Concert Review: Trans-Siberian Orchestra

If it's almost December, it must be time for the Trans-Siberian Orchestra tour.  My son describes them as the "rock electronic Christmas band," and that is as fair a label as any.  Many tend to compare TSO to Mannheim Steamroller, the other band that has created a niche for themselves with modern takes on Christmas music, but TSO tends to skew more towards heavy rock than Mannheim Steamroller.  I think TSO is similar in many ways to Emerson Lake and Palmer, both with their tendency to cover classical songs as well as their flirtations with pretentiousness in some of their productions.  For those unfamiliar with TSO, probably their most famous work of late was "Wizards in Winter," parts of whose music video I think was included in a beer commercial last year.

My son and I got tickets to the concert because we had a couple of TSO albums (we tend to like the instrumentals and think less of the vocals).  What we had not realized is that TSO has quite a cult following.  Most of the folks around us in the audience had been to 3,4,5 or more of their shows.  Many go every year, in a ritual similar to how other folks might go to the Nutcracker every year.

There is no doubt that TSO delivers value to its fans.  We saw their second show of the day (!) and they played for a full three hours.  Members of the band at different points went all through the audience, down aisles and up stairs while playing some of the final tunes -- far more intimate contact than you will get in most other bands.  The key band members all were present after the show in the lobby for a meet and greet with their fans. 

OK, so what about the show?  Well, I was a little disappointed.  To be fair, their leader had a knee injury which forced him to play sitting down, and this tended to reduce some of the band's energy.  The music was generally good to very good.   The keyboard solos and the high-energy songs at the end were terrific. 

The problems were twofold.  First, the opening half of the show was stitched together with a narration that was just painful.  The poetry was Touched by an Angel meets Dr. Seuss.  It was a Night Before Christmas crossed with LA noir.  It just did not work for me, and I know it was weak because my 14-year-old son was laughing at it.  We both thought we were watching Spinal Tap 2.

The other problem is one that TSO fans will call me out for, but the light show through all the songs was just too much.  Don't get me wrong, I have never, ever seen anything to rival the floor show here - 6 trillion lights on the fastest-changing programming I have ever seen, zillions of lasers, flames, more flames, a ten-minute snow storm, band members descending from the sky, band members ascending to the sky, etc. etc.  You can get an idea of about 1% of it with this video  but any digital camera image of the show is worthless because the ccd can't possibly keep up.  Seriously, this video grossly understates the full effect.

The problem was that my eyes could not keep up either.  I have walked away from concerts thinking I had a perforated ear drum, but never before thinking I had a burned-out optic nerve.  My son said he needed to wear eye-plugs.  90% of the effects would have been OK had it not been for the direct audience facing lights at about 6 trillion candle power they kept insisting on flashing in my face.  Anyway, we both are quite experienced with loud, heavy metal concerts and we both walked away with a headache from this one.

Anyway, it was interesting and I am glad I went.  And I may even go back next year, but I will be prepared - I am bringing my RayBans next time.

  • Craig

    So TSO isn't really an orchestra?

  • http://profile.typekey.com/pizzachef/ Coyote

    On stage you will see - 2-3 guitarists, 2 people prancing about playing electric violin, 2 keyboardists, 1 drummer, about 6-8 vocalists, and here in Phoenix we had some extra strings being played by a local strings group. Most wear tails sortof like an orchestra, but this is definitely a rock band. Sortof. Kindof.

  • Swede

    TSO started out of Savatage's Dead Winter Dead Disc. I saw them the first year they toured at the Riveria theater in Chicago which is kind of a dive. As for the musicians depending on if its TSO west or east you'll get a different variety. With the East group you get Chris Caffery of Savatage on guitar. Alex Skolnick of Testament/Savatage a very talented thrash metal guitarist. Jeff Plate on drums of Savatage and who spent the summer touring with Metal Church. This was the only way I could get my parents to realize how talented thrash metal musicians are.
    I do have to agree with you I've seen them every year since 1999 and the first year with minimal lights was the best. Also that year I got autographs from the entire band. That also was the year Al Pitrelli ex Megadeth/Alice Cooper/Savatage/Widowmaker played. I believe he is currently with the TSO west production. With the current light show they are more Def Leppard from the Hysteria tour when they did the in the round tour with all the lasers and lighting.
    We will see them 12/23 in Grand Rapids and yes we are going to both shows. Intersting thing to watch is how technically proficient the band is. Listen to some old Testament with Alex Skolnick and hear him shred and than realize how versatile he is to go from thrash to playing 'A Mad Russians Christmas' and than slow down for 'Christmas Canon'.

  • http://www.two--four.net/weblog.php Billy Beck

    Thirty-one years in rock tour stage lights design, and I've always said that most people will not explicitly know a great light show when they're looking at it, because it stays out of the way. Even something like Pink Floyd in stadiums will work this way. When it's well integrated, it will never get in the way of the music, no matter how big it is. This is proper cue design. It's a hell of a lot of rehearsal work, and it's also a matter of world-view exposed through the designer's eye.

    I've seen video of TSO and always thought that look needed discipline.

  • EconStudent

    I have seen two TSO shows in my local arena and I love their music. The story line is sometimes pushed a bit far. My wife is a singer, so she makes sure that I appreciate the vocals (some of the girls can hit and hold high notes very well). I will agree, however, that frequently the light show is just too much. We have gotten floor seats (feeling the music is amazing that close), but it does burn the eyes with everything that goes on. In many ways I wish they would reduce the lighting that hits the fans. However, I do like the lasers and flames they use. Overall, I always recommend this show to everyone, but I will wait to go to my next show after they finish up their new CD so I can hear some new content.

