Trans-Siberian Orchestra has become a favorite Christmas past time for many families in the past few years. The progressive rock band is known for their incredible stage show, and mix in some beautifully redone classic Christmas songs, and a heartwarming story to boot, and you've got the perfect lead into the holiday season.
The band stopped into South Florida for the holiday season once again at the BB&T Center on December 16th only, powering through two sets, one in the afternoon, and one at night. As usual, the band donated $1 from every ticket sold to the event to a local charity, this year to Big Dog Rescue Ranch.
There is nothing small about a Trans-Siberian Orchestra show. The group of performers on stage is massive. There are over fifteen touring performers and a local group of performers that join them on stage The show itself, however, is even bigger. There is an overwhelming amount of lasers, lighting rigs, pyrotechnics, and back story video that are programmed perfectly to only bring their music to life even more. The entire show is an immersive event, it's more than a concert, but an experience. You are constantly bouncing back and forth from one side of the stage to the other, trying to soak every single detail in. Performers on raising platforms, falling snow, a spinning fire pyramid in the back of the arena, and a hanging metal catwalk that the musicians used to interact with the crowd, are just some of the key elements that bring the entire show together as a whole.
The setlist boasted nearly thirty songs spanning almost two and a half hours of a pure rock spectacle for the crowd. Almost half of the set was the soundtrack to “The Ghosts of Christmas Eve” the TV movie of a young runaway who finds shelter in a rundown theater, and through encounters with Christmas Ghost's finds her will to return home, and a ticket there, through the music of TSO. The story was brought to life with the music, but also through an on-stage narrorator, and clips from the movie playing behind the band. The soundtrack kicks off with a powerful mash-up of “O Come All Ye Faithful” and “O Holy Night.” The highlight of the set would have to be “Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24,” this was the song that first garnered TSO success back when it hit the charts in 1996. The Ghosts of Christmas Eve segment closed out with “This Christmas Day” but the band kicked right in to the TSO classics with it's “Christmas Jam.” Other notable songs were the fiery backdrop to “Wizards of Winter” and the solemn and hauntingly beautiful “Not the Same.” The band ended the night with the reprise to “Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24)” bringing the set full circle and ending on an incredibly powerful note. Each member of the band was introduced, took their bows, and the audience was left reeling from the full on stimuli assault they just received.
It's been said plenty of times, if Trans-Siberian Orchestra is coming to your town, especially during Christmas time, you must go. This is not a show that you can experience through a screen catching clips here and there, you need to be present to feel the awe-inspiring emotional performance that these talented performers bring to us time and time again.
1. Who I Am 2. March of the Kings 3. The Lost of Christmas Eve 4. O Come All Ye Faithful / O Holy Night 5. Good King Joy 6. Christmas Dreams 7. Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24) 8. Christmas Canon Rock 9. What Child Is This? 10. Music Box Blues 11. First Snow 12. Promises to Keep 13. This Christmas Day
14. Christmas Jam 15. A Mad Russian's Christmas 16. A Last Illusion 17. Christmas Nights in Blue 18. Wizards in Winter 19. Carmina Burana 20. Madness of Men 21. Not the Same 22. The Night Conceives 23. The Mountain 24. Find Our Way Home 25. Requiem (The Fifth) 26. Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24) (Reprise)