I think the best place to start is WOW! TSO delivers one of, if not the best concert experience every single year and this year, well,
somehow it is bigger. The strange part for me is that the square footage of the stage hasn’t changed, yet the combination of music, lighting,
pyro and magic gives it an enormous feel.
I traveled to Council Bluffs, Iowa to see both TSO East and TSO West play run-throughs of the entire show, which this year is centered around the
1998 album The Christmas Attic. This is the album out of the three, within the Christmas Trilogy that hits me as the deepest. I asked Al Pitrelli
about his personal connection to the album (hit the play button above to listen) and he agreed with me.
The Key moments for me within the “Attic” are “The Three Kings and I”, “Find Our Way Home”, “The Snow Came Down”, “Music Box Blues” and a song that
the band are playing primarily as an acoustic track called “Dream Child”. I asked guitarist Joel Hoekstra about that moment in the show.
JH: “What a great song, one of my favorites, certainly one of my favorites this year on the front half. Instead of doing the one guitar,
one singer approach, we began to add things saying ‘Well, it really could use the 2nd guitar part’ and then ‘It could use a nice low bass note going
underneath the whole thing’ and ‘Boy, it could us a keyboard’ and the next thing we knew we had the whole band playing a really sparse arrangement of it.”
During one of my conversations with guitarist Angus Clark, I spoke about the audience participation and how sometimes the production can be so overwhelming
that it actually stuns the audience to the point that I think they don’t always know quite how to react. AC: “Well, you can thank Paul O’Neill for that – Shock and Awe.
You know it is a rare opportunity as a performer to be part of a production of this magnitude, particularly for this long. The fact that it gets bigger
and more elaborate every year is amazing to me. The people who put their faith into us by buying a ticket every year have come to value that aspect of what
Paul does. You know we are going to give you as much bang for the buck as we possible can.”
Trans-Siberian Orchestra not only sets the standard with their ever evolving, amazing stage show, they are among the most talented gathering of musicians you may ever see share the stage. That becomes even more amazing when you realize that statement holds true not just the 20 or so musicians on the band you may see
(here in Detroit it is TSO East) but also for the full group playing the other side of the country as well.