Trans-Siberian Orchestra delivers a heavy rockin' Xmas

By Eddie Jorgensen

It’s getting close to Christmas time and that means one thing for symphonic rock and metal nerds alike: It’s time for the Trans-Siberian Orchestra to make the rounds in arenas across the United States. This year is no different—although the group is also promoting a collection of music that was released last month, Letters From The Labyrinth.

TSO was founded nearly 20 ago by composer-producer-lyricist Paul O’Neill, who eventually brought Jon Oliva and Al Pitrelli (both from the heavy metal band Savatage) into the fold along with keyboardist Robert Kinkel. Since then, the group has become a headlining sensation.

Wednesday’s show at Sleep Train Arena drew a sizable yet decidedly Caucasian crowd for the early 4 p.m. show. Many of the attendees were couples well over 50 years old with just as many middle-aged women, who traveled in groups, taking selfies throughout the night. This particular tour, dubbed “The Ghosts Of Christmas Eve,” found the band playing many fan favorites as well as songs from their latest opus as part of a Christmas-themed rock opera. The marvelous light show was replete with lasers and an ornate castle backdrop of sorts.

As customary, the TSO institution sends two different versions out on the road in different parts of the country, in an effort to capture that small window of time where their show—and records—can get the most exposure.

For those who love Christmas music with a little extra distortion, heaps of keyboards and operatic vocals, there’s little doubt the TSO brand will be routing yet another stop here next year. And the pale-skinned 50-plus crowd will likely be ready.

Photos by Paul Piazza

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