The Wizards of Winter – Live @ Centennial Concert Hall

By Samuel Stevens

The American twelve piece Progressive Rock band, The Wizards of Winter, brought their Christmas rock opera to the Centennial Concert Hall in Winnipeg, Canada. December 3rd, 2018 will now forever mark the first time in the band’s nine year history they’ve performed in Winnipeg.

The Wizards of Winter carried the substantial Centennial Concert Hall crowd aboard The Arctic Flyer for a journey through the universe to take a peek into the lives of pivotal names from Christmas past. Scrooge, The Nutcracker, and most importantly, Joseph and Mary, were just some of the particular names touched upon during this holiday journey.

The impressive twelve piece ensemble features former members of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Ted Nugent, The Irish Tenors, Tyketto, Rainbow, and more. The 2018 holiday line-up features three brand new members to the group. Karl Scully on vocals, Chris Green on guitar, and finally, Rebecca Graae who is also a vocalist.

The Wizards of Winter
The Wizards of Winter. Photos by Samuel Stevens Photography.

The night featured a range of melting guitar solos, graceful vocal harmonies, some flute, violin, and a considerable amount of keyboard played by the band’s musical director, Scott Kelly. The band’s performance was split into two one hour sets, between a fifteen minute intermission, and the night concluded with a two song encore. The whole show featured original music off the three Wizards of Winter albums. The set also had a cover of The Beatles’ 1967 hit, “With a Little Help from My Friends.”

Following the culmination of the band’s performance, all twelve Wizards of Winter members went to the merch booth to shake hands, take pictures, and sign CDs or whatever else fans had to be signed. The band was originally started to help raise proceeds for charities in the band’s hometown in 2009, so it’s worth noting that a portion of the proceeds from their CDs continues to go to various charities around the world. Since leaving their hometown the band has raised proceeds for charities such as Angels for Mark and the Wounded Warrior Project.

If you’re a fan of Christmas music, or even a fan of rock operas, this is the holiday spectacle for you. Make sure to catch one of their shows during the remainder of December as their trek crosses the United States.

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