Matt Smith and I finally made it to the same concert last night, Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Let’s just say Matt dressed for the party as he commanded a spot on the front row, while I was in my usual plaid shirt and jeans in professional capacity as Times reviewer, and placed on the 12th row on the middle aisle, actually one of the better seats I’ve gotten as a reviewer. I’ll have plenty to say about TSO and it’s incredible violin player, Anna Phoebe, in next week’s issue; I’ll let Matt tell you about the show here in his latest “Mind of Matt” submission:

Time to catch up on the blog. Today is a twofer. Lets talk about last Saturday nights show at Juanita’s. Sharpe Dunaway and The Blue Meanies opened the show. These guys play cover songs of 80s rock. Of course, the so-called hair metal tunes are represented, but they do venture into pop like “Eye of the Tiger”. Sharpe Dunaway has been a DJ for Magic KMJX 105.1 FM since 1988. He plays the drums and does some singing in The Blue Meanies. I think this group has a unique t-shirt design that you need to see to believe. Take a look at

Next up, due to the holiday season, we had a special appearance of The Screaming Santas. The Santas have members from The Blue Meanies and Bombay Black. They cranked out some silly holiday tunes. They have released a couple of Christmas albums. The Screaming Santas came up with the idea of a heavy metal Christmas before Twisted Sister. These songs are great for laughs and they are a refreshing take on music during the Christmas season. It seems that many places begin playing Christmas tunes around October 1st. Traditional holiday music can aggravate your nerves long before December 25th. These songs break up the monotony. Give them a listen

Bombay Black wrapped up the evening. They play heavy and were a good way to end the night. This band consists of Erik-lead vocals and guitar; Jim-lead guitar and vocals; TY-Bass and vocals; Rob-drums and vocals. Bombay is more metal than The Meanies or The Santas. This band is loud, they play hard, and they want to crush you! These guys are Little Rock and proud. They had CD’s and t-shirts for sale at the show. They were more than happy to talk to the crowd, sign records and shirts. They took photos, had a few drinks and were extremely pleasant. Give them a listen at or go see them LIVE somewhere in the “ROCK”.

Juanita’s is just a cool laid back spot. I have sung the praises of Erin before. However, in somewhat of a drunken or absent-minded stupor I didn’t include the myspace address. So here we go hit it up for a list of upcoming events.

Now on to Thursday night Trans-Siberian Orchestra show. I really think that Jim Harris has this gig covered, but I’ll throw in my little part. I sat on the front row center stage in what was a tremendous spectacle of light and sound. The graphics, lasers, snow, and production values reminded me of traveling Cirque Du Soleil shows. The musicians are all accomplished virtuosos. These people are extremely skilled in the craft. What great performances, one and all! They were impressive in every way.

Obiviously, I enjoyed the second half of the show the most. For a rock n roll junkie this is the only holiday extravaganza to attend. The Nut Cracker? Are you kidding me! I give TSO two “Mind of Matt” thumbs up. Here is the official site: I have seen them before, and I will see them again. I guess this is my only holiday tradition.

I will be checking in next about New Year’s Eve. Well, I actually call it amateur night. It is that one night of the year that is guaranteed to produce laughs. Even people that don’t party go out then. It’s comical!

Houston and Vegas are on the horizon. — Matt Smith