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Mannheim Steamroller Reviews

Holiday & Christmas ShowsClassicalConcerts

Average customer review: 1.5 star rating (1.4 Stars)

Number of reviews: 37

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5.0 star rating Jeremy vest from Wilmington North Carolina

GREATEST SHOW EVER

This show has been a favorite of mine for four years in a row I cannot wait to see them again for a fifth time this show was never boring or terrible to me mannhiem steamroller is the best Christmas show I’ve ever seen the orchestrations were always pretty and the snow was a big hit as well

4.5 star rating Sara from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

EXCELLENT SHOW

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.

3.0 star rating Ashley from Kenosha, WI

OK SHOW

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 The videos were old and outdated.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.

2.0 star rating Robert from Jackson, Mississippi

DISAPPOINTING

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.

2.0 star rating from Providence, Rhode Island

UNDERWHELMED.....

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.

2.0 star rating S. doherty from Portland, Oregon

ANNOYING

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.

2.0 star rating Michele Miller from Grand Rapids, Michigan

NOT A CHRISTMAS EXPERIENCE

The first thing I noticed was how dull the stage was. The musicians just wondered out, no pizazz. The music was a mix of songs in the beginning with old videos that were poor quality on top of being weird. The musicians were talented but really left me feeling underwhelmed. Not a show I would ever pay to see again.

2.0 star rating Joel Levee from Knoxville, Tennessee

STEAM ROLLED LAST NIGHT IN KNOXVILLE

Was really disappointed in the forums play list. Probably only played five major Christmas classic songs. The majority were songs that were played back in the 1500s with a harpsichord and flute. Or the music with written by the shows producer Chip Davis. A real disappointment.

2.0 star rating Tricia from Detroit, Michigan

2ND HALF?

So show started out Christmasy and I know original album was 1985 but did the videos still need to be 1985 and not even HD? Second half was terrible with Castle reenactment scenes really weird and off and not Christmasy at all and you didn’t even hear the great music because I have no idea what the heck that was about and was most of the second half of the show about 4 songs! Literally popped out of our seats grateful it was over.

1.5 star rating James from Wilmington, Delaware

UNDERWHELMING

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.

1.0 star rating Rapidsrider from Grand Rapids, Michigan

MOST DISAPPOINTING

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.

1.0 star rating 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.

1.0 star rating 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.

1.0 star rating Don C from Barrington, Illinois

BORING

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.

1.0 star rating 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

1.0 star rating Kelly from New Brunswick, New Jersey

SO SAD

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

1.0 star rating Barbara Valentim from Charlotte, North Carolina

MANNHEIM STEAMROLLERS

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

1.0 star rating 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.

1.0 star rating 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

1.0 star rating 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.

1.0 star rating 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.

1.0 star rating Don Cape from Albany, New York

MANNHEIM STEAMROLLER

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!

1.0 star rating 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.

1.0 star rating 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..

1.0 star rating John from Denver, Colorado

SEE ALL ABOVE REVIEWS

Unbelievable. So sorry I missed the Nutcracker for this.

1.0 star rating Joy Sanford from Dallas, Texas

VERY DISAPPOINTED

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

1.0 star rating Geoff from Chicago, Illinois

LITTLE RESPECT FOR THE ARTISTS

The actual artists appeared to be hired hands - playing in the shadows. Attention was given, rather, to a super cheap series of extremely random videos. The music was great, but felt as though I was listening to a cd with live accompaniment. Very poorly executed.

1.0 star rating Vic dillingham from Little Rock, Arkansas

I’M AT THE CONCERT

I’m in Charleston SC at the Gillard center right now at the concert. It just has to be the worst concert ever! Omg. This is crazy I paid over 200 dollars for two seats. This is like a Bad B movie! The videos are horrendous…. For the love it’s awlful !

1.0 star rating Barbara from Minneapolis, Minnesota

AWFUL

Don’t waste your money. It was not more then a commercial to sell outdated product. Weird videos — it took the cheer and magic out of Christmas and it would have frightened children—- sadly cheap and wanting for even a candy cane or a Christmas cookie....Very disappointed....Chip needs to hang it up!!!

1.0 star rating Barb from Green Bay, Wisconsin

UGH!

The Weidner Center is a perfect venue for a concert, but not this one. I would give it 0 stars if I could. The guy dancing in the video in the tank top was repulsive. It was disrespectful not to introduce the 9 members of the Mannheim orchestra. The concert is nothing without them. What was with the soloist singing in the video? The video with the renaissance meal wasn't necessary. Don't want to forget about the signing lips on the video. That was creepy. Intermission felt more like an infomercial trying to sell merch. I have always enjoyed their music. This concert was a big disappointment.

1.0 star rating Michelle from Lowell, Massachusetts

WASTE OF MONEY

Bought these tickets for my 78 year old mother who loves Christmas. Expected a Christmas show. I can honestly say this was the worst show I have ever been to in my lifetime. The musicians were good. The show was so poorly produced and lacking any energy. No stage presence or charisma by anyone on stage. The videos on the screen behind the stage were so weird and bizarre. This show could have potentially been wonderful because the music is good, but it was just plain awful. Myself, my mother, and my two adult daughters ended up with the uncontrollable giggles because we couldn’t believe what we were witnessing and that we paid $100 per ticket for this.

1.0 star rating Faye Ingram from Charlottesville, Virginia

MANNHEIM STEAMROLLER CHRISTMAS

We had orchestra seats. Great view! The concert was at best a 1 rating. The videos played in the background were very distracting, as we went to see Mannheim Steamroller, not a video of a horse running endlessly or a guy in leotards leaping through the air. This is my first time seeing this group and will not recommend them or see them again. We had a party of 6 and we all agreed this was not what we expected.

1.0 star rating Cheryl from Green Bay, Wisconsin

ZERO STARTS

I’ll leave it with…cannot for the life of me listen to their music anymore…flashbacks of the absolutely horrible videos subjected to the entire night…should have left at intermission….all around sad….just sad…

1.0 star rating Alice Jones from Charlottesville, Virginia

MANNHEIM STEAMROLLER CHRISTMAS

Terrible Very disappointed with the entire production. The videos were terrible and the musicians were not engaged with the show. I would not recommend this to anyone. Save your money.

1.0 star rating TCP from Birmingham, Michigan

GIVE ME BACK MY $75 (EACH)!!!

Like watching HD? Me too - apparently 1985 called and wanted SD back for the entire show! Plus - the music fine - what the hell was everything else? The Christmas Day dinner from the 1400’s of people gorging and getting wasted and what - like you think your family is annoying at Christmas - I was happy it was over. Tremendously disappointing because I took my daughter to the Fox for the first time and we were so excited and then….

1.0 star rating Dennis Johnson from St Louis

SAME LOUSY SHOW IN ST LOUIS

Paid to see a live show, not videos! On one song, the performer was on tape from Omaha. Did they use avatars? From the reviews above, Mannheim Steamroller left a trail of waste all across the US with this show. And, they can’t blame the pandemic for this.

1.0 star rating Mona from Jacksonville, Florida

JACKSONVILLE, FL

Terrible show with David Foster in Jacksonville, FL SAD... pride brings about a great fall ...

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