Ready or not; the holiday season has begun.
The good news is that it brings with it the annual
Trans-Siberian Orchestra Winter Tour. This year will be the final performance of The Lost Christmas Eve; my personal favorite of the TSO Christmas albums.
Although, I've not seen this year's show in front of a crowd, I was granted exclusive access to TSO Rehearsals in mid-November and saw the final dress rehearsal of TSO East and a full run through of TSO West.
If you've never seen the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, I can tell you it is among the finest shows I've ever seen, and I've been to more than 600 concerts. I've never seen a better combination of musicianship, true live-performance (No backing tapes), lighting, staging and well, FIRE. I look forward to the show every year.
For those of you who have made TSO part of you family tradition, let me tell you that the entire stage set is new, there is even more video and interactive art work than ever before and there is more...FIRE.
The great songs and melodies are timeless, the over the top production is what we've come to expect from creator Paul O'Neill, the new "castle" themed stage set is shockingly versatile and I think I mentioned all the cool FIRE.
I sat down with all 4 TSO guitarists; Al Pitrelli, Chris Caffery, Angus Clark and Joel Hoekstra to record interviews for what is now the 10th Annual Chop Shop/TSO Christmas Special, airing all around the country. I asked Al Pitrelli what his Christmas's are like being out on the road every year. He told me
"It's become a home for us. The people and communities that embrace us every time we come through town, they became part of our extended family.
We've spent our holidays together now for 13 years. It's gotten to the point that I don't recall anything prior to it, certainly I remember being a kid, but as far as, well, I couldn't tell you how to cook a turkey. We'll be in Austin for Christmas, Angus will have his wife and his baby come out, but this is what we do, it's what it's grown up to be."
Angus and Al also talked about some of the changes for this year's tour which you can listen to here.
Photo of Angus Clark by Bob Carey