Criss Angel: Raw – The Mindfreak Unplugged @ The Sands Bethlehem Event Center | Review By: Janel Spiegel

Review By: Janel Spiegel


Criss Angel: RAW- The Mindfreak Unplugged

Monday, April 30, 2018 at Sands Bethlehem Event Center


If you want to see an incredible show, You NEED TO SEE CRISS ANGEL! There isn’t another way to put it. The Sands Bethlehem Event Center was packed. My friend (Hi Christa) and I went to see his show, Criss Angel: RAW- The Mindfreak Unplugged. The SANDS was rocking tonight! It was packed, and as always the nice people working at the Sands were incredible.

It may have been the full moon that peaked out behind the dark clouds, but there was something in the air tonight. Criss Angel made a quite an impressive entrance. He is different than other magicians or illusionist. If you never think about magic and illusion or even if you have ever thought of seeing a magician or illusionist. I would say, go see Chris Angel.

He appeared on the stage and performed a trick that involved him eating razors (and safely advising people to not try this at home) a girl who looked like she crawled right out of “The Ring” movies. The audience was immediately fascinated. He was in perfect synch with his “assistant” as he got some string and then all of a sudden the razors were attached to the strings, and he was slow-motion pulling them out of his mouth.

I am a skeptical person and constantly have questions. How did he do this? How did the girl stay so in-synch with him? But, you watch him do this and the way he does it. All the questions turn into, “Oh my God!” “Wow!” “How did he do that?” “WHAAAATTTTT!” (That was a favorite of the night!) He is a fascinating, mesmerizing creature. He makes things even more magical than they can possibly be?!

If you watched his show “Mindfreak” you know he legit freaks some people out. After he did this illusion, he talked to the crowd. He spoke about his days visiting and his family that is in Pennsylvania. He talked about his father and memories. He thanked the crowd, and you could feel the genuine heart and soul vibes from this man.

He also did a lot of sleight-of-hand magic and right in front of cameras and the audience. It is mind-blowing. You want to figure it out, yet you are too mesmerized. He also predicted what would happen before he got to the show (I apparently am good at this as well) He asked for someone in the crowd to participate and I think the entire audience wanted to participate.

He brought a gentleman on-stage, and he asked him to hold a case enclosed in a case. He threw a wristband into the audience, and a gentleman caught it. His name is Mike! Mike threw the wristband to a lady who Criss asked her to pick her favorite color. She said blue. She threw the wristband again at random, and a young lady caught it,Then he asked her to pick her favorite number. She picked the number four. He then calmly opened the case with a jar inside and a black, sealed envelope. He had the nice gentleman on-stage unseal the envelope and open it. Criss revealed all the answers that these random audience members picked and the name MIKE! Once again, how does he do this? He moved on to something more complicated. He paid tribute and homage to the late great Harry Houdini whom Criss Angel has broken several of Mr. Houdini’s magic/illusion records. He combined the straight-jacket act with the Metamorphosis act. Criss asked the audience for help again!

Once again, the entire audience volunteered! A gentleman who went by “B” and Criss casually asked him if his name started with a B? It did! He had this gentleman inspect the trunk that Criss would be locked in. He inspected the straight-jacket and assured the audience that no tools or anything odd was going on.

So, Criss Angel gets wrapped in a straight-jacket, and his assistant comes out and stands on this locked, tied up trunk with the curtain that they drop over and once again,  a WOW moment. Criss appears on top of the trunk, and the assistant (with abs of steel) is now locked in the trunk and wrapped in the sack that Criss was just in…. only moments ago!

It makes you wonder. He also brought out two special guests. He brought out the famous card manipulator Stefan Vanel who was part of his “Supernaturalists” show. This guy started with what appeared to be two decks of cards and just did not stop! I don’t even know where these cards could possibly be coming from? He had on a hooded sort of sleeveless shirt so it’s not as if the man could hide all these cards. He just kept making cards appear.

Criss also had a mentalist on-stage. (We were so into this, we totally got lost on what his name is. So tell me if someone knows. But it was not Joseph Dunninger) But a mentalist who again went to the audience for help. He asked two people to come on-stage and lined up stuffed animals, and he asked the lady to draw the animal she would pick and the two audience members had to sort of transfer the images to one another, mentally. They stared at one another as the mentalist asked the gentleman to pick the animals that he doesn’t want to pick.

