Classic rock hits road via Mystical Orchestra
'Flashback' arena tour begins Wednesday in AlabamaMusic by Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, the Doors, Janis Joplin and Deep Purple, among others, will be performed live by the Mystical Orchestra as part of "Flashback -- the Classic Rock Experience." The nearly 50-date U.S. arena tour launches Wednesday at the Mobile Civic Center in Mobile, Ala.
Inspired partly by Paul O'Neill's Trans-Siberian Orchestra, which features a full rock band, a string section, multiple vocalists and a laser/light show, "Flashback" boasts 14 musicians and singers, along with an 11-piece string and horn section. The concert's approximately 30-song set features such classics as Hendrix's "Purple Haze," Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven," Pink Floyd's "Money," and the Doors' "Light My Fire."
"I don't think there's ever been a large-scale arena event produced like this," veteran promoter and "Flashback" producer Rick Bowen said. "I tried to pick artists that were either not going to be able to tour, or were touring very little."
The idea to create "Flashback" came after seeing a TSO concert in 2006, Bowen said. "In a lot of ways (TSO has) plowed the ground for us, because we combine rock music and orchestra music together," he said. "We've just taken it to the classic rock platform and tried to play the very best of the music in the era of the late '60s and early '70s."
"Flashback," which cost about $5.5 million to produce, will feature six truckloads of LED lighting, lasers, pyrotechnics and 30-foot inflated zeppelin that will hang in the center of arenas. Additionally, seven video screens will play vintage video footage from some of the artists whose music is featured during the nearly three-hour show, according to Bowen, whose Mystic Music Enterprises is promoting the tour.
The first leg of "Flashback" will visit 6,000- to 25,000-seat U.S. arenas through the beginning of November. Ticket prices cost between $17-$55. "We want to build a fan base, have a fair-priced ticket and have the show proliferate with other versions that come out in the future," Bowen said. "We're looking for an eight- to 10-year lifespan on this show, not a one-time go-around."
The second leg of "Flashback" will tentatively begin in mid-February 2009, and run through early spring, according to Bowen. "It's another 55 dates, but mostly in the central part of the country and the West Coast," he said.