Trans-Siberian Orchestra Brings Progressive Rock To A Whole Other Level

Trans-Siberian Orchestra
December 18, 2015
Giant Center- Hershey, PA

     Trans-Siberian Orchestra has definitely earned their keep in the holiday music genre within the holiday season over the past few years that fans can most definitely expect to see their concert tour come to town almost as faithfully as “Santa Clause”.

Every year, starting from around Thanksgiving time to the end of the year, the talented handful of musicians fill arenas with fans waiting to listen to their incredible mash-ups of classical music and amplified rock music.

TSO could almost be considered a nostalgia act, except their shows are made up of adrenaline filled energy. At their matinee concert at the Giant Center in Hershey, PA., the band, which features a couple of very talented guitarists, a violinist, percussionist, keyboardist and a chorus, literally lit up the stage and rocked their way through nearly two-and-a-half hours of rocking their version of  classic Christmas tunes.

The first half of the show featured a retelling of Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s The Ghosts of Christmas Eve. Although the retelling was short on narrative story, the first part was mainly focused on more of their acoustical performance, the songs worked nicely with the tone of the first half of the set, which were less head-banging type ballads. The story, which is broadcasted on a giant screen behind the orchestra, follows a young runaway who breaks into a vaudeville theater and experiences the many ghostly haunts of the holiday season, according to press notes. A storyteller brings the tale to life in a Charles-Dickens-inspired narration.

The set list of the first half of the show were Christmas Canon, O’ Come All Ye Faithful and their most popular hit, Christmas Eve Sarajevo 12/24. The orchestra performed on an elevated platform and also on a lower stage had the keyboardist, a violinist and a their super talented group of guitarists. Usually at TSO concerts, the stage has two plank like stages that extends over the audience.  The musicians also run around from one side of the stage to the other, trying to get the crowd to scream and clap or make some sort of noise, which sometimes the enthusiasm takes them into the aisles of the arena to interact with their fans.

Accompanying the musicians is a laser-light show that almost matches the energy that came off from the stage. At times, audience members will feel like they are in the middle of a virtual yet reality like video game thanks to the wild shapes and dizzy making effects that the lighting engineers were are able to pull off yet blow you away. Also, Smoke machines were involved as a large pyramid spun around behind the fog. Every bit of the stage seems outfitted with a mind blowing light show for each song played.

After two decades of rock dominance, with several hits songs and much ticket-buying success, it’s safe to say that Trans-Siberian Orchestra can definitely be that one special tradition families can pencil into their Christmas-themed events.

Review by: Alyssa Howell