The gentleman on-stage picked out the stuffed animals and then the two remaining he picked the lion and well, it wasn’t a lion. It was a lion, but it wasn’t. The gentleman picked the lion and took out the stuffed dog, he didn’t want to pick the dog, but it was a dog. It wasn’t a dog at first. It was a lion. He asked the gentleman to stand the lion up, and the lion didn’t want to stand up. It was just slumping over like a stuffed animal. Again he asked the man to pretend to “shoot the lion” so after a few gasps from the crowd the man “shot the lion” this is supposed to be a STUFFED LION! A LION! It wasn’t a lion. He pretends to shoot the stuffed lion, and it fell over very slowly. The stuffed lion slumped over like an old stuffed animal that has been sitting for years.

This mentalist said to this man. Are you sure you wanted to pick the lion? The lady drew a dog- I know spoilers. This was crazy. The lady drew a dog, and the mentalist picked up the “stuffed lion” and REVEALED it to be a DOG! A real life, adorable dog. Again, skeptical and wondering how did this happen? How does this dog stay so still? How did they randomly just keep moving things around on-stage and the dog just sits?

Criss Angel came back again and did more magic. He does everything in front of cameras, in front of people. It is mind-blowing. He makes the show better than you could ever imagine. He engages the audience. He talks to people as if he were just in his home or maybe out with friends. One of the most outrageous and fun moments was he came down in the audience because he said he is taking four women “to the club” and he walked (no levitating tonight) down the steps and commented about “being old” – he looks young and acts young and fun. He doesn’t age. (Sorcery or good genes, his mother looks young.) He picked four random women from the crowd, and it was a packed show! He sold out the SANDS on a MONDAY! How does one even do that?

He brought four women on-stage and asked each one what “fears” they have? This was crazy because you have to wonder what an entire audience of people is afraid of. Criss Angel will tell them. He joked around, technically or not? Stole a watch and then gifted it back to the nice lady he swiped it from. (Sleight-of-hand) Which was sort of obvious when he asked for the time? It was a fun moment and a classic illusionist moment.

He asked the ladies what they were afraid of. There answered revealed that two ladies were scared of snakes, one was afraid of spiders, and one was scared of death. So, in a way “time” which is why Criss may have swiped her watch with sleight-of-hand. As he asked the other ladies about fears the crowd seemed to get the feeling something creepy crawly may be appearing.

Criss asked one lady to type in her fear on his iPad. She typed in “spiders,” and Criss smiled like a kid about to get away with something he should never even be doing. It was awful and amazing at the same time. He placed the iPad on the makeshift “Club” table and ohhhh to our surprise a nice tarantula comes crawling out! The crowd went CRAZY! “How did he do that?” “AMAZING” the sounds of a gasping crowd and my screaming friend Christa (I was screaming too!)

This is what a show should be! Criss Angel embodies what magic and illusions have become. This man is some kind of otherworldly even though I am sure there is a perfect explanation for each illusion. He makes it fun, he makes it scary, and he makes you rub your eyes like when you are really tired but trying to stay awake because you are not exactly sure what you just saw? But, it happened right in front of you. He also made the ladies who are afraid of snakes fear come to life.

He asked the audience members not to bring a purse on-stage, but one woman did. Not sure about this one but, it was amazing. He emptied her purse after asking her, and she just asked him to avoid her make-up bag. He did. She may never go in her purse again, but the illusion was awesome. He reached into her purse and pulled out a snake. The poor ladies took off running to the side of the stage. The snake didn’t seem fazed by any of this at all.

(Some of this may be in different order. It was just incredibly exciting and he truly is amazing) Criss Angel also dedicated the end of the show to the victims, survivors and first responders of all the tragedies we have had all over the country. The mother of his son Johnny who was at the show with Criss’ son, wrote a beautiful song with Criss and she sang it. He ended the show but gave an encore to dedicate this to these people who went through a great deal, and he wanted to “use his art” as he often does to help spread love and help people through hard times.

He did just this as a moving tribute played and the song. He sat on-stage and seemed to be deep in thought as the moving tribute played behind him. The song is beautiful. Afterward, he had a red paper heart that he tore and began turning into confetti. This show is exciting; it is fun. It is family-friendly, and you can tell he loves what he does. He puts time and thought into every detail. He is also funny and warm. He had the audience laughing with “true stories” as he shared moments from his life.

Over the years there have been magicians and of course legends like Houdini but Criss Angel is one of a kind. He is a master at what he does. A master showman also. The show is amazing from start to the very end. He also brings a little bit of Las Vegas with him and the magic, extra sparkle and fun. He has a glimmer in his eyes that shows he has love and respect for the fans. You get the genuine feeling he loves what he does and always wants it to be better. But how can he outdo himself? I suppose we will never know because he was named the Magician of the Century and he is just incredible.

If you have not seen his show, you need to see it. He may freak some people out, but it is in the most spectacular ways. Thank you, Criss Angel, for bringing magic and illusion to the Sands Bethlehem Event Center and making all of us feel like we were in on a secret before the full moon that ended his incredible evening.








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