, and "pretend." We have heard Mannheim Steamroller before and have several recordings, but this was just painful to observe and hear. The only bit of relief was the University of Michigan Men's Chorus (we think) which was wonderful, but too brief.
Chris L. Davis from Cleveland, Ohio
WHAT WAS THAT
Last night was my first time to see the band. Was disappointed. What was with the videos that reminded of MTV in when they first came out and scratched my head then said what’s that gotta do with the song. Actually dozed off for a while during the first set. In the beginning of the show the leader announced that Chip’s daughter was going to sing in the second half. Yea she song in a prerecorded video..wtf. I’m glad I didn’t have to pay for the tickets.
C.Ferrer from Cleveland, Ohio
NOT WORTH THE MONEY
The musicians are great, but the absence of Chip Davis and daughter Elyse Davis was a let down (program indicated she was singing a song during the second half, which turned out to be a mix of videos of her performing elsewhere) - definitely not worth the $100+ per ticket we paid, The beginning NASA video felt like we were at the science center, not a Christmas concert, and one song seemed to roll into the next with no connection with the audience.
Don C from Barrington, Illinois
I had high expectations and this show fell short. The volume was low as if there were no speakers. The screen was difficult to see. The show needs a reboot. Everybody near us was saying the same thing. The one redeeming feature were the lights but even that was still so yesteryear. It you saw the show 20 years ago, it not much different now. They are milking this for all they can get without investing in updates.
John Stevenson from Minneapolis, Minnesota
MANHEIM STEAMROLLER - MPLS ORPHEUM
I used to be a big fan. Chip Davis set the tone of self promotion with a lack luster space shuttle and 1970's video. No energy from the performers - great musicians but poorly orchestrated. Should have stayed home
Kelly from New Brunswick, New Jersey
I surprised my mother and daughter with this show...Was My Surprise how let down I was... Hardly a Christmas Celebration ... What was with the old horrible video displays...Not one Xmas decoration on stage.. Very Few Xmas Songs played ...The NASA Intro was NOT a good idea for a Xmas Themed Concert ... I left devastated for wasting my moms time.... That was alot of money for me to dish out for this let down ... :-( The Videos played made it even worse
Barbara Valentim from Charlotte, North Carolina
So disappointing, we were guest of our friends at this event last evening. the Laser show is terrible, quality of the video graphics is awful....I have better picture on my home TV. Why we were paying to watch a video of the singer in Mexico and various cities.....flashing lights in your face.....about 40% Christmas music . the videos of NASA Clips ? why? the whole show was dated......felt like the 70's. bad. bad. bad did not enjoy, would not recommend
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..
John from Denver, Colorado
SEE ALL ABOVE REVIEWS
Unbelievable. So sorry I missed the Nutcracker for this.
Joy Sanford from Dallas, Texas
Venue disappointing. Seats so close together it was like a cheap airplane ride with very uncomfortable seats. Concert was very disappointing. This was their 35th anniversary your, I expected so much more. They need to update their backdrops and movies. They were out of date. Musicians we're good but not anything special. Claps were limited
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