Launching Nov.19 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., “An Evening with Wizards Of Winter” features a 2 ½ hour show that includes two musical sets plus an intermission. In addition to music from The Magic Of Winter, the Wizards’ setlist will draw from their previously released original Christmas album, Tales Beneath a Northern Star plus select Trans-Siberian Orchestra numbers.
How does The Wizards Of Winter’s new album stack up against some of the classic prog-rock LPs? The group’s music director/keyboardist Scott Kelly told Pollstar that the disc would sound great played between Grand Illusion by Styx and Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s Pictures At An Exhibition.
“The strong harmonies and the prog melodies of Styx Grand Illusion align closely in style with several of our own works, including ‘Spirit Of Christmas’ which makes it a great fit as an opener,” Kelly said. “ELP’s working of [Modest] Mussorgsky’s ‘Pictures At An Exhibition’ aligns well with some of our heavier, darker pieces that have a classical flair, including ‘Ebeneezer’ and ‘Season’s Lament.’”
While holiday releases and their corresponding tours often go together, we wondered if the albums are recorded to sound like the band playing on stage, or if the band tries to sound like it did in the studio. Kelly clarified Wizards Of Winter’s line of attack.
“In the studio we like to layer lots of tracks. You will find multiple keyboard, guitar and vocal tracks that would be impossible to recreate live without a very large band,” Kelly said. “Live, we have a lead vocalist backed by as many as six people singing harmonies. Our guitarists perform leads in harmony on many of the songs to also provide a full sound. Lastly, the keyboards employ ‘combination’ patches, overlaying things like piano and strings, or orchestral mixes to get the overall sound as close to the studio version as possible.”
The upcoming tour features Wizards Of Winter playing mostly theatres and performing arts centers. While talking with Kelly, the musician told us that he and the band like the sound they get in “larger and somewhat older theatres” when the group uses a flown array. “It is important to us for the sound to be of the quality for the people in the orchestra seats as it is for those in the upper balconies,” Kelly said.
Here’s Wizards Of Winter’s new album, The Magic Of Winter, streaming exclusively on Pollstar.com for 24 hours.
Produced by Eric Rachel at Traxeast (Symphony X, Skid Row, Styx), The Magic Of Winter arrives Nov. 13. You can preorder the album via this link. The Magic Of Winter will be available on iTunes Nov. 20.
Be sure to check out The Wizards Of Winter when they play your town.
Nov. 19 – Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Parker Playhouse
Nov. 20 – Clearwater, Fla., Capitol Theatre
Nov. 21 – Orlando, Fla., Plaza Live Orlando
Nov. 22 – Atlanta, Ga., Center Stage Theater
Nov. 27 – Wilkes-Barre, Pa., F.M. Kirby Center For Perf. Arts
Nov. 28 – Red Bank, N.J., Count Basie Theatre
Dec. 3 – Concord, N.H., Capitol Center for the Arts – Chubb Theatre
Dec. 4 – Collingswood, N.J., Scottish Rite Auditorium
Dec. 5 – Easton, Pa., State Theatre Center For The Arts
Dec. 9 – Ridgefield, Conn., Ridgefield Playhouse
Dec. 11 – Cleveland, Ohio, Agora Theatre
Dec. 12 – Kalamazoo, Mich., The Kalamazoo State Theatre
Dec. 13 – Munhall, Pa., Carnegie Library Music Hall Of Homestead
Dec. 16 – Asheville, N.C., The Orange Peel
Dec. 17 – Nashville, Tenn., Marathon Music Works
Dec. 18 – Effingham, Ill., Effingham Performance Center
Dec. 20 – Chicago, Ill., Thalia Hall
Dec. 26 – Albany, N.Y., The Egg
Dec. 27 – Syracuse, N.Y., Crouse-Hinds Theater
Dec. 29 – Harrisburg, Pa., The Forum Auditorium