The Wizards of Winter Bring the Magic of Winter to Ridgefield, Connecticut

RidgefieldPlayhouse

It’s not often you get to see a rock concert in Ridgefield, Connecticut, but last Wednesday I got to witness what was called “the best show the Ridgefield Playhouse has ever had.”

WizardsOfWinter

For those not familiar with the Ridgefield Playhouse, it is a fantastic not for profit venue that features local acts and also pulls in pretty big names on a regular basis. They are celebrating 15 years of operation, and have had such acts in the past as Brian Wilson, Gregg Allman, The Doobie Brothers, Joan Baez, Dana Carvey, Jackie Mason, Sarah Silverman, Sinbad, and the list goes on and on. I also grew up right in and around Ridgefield, so it’s really cool to see such a place right here.

WizardsOfWinter

I didn’t know of the Wizards of Winter before hearing about this show, but I quickly got excited as I’ve always wanted to but have never seen Trans-Siberian Orchestra before. The Wizards of Winter are by no means a TSO tribute band; they are actually an original band just similarly themed around Christmas and winter. However, a couple of the singers in WoW are from TSO, and WoW’s live set consists of a handful of TSO songs peppered throughout their original material. Their full time bassist Steve Ratchen had to sit out this leg of the tour, so filling in was Greg Smith, known for playing with Ted Nugent and just having a huge and impressive resume in general.

The show consisted of 2 1-hour long sets separated by an intermission and, as all good rock concerts have, an encore and a meet-and-greet in the lobby afterwards. I enjoyed the show immensely.  The composition and execution were top notch, the energy was through the roof, and the set and lighting lent an ambiance to wrap it all up nicely.

WizardsOfWinter

In addition to being master composers and highly technical musicians, The Wizards of Winter are also big supporters of our military. At the start of the second act, when they were introducing the band, keyboardist and lead composer Scott Kelly called for a round of applause in support of all our actives and reserves. He also announced that a portion of the proceeds from their song “March of the Metal Soldiers” goes to benefit The Wounded Warrior Project, and also any active duty in the crowd could claim a free CD at the merch table.

Let’s explore the show through some photos.  To view the full photo gallery on Facebook, click here.

 

Calm before the storm

Calm before the storm

WizardsOfWinter

The adventure begins…

Fred Gorhau on lead guitar

Fred Gorhau on lead guitar

Scott Kelly, lead composer and keyboards

Scott Kelly, lead composer and keyboards

T.W. Durfy, lead guitar

T.W. Durfy, lead guitar

The gang's all here, but as you can see the drummer is suffering from "everyone's standing in front of me" syndrome. This is common for drummers.

The gang’s all here, but as you can see the drummer is suffering from “everyone’s standing in front of me” syndrome. This is common for drummers.

Drummer's retribution! Here is drummer Tommy Ference up close with vocalist Vinny Jiovino

Drummer’s retribution! Here is drummer Tommy Ference up close with vocalist Vinny Jiovino

My fiance with some of the ladies of WoW: Natalia Niarezka and Sharon Kelly

My fiance with some of the ladies of WoW: Natalia Niarezka, Donna DeLucia and Sharon Kelly

T.W. Durfy, session bassist Greg Smith, and Mary McIntyre

T.W. Durfy, session bassist Greg Smith, and Mary McIntyre

Guy LeMonnier and Tony Gaynor, both originally of Trans-Siberian Orchestra with lead guitarist Fred Gorhau

Guy LeMonnier and Tony Gaynor, both originally of Trans-Siberian Orchestra with lead guitarist Fred Gorhau in the middle

And last but not least, main man Scott Kelly. Fred Gorhau snuck in again because, well, he's the lead guitar player

And last but not least, main man Scott Kelly. Fred Gorhau snuck in again because, well, he’s the lead guitar player

Bravo Wizards of Winter, great to know you’re around, AND that you’re local!  (Hailing from not-so-far-away Frenchtown, New Jersey…)  We here at Alternative Control love local bands —  looking forward to catching you again next time the Arctic Flyer makes its rounds. Don’t forget to also show some love to The Ridgefield Playhouse, and check out the full photo gallery from the Wizards of Winter show on Facebook.

Wizards of Winter autographs

I got ’em all

 

Disclosure: Alternative Control received two media passes to this concert and a review download of The Magic of Winter, courtesy of Adrenaline PR.  All opinions are our own.

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