Trans-Siberian Orchestra has become synonymous with Christmas season entertainment and now, nearly two decades after the release of their genre-defining debut album, their live show is as popular as ever. On Saturday at Orlando’s Amway Center two packed houses enjoyed a firsthand look at their amazing production.
The Ghosts of Christmas Eve Tour is a bit of a greatest hits feast of the band’s most famous symphonic rock anthems, including plenty of classics from the iconic debut Christma Eve And Other Stories. The passionate fans in attendance were also treated to an impressive sampling of tunes from the brand new Letters From The Labyrinth, their first full-length album release in seven years.
The production of this event is awe-inspiring. The multi-layered stage had ramps on both ends, two portable stages that rose deep into the night, eight suspended light light units, literally hundreds of lasers, pyrotechnic generators all over (and above) the stage and the most impressive wall of video monitors I’ve ever seen. The only similarity I could come up with was Roger Waters’ most recent Wall production, No small wonder that they need 17 semis to move the set-up between cities.
SImply put, this is a must see production. The music is stellar, the musicians drip with charisma and talent, and the show production under musical director Al Pitrelli is unrivaled.
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The two and a half hour extravaganza was generally split into two sections, with the first half revolving around a narrated story about a struggling young runaway on Christmas Eve. The set featured many of their classic Christmas songs and spotlighted amazing vocals from the handful of lead vocalists sharing the stage. Highlights of the night were the intoxicating vocals from Jodi Katz and Andrew Ross. The vocals were nicely accented by a 10 person choir and seven piece string section.
The second set kicked off with their legendary instrumental “Wizards in Winter” which perfectly captured the vibe of the show. Fantastic guitar, intricate keyboards, urgent violin and roaring drums, before melding into the intricate string-driven “A Mad Russians Christmas.” Mix in the most dazzling light arrangements you’ll ever witness at a rock show and you get an idea of the magnitude of the performance.
The state of the art Amway Center was the perfect venue, as well. Every modern convenience for both the fans and the band, as well as a lush sound system that enabled the sound to be pristine from anywhere in the house.
The final hour included a handful of cuts from the new release, all of which were well-received by the diverse crowd. The fans were treated to solos from guitarist Angus Clark and violinist Asha Mevlana as they were perched atop elevated stages thrust over the crowd. The new music was generally a bit darker than their previous releases and the stage show was adjusted appropriately with a bit more fire, pyrotechnics and darker images on the amazing video displays.
After two plus hours of fantastically diverse music and showmanship, they brought the house down with an amazing, extended version of “Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24)” that featured musicians soaring above the crowd on small ariel stages, as well as dashing through the entire arena. The perfect ending to a triumphant night of rock music.
Aside from the great music and show, Trans-Siberian Orchestra are generally a humble and generous group. They led a long standing ovation in honor of our armed forces and also doled out copious thanks for their incredibly hard working road crew. And, as they have traditionally done in the past, the band again donated one dollar from every ticket sold to local Orlando charities, resulting in about $15K being distributed to Second Harvest, our local food bank.
All around, a night of memorable experiences in what has been firmly established as the ultimate holiday show. Don’t miss them when they’re in your area, and check out the following dates for a few last minute opportunities to see them this year.
A special thanks to Ryan Stowall, talented photographer at gig-images.com for his generosity during the event. You can see his photos here.
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16-Dec Providence, RI Dunkin Donuts Center 7:30PM Show
16-Dec Atlanta, GA Gwinnett Center 7:30PM Show
17-Dec Boston, MA TD Garden 7:30PM Show
17-Dec Little Rock, AR North Little Rock Verizon Arena 7:30PM Show
18-Dec Hershey, PA Giant Center 4PM Show
18-Dec Hershey, PA Giant Center 8PM Show
18-Dec Houston, TX Toyota Center 4PM Show
18-Dec Houston, TX Toyota Center 8PM Show
18-Dec San Antonio, TX AT&T Center 8PM Show
19-Dec Philadelphia, PA Wells Fargo Center 3PM Show
19-Dec Philadelphia, PA Wells Fargo Center 8PM Show
19-Dec San Antonio, TX AT&T Center 3PM Show
20-Dec Buffalo, NY First Niagara Center 3PM Show
20-Dec Buffalo, NY First Niagara Center 7:30PM Show
20-Dec Dallas, TX American Airlines Center 3PM Show
20-Dec Dallas, TX American Airlines Center 7:30PM Show
22-Dec Ottawa, ON CA Canadian Tire Centre 4PM Show
22-Dec Ottawa, ON CA Canadian Tire Centre 8PM Show
22-Dec Wichita, KS Intrust Bank Arena 4PM Show
22-Dec Wichita, KS Intrust Bank Arena 8PM Show
23-Dec Toronto, ON CA Air Canada Center 4PM Show
23-Dec Toronto, ON CA Air Canada Center 8PM Show
23-Dec Oklahoma City, OK Chesapeake Energy Arena 4PM Show
23-Dec Oklahoma City, OK Chesapeake Energy Arena 8PM Show
26-Dec Columbus, OH Schottenstein Center 3PM Show
26-Dec Columbus, OH Schottenstein Center 8PM Show
26-Dec Kansas City, MO Sprint Center 3PM Show
26-Dec Kansas City, MO Sprint Center 8PM Show
27-Dec Pittsburgh, PA Consol Energy Center 3PM Show
27-Dec Pittsburgh, PA Consol Energy Center 7:30PM Show
27-Dec St Louis, MO Scottrade Center 3PM Show
27-Dec St. Louis, MO Scottrade Center 7:30PM Show
28-Dec Chicago, IL Allstate Arena 3:30PM Show
28-Dec Chicago, IL Allstate Arena 8PM Show
29-Dec Detroit, MI Palace of Auburn Hills 3PM Show
29-Dec Detroit, MI Palace of Auburn Hills 8PM Show
30-Dec Cleveland, OH Quicken Loans Arena 3:30PM Show
30-Dec Cleveland, OH Quicken Loans Arena 8PM Show
30-Dec St. Paul, MN Xcel Energy Center 3PM Show
30-Dec St. Paul, MN Xcel Energy Center 7:30PM Show