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  1. #1
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    Trans-Siberian Orchestra Ė Bigger and brighter than ever.

    Holyfreakincow, somebody has spent a few million dollars on production since the last time I saw TSO, about four(ish) years ago.

    What a show! This was my third time seeing TSO and it was the biggest and brightest production yet. With a brand new light show complete with 17 video screens (if you donít include the in-house ribbon screen that runs the perimeter of the sports arena that they were in), lasers and hydraulic lights galore! There were flash pots, and flame throwers, and lots of indoor fireworks. There was a hover-craft mini stage at the opposite end from the main stage. And, of course, the obligatory snow.

    This show was an assault on the eyes. It was mesmerizing but, frankly, a bit too much. While the light show was fantastic to watch, it took my eyes away from the amazing musicians on stage. Having said that, Iíve been to A LOT of concerts, plays and other stage productions in my time, but Iíve never seen anything like this before. Itís beyond description here. It really is.

    So, anyone whoís seen TSO knows that the first half of the show is always a rendition of their CD, Christmas Eve and Other Stories. Seeing it this time was no different than the last two times Iíve seen itÖother than the enhanced light show. My favourite tune from that CD, Old City Bar, has always brought a tear to my eye live. But this time, the pace was a little slower and the singer dragged out what is already a very long song. I thought it ran a little too slow and long and instead of my usual teary eye, I was ready for it to end. Itís too bad. I can still drop a tear on this song from listening to the CD if in the right mood, so the drawn out live version was a disappointment. Otherwise, this was excellent as usual.

    The second half of their show is different each year. This year, as expected, the second half promoted TSOís new (non-christmas) CD, Night Castle. This is where the investment in the new light show really paid off. Holy crap, this half of the show just RAWKED! It was pretty much non-stop action from start to finish. Lights, video, fire, lasers, music, and choral arrangements that sent chills through me. I think that my mouth hung open in awe for most of this set.

    In addition to some Night Castle stuff, they played a few more songs from other Christmas CDs and finished off the show with a tune from Beethovenís Last Night. It was spectacular!

    So Iíve been spending today thinking about the first time I saw this band about seven(ish) years ago. They played a small venue and had a modest production; a few lights and lasers and, because the theatre was so small, snow on about half the audience. The theatre held about 2,700 and it was magical and charming. Fast forward to 2009 and this has become a multi-million dollar production that sold just over 10,000 tickets. It was still magical but in a high-tech kind of way. The snow was falling from so high up that Iím not even sure it ever made its way down to the audience; it was just there to glimmer in the lasers. Charming is not a word that I would use anymore.

    While the current in-your-face TSO is certainly enjoyable and awesome to watch. The show seems to have lost that feel-good Christmas spirit that I remember from the first time. Iím really glad that I had the opportunity to see them in that small venue back before their music was ever used in a commercial and anyone knew who they were. Itís a memory that I cherish. Last nightís show was Arena Rock at its best, but thereís a lot to be said for simplicity too.

  2. #2
    C-Z
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    FA,

    Wow - great, detailed review. I had not heard of TSO until this forum a while back. Don't have any CDs either. Are their studio albums worthwhile? Where do you recommend I start? Any DVDs/Blu-Rays?

    You mentioned commercials with TSO music - I don't even know which you mean! Duh.

    Sincerely,

    TSO challenged CZ

  3. #3
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    Hi C-Z. Thanks for posting in this thread. I couldn't even get a pity post!

    I would start with any of their Christmas CDs, but probably Christmas Eve and Other Stories is the best place to start, or The Christmas Attic. Their non Christmas stuff is really for fans. You should see if you like their style in the Christmas CDs first. They are more accessible.

    Here is their song Wizards In Winter and the house that was used in the commercial.


  4. #4
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24 from their video. You may have heard this one...


  5. #5
    C-Z
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    Thanks for the info. Those videos are fun. I checked their tour schedule, and they don't get very near my neck of the woods (San Diego).

  6. #6
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    You're in San Diego? Nice. I was there two years ago and fell in love with it. I can't wait to go back someday!

    If you go to YouTube, there's tons of live stuff there for TSO. The videos really don't do the live show justice, but you'll get the idea.

  7. #7
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    I really enjoy TSO, but have never seen them. I did see Manheim Steamroller in concert in St Louis a few years ago around Dec 20th. Of course the music was great, but the production left a little to be desired.

    They did have a large scale train and snow-covered city scene in the back of the auditorium. Local students were hired as toy soldiers who marched around it. Nice family atmosphere, but I wanted a more exciting performance after driving 4 hours and getting a hotel room for the night.

    Of the two I'm more familiar with Manheim, but always enjoyed TSO. Both give a new dimension to Christmas music without being too modern or commercialized. Great review FA.

  8. #8
    Rocket Surgeon Swish's Avatar
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    Here you go...

    Quote Originally Posted by ForeverAutumn
    Hi C-Z. Thanks for posting in this thread. I couldn't even get a pity post!

    I would start with any of their Christmas CDs, but probably Christmas Eve and Other Stories is the best place to start, or The Christmas Attic. Their non Christmas stuff is really for fans. You should see if you like their style in the Christmas CDs first. They are more accessible.

    Here is their song Wizards In Winter and the house that was used in the commercial.

    ...a pity click for your post about this sucky show. You had to ask.
    I call my bathroom Jim instead of John so I can tell people that I go to the Jim first thing every morning.

    If you say the word 'gullible' very slowly it sounds just like oranges.

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