The first one was in 1999, heading into 2000, at the House of Blues in Tunica Mississippi. That was trumped in 2003 when I found myself playing on the Crystal Serenity cruise ship off the Pacific coast of Mexico. Since then it's always been in the DC area. I guess this year in China takes the cake!
Before each concert the cello players have to do an enormous amount of prep work to get the Chinese cellos into playable condition. The basses were often pretty bad too, but we managed to get away without having to re-string them. They usually need some bridge adjustment and/or shimming though.
I think this must be the gaudiest theater ever. Can you even find the percussion section amidst all of that? It was both funny and fun in my opinion.
HAPPY NEW YEAR ! ! !