A yearly tradition for many years for my family and me has been to go to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra Christmas Concerts. So when I got a chance to check out TSO for Hellhound I jumped at the chance to go and see one of my favorite groups ever perform live. Now if you have never been to a TSO concert it can be awe inspiring… hell even if you have seen the show, the changes that they make to their stage show are amazing. TSO is a Symphonic Metal group, comprising of some of the best talent in the world. While they are most well known for their Christmas albums, they do have a large discography for you to enjoy. Most of them mixing in elements from Classical music and giving them their own spin, mixing in electric guitars, metal drums, and much more. They always collaborate with a local orchestra giving the city a chance to hear some of their local talent play in a much larger scale than they usually get the chance. They also give a portion of the ticket sales to local charities, and make sure to give back to the communities they visit. They always have 2 teams performing at the same time hitting as many cities as they can, usually performing up to 2 shows in a single evening per crew. Each stage setup is the same in each city and they have one of the best road crews imaginable. Their massive stages being broken down and out of city before the performers are even asleep for the evening. They have their work flow down to an art. They hit different 34 states, 61 cities, doing 105 shows with 44 of those shows being double show days from mid November 2016 through the end of December with a total of 21,172 miles traveled.
On stage they look like a hair metal group from the 70s and 80s. But their stage set is what is amazing. Just their light show alone would set them apart from almost any other group in the music industry today. They don’t just have concert lighting, they have a massive system of moving trusses that move throughout the entire performance, incorporating moving lights, lasers, lighting tricks, and it even will shoot snow out to fall down onto the crowd below. The snow is amazing catching the lights from the rig, and dazzling concert goers. No it doesn’t just move up and down, the entire system breaks apart and moves independently, and they have much more than just the lights. They also have stages that lift up high into the air, and move above the crowd across whatever arenas that they play. Bringing the Musicians much closer to the attendees of the show. Meaning there is not a bad seat in the house! Did we mention the Pyrotechnics? They have enough pyrotechnics at a single show to be seen from space. We aren’t talking a couple fireworks going off here, we are talking about entire columns of flames shooting up behind our musicians… Flames so intense that the crowd can feel them. I personally had to take off my coat when the flames shot up because I literally started to over heat, so you can guess how hot it gets on stage for the performers!
The format of the TSO show varies from year to year, but there is usually always a narrator telling the story for the year, which then leads way into their songs. This year they switched things up and in my opinion is one of their best shows in years. It focused mainly on their most popular songs, and touched across most of their albums and not just the Christmas ones. The theme of this year’s show was the Ghosts of Christmas Eve and I was really happy with the music. If you haven’t had a chance to listen to their music please go out and check out some of their songs through your favorite streaming platform, or even better hit up their iTunes store and pick up something to rock out to. Some of their more popular tracks to check out: Wizards of Winter, Christmas Eve/Sarajevo, This Christmas Day, A Mad Russian’s Christmas, Christmas Canon Rock, Wish Liszt… My personal favorite is Carmina Burana. I have also linked their Soundcloud with some tracks below.
If you haven’t checked out one of their performances in the past you really should take the time to go out and enjoy one of their concerts. Even though they are Christmas themed, don’t let that fool you, there is some great music. I have a hard time not rocking out the entire time that I am there, usually giving in to head banging and throwing up the horns as I listen to some of my favorite music being put out by some of the best in music!
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