Trans-Siberian Orchestra 2007 Tour

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Trans-Siberian
OrchestraYesterday we went to the Rose Garden to see Trans-Siberian Orchestra in their 2007 tour.

Wow.

I mean, I’ve seen my share of concerts, but these guys really do it up right.  Lights.  Set pieces.  Fire.  Lasers.  Freaking snow.  Oh, yeah.

Best known for their rock and roll arrangements of classic Christmas music (you’ve most likely heard “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24”), TSO puts on a really awesome two-part show.

The first part of the show is their Christmas fare.  They use their music to tell the story of an angel crossing the world looking for something that represents Christmas.  Some of the music is the well-known stuff you’ve heard on the radio and some of it is original music and lyrics.  I won’t lie; I’m not as into the original stuff as I am with the updated arrangements on old standards, but it’s all really well done and the story is told very well.

The second part of the show is what they refer to as “play time.”  They break away from Christmas music and play other pieces, mainly rock and roll arrangements of other classical tunes.

Let me tell you something:  You have never heard “O Fortuna” or Beethoven’s Fifth until you’ve heard them done by Trans-Siberian Orchestra.  The standard arrangements are, of course, classics, but the TSO versions are invigorating.  Life gets brought back to these pieces in a way it’s hard to describe.

What really made the show is that you could tell every one of the performers lives to do this.  They looked like they were having the time of their lives up there on stage, making music, having fun.  You wouldn’t imagine you could rock a violin, but Anna Phoebe, their violinist, does it.  Duelling electric guitarists show each other up on stage, the loser slumping his shoulders and pouting his way off stage.  A medley of fast-and-furious piano solos ends up with Vince Guaraldi’s “Linus and Lucy.”  Heads bang, hair is flipped, musicians charge through the audience.  The energy is high and every single one of the performers is almost literally glowing with the fun they’re having.

It’s a hell of a show.

If you get a chance to check them out, definitely do.  The music on CD is good, but it’s nothing compared to the live production.  I’ll be there again next year, no question about it.

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