My parents were kind enough to reward me with an early Christmas present, and I can now cross off #17! Oh my, it was absolutely outstanding! This man is so talented.
The opening act was a cellist by the name of Steven Sharp Nelson, who also played for Jon Schmidt throughout the whole concert. He was amazing. Seriously. He does things with his cello that I've never seen anyone do before. He turns his cello into about a million different instruments, it's so cool. Granted, I don't know a whole lot about playing a cello, but I'm pretty sure he's unique in what he does. Jon (I'm just gonna assume that we're on a first name basis here) said in the concert that Steve is "the world's only cello-percussionist." Take that how you will. But if you are looking for some really good cello music I would highly recommend his CD's.
Jon, of course, played a lot of songs. Seriously, I fell in love with the piano all over again. Hopefully I'll learn to play it someday. At the intermission (or, as he called it, half time), his daughter came out and quoted the classic "Charlie bit my finger" YouTube video, sang us a song, and helped him throw balls out to the audience. He said he mostly did it for the husbands whose wives dragged them to a piano concert on a Saturday night. It was funny.
After intermission, the show got even better. He played one of his Christmas songs while they ran the most darling video I have ever seen. About 7 or so years ago he and his wife taught their kids the most basic movements to each instrument so it could look like they were the ones actually playing, then put it all together to make the sweetest music video I've ever seen. Jon was watching the video the whole time it was playing, it was so cute. Seriously, watch the video (the link is above, if you haven't noticed yet.) It is so worth the 4:47 of your time.
His son came out and sang one of his songs with his little sister singing backup. Unfortunately, I can't seem to recall his name. But he is coming out with his first album soon, so look for it, cause he was good.
Jon's dad also came and played his harmonica. No one plays the harmonica like that man can, he totally blew me away.
When the concert was over, we, of course, stood and clapped vigorously until he came back on stage absolutely ecstatic saying, "You guys, thank you so much! I've never had an encore before!" Right Jon, right. But he proceeded to put on a red wig, mentioning that he should be able to get a discount at Wendy's if he wore it there, and played a song entitled Dumb Song. I love that song, it's so fun. At the very end, he ran up to a raised part of the stage and did a backflip off of it. So good.
Then he decided to do a double encore and did this really cool thing where he invited someone from the audience who had played the piano in a jazz band to come up and play with him. He said that they had to be complete strangers, they couldn't have ever met. They also had to be able to name off the notes in some blues scale (I clearly don't know what I'm talking about, but I'm hoping that those of you who understand the terminology will know what I'm getting at.) And he began asking for someone who had played in a professional jazz band to come up. No one. After a while, he went down - college level jazz band. No one. After some pleading, he finally moved down to high school. One kid raised his hand, and messed up the scale at the second note. So they moved on to the next kid who rattled them off like it was common knowledge. He went up and totally tore it up. That kid was dang good, it was so fun to watch them.
For the real last song, he played Silent Night and asked us all to sing along with him.
Seriously, that concert was such a great time. I am so thankful to have gone. I highly recommend his concerts to anyone and everyone. It seriously was an incredible concert.