I had the pleasure to go see the final show of a 120 date run of the Trans Siberian Orchestra’s Christmas tour at the XL Center in Hartford, CT this weekend. This being my first TSO show, I was ready to see a big orchestra and a reasonably good show to accompany it. What I got was a small orchestra and an incredible show to accompany it. Quite the opposite of my expectations; there was perhaps, a 5-7 piece string section off to the left of the drums, and front and center was a mix of guitarists, a bassist, singers, backup singers, dancers, and a rock violinist.
From the moment I walked into the arena I knew I was in for a show that would rival with all of the major tours going around today. The production matched the scale of acts such as Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, and Jay Z. From the laser light show to the rest of the lights and to the automation, there wasn’t a spot of the arena that wasn’t covered. A B-Stage catered to the people further back and a cherry-picker type feature catered to the people above. See photos below.
The show was broken down into two parts. The first half was not nearly as intense as the second half. To start off the show they play a video that takes you on a journey of sorts through a winter scene into a house and up into an attic. This scene plays into the show’s story line which was read in-betwene different songs throughout the night. A well dressed fellow would read passages from the Christmas Attic Story, circa 1998.
It told the tale of a young girl who did not believe in the miracle of Christmas and she laid awake that night praying to an angel who just received a mission from the Lord to go down to earth with only his soul and to leave an everlasting change. This mission was interrupted by this girl’s prayers, the angel then guided the girl into the attic of her house where she was waiting for someone to come down the chimney. While up there, she discovered a chest with items from Christmases past. The most important items being Christmas letters telling about the wonders of the holiday from the senders perspective. This inspired her to act upon each letter, making her realize that it isn’t whose coming down the chimney or what is underneath the tree that makes the magic of Christmas, but rather what you do as an individual for others that makes Christmas magical. The angel then thought he didn’t have any time to complete his mission but soon realized that his mission was to help the girl realize this magic.
In-between this tale, TSO played intense songs with an ever intensifying production throughout the evening. They played songs like Christmas in the Air, and Boughs of Holly in the first half of the evening. Then to more well known hits like Wizards in Winter and This Christmas Day in the second half.
They ended the evening with a mind blowing cover of Sarajevo’s, Christmas Eve.
Everyone in this group had the greatest showmanship that I have seen in awhile. Well rehearsed, great chemistry, an awesome show. Everyone in this group held extraordinary talent in their respective places. From Kayla Reeves and Georgia Napolitano’s breath taking vocals to Roddy Chong’s immersive energy while paying the strings, Paul O’Neill(the founder) has build a band to remember.
TSO just wrapped up their christmas tour, but be sure to catch them next year when they go out again! Check out some photos from the show below! To see all of the photos please visit Galactic Gallery.