Christmas is a time of joy, harmony and songs. Christmas carols are sung in churches, towns and played on the radio. Most everyone knows the traditional songs of “Silent Night”, “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” and “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” However, some people may not know about the hard rock Christmas music produced by Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO).
Trans-Siberian Orchestra was founded around 1993 by Paul O’Neill, producer and manager of other rock bands such as Aerosmith and AC/DC, who brought Jon Oliva and Al Pitrelli to join him. Together, they produced their first installment Christmas Eve and Other Stories (1996), which contains one of the more popular songs “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24.” The orchestra team grew and gained popularity in 1999 as they began touring with the album The Christmas Attic (1998), which contains another popular song “Christmas Canon.” TSO has since produced Beethoven’s Last Night (2000), The Lost Christmas Eve (2004), Night Castle (2009) and Dreams of Fireflies (2012). O’Neill passed away April 5, 2017 and with his passing TSO dedicates their performances to his memory.
Perhaps the most memorable part of TSO is that each of their albums tells a tale. For example, Beethoven’s Last Night tells a tale about the devil appearing to Beethoven to collect his soul. The music then follows Beethoven’s time with Fate and Twist who helps him trick the devil and keeps his soul. The album The Lost Christmas Eve follows a story of loss and redemption circling a rundown hotel, an old toy store, a blues bar, a Gothic Cathedral and the inhabitants all intertwined on Christmas Eve in New York City.
With their great success, the group has performed at multiple locations across the U.S. such as Erie, PA; Baltimore, MD; Salt Lake City, UT; Phoenix, AZ; and Hershey, PA. Each show is spectacular with its use of pyrotechnics and laser lights. With each drum beat and fast instrumental sections, a puff of fire shoots or the laser lights flash around the arena. The performers will even walk through the aisle of some areas and be raised on platforms. This shows the performers are dedication to their work, adding to the experience.
If you want a taste of what kind of music Trans-Siberian Orchestra, their music can be found on YouTube and iTunes. Or better yet, go catch of their shows and experience the pyrotechnics, lights and their passion for yourself.