The LeSabre

Rock and Roll Christmas Spectacular

Here+is+the+cover+for+this+years+RRXS+edited+with+a+Christmas+tree+to+get+into+the+holiday+spirit%21
Here is the cover for this years RRXS edited with a Christmas tree to get into the holiday spirit!

Here is the cover for this years RRXS edited with a Christmas tree to get into the holiday spirit!

editied by Hannah Kosloski

editied by Hannah Kosloski

Here is the cover for this years RRXS edited with a Christmas tree to get into the holiday spirit!

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Over break, the weekend before Christmas, I had the wondrous opportunity to see the most delightful show at the Pioneer Place: The Rock and Roll Christmas Spectacular. This show is nothing like you’ve seen before… it’s a combination of old-as-time Christmas carols and hard 80’s rock and roll. Just imagine Gene Simmons singing “Deck the Halls”. That might give you an idea.

This was my first time seeing the Rock and Roll Christmas Spectacular show (RRXS), and I only somewhat knew what I was getting into. My parents have made it a tradition to watch this performance over the years, and they had shared a little information with me. But their description was nothing close to how great the show was.

Before I dive into the actual show, here’s a little background on the group. This band is a group of eight performers: Billy Thommes on drums, Mike Zeleny on the bass, flutist/saxophonist Mike Kritzer, and Stacy Bauer, Pamela McNeill, Ted Manderfeld and Paul “Stretch” Diethelm on vocals. The original gig was started by vocalists Ted Maderfeld and Paul Diethelm, and they have expanded the band since.

All of the band members are also involved with other musical gigs around the state… or the nation! You can read more about the producers and the band members here.

The actual RRXS show has been performing at the Pioneer Place in downtown St. Cloud for a while, but they recently moved their show to the Paramount. Probably a smart business move too, since almost every show was sold out!

This year’s show started off with a parody conversation between a lawyer and the band about the use of the word “spectacular.” It was a super interesting start to the show that dived into the group’s sarcastic humor, and their use of parody music. As the show continued on, the group just kept throwing on the rock and roll! They used some of the pieces they’ve done for years like “These Boots are Made for Walking” and a “Jingle Bells” parody, but they also opened up a new piece for the year: “Santa Claus is Back in Town” to the tune of “The Boys are Back in Town.” My favorite part of the show was when the band all sat together at the front of the stage to show their writing process. Each member of the band went around and told a story and sang part of a piece that “should never see the light of day.” I personally think that those songs should be brought to light though because I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard. My favorite practice piece that they performed was a parody of “Sweet Emotion” by Aerosmith…. it was all about sweet potatoes and other bad Christmas foods. I think I laughed for 10 minutes about that song.

The show wrapped up with a finale that is linked in the video above! However, they all came back on for a curtain call and an encore with a final parody of “I Wanna Rock and Roll All Night” by Kiss about decking the halls (the song is also in the video above)! During the final song, giant balloons fell from the sky with RRXS labeled on them, and there were bursts of confetti! Stacy Bauer, the main singer on the final song, also came out in a full face of makeup and a costume to look like Gene Simmons! TALK ABOUT WILD!

Overall, I was so pumped about this show. As we streamed out of the auditorium, I ran up to the booth and bought a CD that I listened to on the way home. The show was such a unique collaboration between these artists that brought an amazing twist to music. This is a show that I will definitely go see next year and highly encourage anyone else to go see. ROCK ON!

 

You can read more about the show on their website here!

You can also view concert posters here!

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