Trans-Siberian Orchestra


On Saturday, I went to go see Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO) for the third time.  There were hints that it was going to be a new show, because their new CD, Night Castle, had just been released.  It turns out that this show was the same one I had seen every time (Christmas Eve and Other Stories), but they are scheduled for a spring concert tour now!

As always, it was an absolutely stunning show.  Each year, TSO designs a new lighting scheme and it’s so beyond elaborate.  There are lasers and fire and other amazing special effects–like snow!

Showcasing the lights

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A friend of mine was going to be helping with the take-down through the theater program, and we overheard him talking on the phone about how it was only going to be taking an hour or so for take-down.  We didn’t have the heart to tell him that there were at least five semis that took everything away; it was going to take a lot longer than an hour.

This year, the stage featured several large screens.

Christmas Eve and Other Stores features a narrative about an angel sent from heaven to find something “that no one could touch, but an angel could hold” and that described the season or humanity or something like that.  The story details his journey as he finds this thing.  The narrator, Bryan Hicks, is among the people that have what I call the voice of God.  (Morgan Freeman has a similar voice.)  TSO dubs him the Voice of All Voices.  He breaks up the songs with the story.

My favorite song in this show is, and always will be, First Snow.

Snow falls.  (Well, it didn’t this year, but that was about the only disappointing thing.)  Sarajevo 12/24 more than made up for the lack of snow.  The song, which is usually sobering due to the narrative that precedes it.  This year, they used the screens to juxtapose the song with clips of political rallies, silhouettes of helicopters, and shapes that looked like bursts of gunfire.

The show is always split into two parts:  The story and then a silly bit.  During the silly bit, they previewed parts of Night Castle.  It’s going to be a non-Christmas story.  I particularly enjoyed their last non-Christmas album, Beethoven’s Last Night, so I’m really looking forward to this new show.  The rest of the silly bit was filled with the usual silly bit, including lots of fire, singing, and raised platforms.

There really are no good words to describe the awesome-ness of this concert.  I think it says a lot that over half of the people at the concert had already seen this same show before.  If you ever get the chance to see them, do it.  DO IT DO IT DO IT.


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