  • Duncan Johnston

    I agree with the above comments but am even less forgiving of TSO. My wife and I attended the 11/20 TSO concert here in Las Vegas. We had become attracted to the TSO sound from hearing such classics as Wizards in Winter and others from YouTube. We were hoping the concert would be like that and more, we were sorely disappointed. My description of them would be 80s Hair Band meets American Idol meets The Polar Express.
    First of all, credit should be given to the awesome light show that comes with a live TSO performance. You will probably never, ever see such a display of lasers, LEDs, robo-spots, etc. anywhere else. But, as others have mentioned, shining megawatts of high-intensity spots into the audience's eyes is not a welcome thing. Now for the bad: Everything else. A live TSO production tells a Christmas story with narrator, intermixed with hard-edged Def Leppard-style guitar-driven rock. As I understand it, the first half of the show is this Christmas story, the second half more of what TSO is traditionally known for (see YouTube). I wish they did it the other way around, because the Christmas story and narration part of the show is painfully boring, but then if the better part of the show was first, most people would probably leave at half-time. As it was, we had enough after an hour and three quarters and departed. Actually, several hundred audience members (my estimation) left before us, so we weren't alone in our feeling that TSO had failed to entertain. The problem is pacing. The show gets bogged down by the Christmas story, and the VERY lengthy vocal solo numbers with piano accompaniment are arduous to endure. All the energy of the hard-driving "orchestral" numbers is lost when you have to sit through 15 minutes of a hobo singing about who-knows-what.
    As someone else pointed out, people tend to either like or dislike TSO, we fall in the latter group. Perhaps if they shortened the interminable vocal numbers and did more with the full-band, it might have turned out to be an enjoyable event, but as it is now, I can say I've been there, done that, won't go again.

  • LennyWood

    I never miss these guys on tour and have seen them in various East Coast locations each year since '99. The narration part of the show slows it down but it DOES tell a story about an angel that is very sweet. I too wish they would change up the set list though as there are some great tunes on the 2nd and 3rd Xmas-themed cd's that never get played because them playing the entire first cd takes up alot of time. Funny how the reference to ELP appears here because I saw them in NJ two years ago and Greg Lake jumped onstage to do "Karn Evil 9". WOW!!!! Am seeing them there again on 12/13 and it is the closest they come to NYC on this tour (which is strange) and I will expect another big rocker from classic rock to join them. This is a treat and takes Christmas to places it has never been though thrash metal and a stage show that would make Pink Floyd envious. The girls are very hot also. Mark Wood on electric violin just kicks everloving ass as does Alex Skolnick on thrash guitar. I have taken my son- now 10- for 5 straight years and am flying him in from Minnestota for the NJ show.

  • Mesa Econoguy

    Isn’t Mannheim Steamroller the same guy who did “Convoy”?

    And absolutely true about the lighting, from what little I’ve seen from TSO, they need a Mark Brickman (Pink Floyd’s and David Gilmour’s lighting designer).

  • http://www.two--four.net/weblog.php Billy Beck

    Brickman's design for the "Delicate Sound of Thunder" tour in '87 was revolutionary. It set new standards for the first time in nearly a decade since the appearance of the V*L-1 moving head. To anyone who works in lights, Brickman is something like our Frank Lloyd Wright.

  • Kyle

    I will respectfully contradict many previous statements. I can understand where you are coming from with the lights/projection/pryo being overpowering, but I think that you are sort of missing the point.

    A live show from the Trans-Siberian Orchestra isn’t entirely about the music; its about a performance. I understand that this is not typical of touring shows, usually filled with arrogant musicians, but it is what Mark Wood and the rest of the production staff has said from the beginning.

    While not everyone who enjoys the music may enjoy the show, they are certainly catering to a demographic that is willing to fork out the dollars to have their minds blown year after year. They want it to be a production, a show- not just a concert. Why else would they hire engineers right out of college to discover new ways to blow crap up? Note also that they split into two shows. No doubt, it is partially to make money. But they don’t need the musicians who recorded in the studio for the full show because the show is so much bigger than the musicians. They hired the best lighting designer (for metal/hard rock/in-your-face lighting) in the industry, and he sufficiently delivered. Brian Hartley is as much a part of the show as Woods and Caffery are.

    I fully understand what people are saying, but I hope you understand that they’re doing it on purpose to please a large, but maybe differnt group of people. And it works (citing the ‘cult following’). Think again about Mannheim Steamroller. Have you seen them live? They are GOD-AWFUL. The most PATHETIC show I’ve ever seen in my life. I saw TSO and MS last year about a week apart, and I nearly stabbed myself during MS. If I’d actually paid for the tickets, I would have asked for my money back. I love Steamroller, but wouldn’t ever see them live again. But I will continue to be amazed by the work they do under the direction of Chip Davis and buy their albums. I hope you will continue to follow TSO, even if you can’t handle them live.

    PS- My TSO 2008 show starts in 22 hours 16 minutes.

  • Little Buddy

    I thought that TSO had too many flashing lights, it burned my eyes. It was a cacophony of light.

  • Mike

    "I needed eye-plugs"
    LMAO!
    The show may be worth attending just for the vertigo inducing photonic extravaganza.

  • Mopie

    Saw the TSO show Sunday in Hartford. Have some friends who go every year and rave about the band. This was my first show and for a 50+ old fart, I was thoroughly entertained. The narration portion of the show was slow at times but the various genres of music made up for it.
    Hafta to agree with some of the posters here, thought I had burned retina's by the time it was over.

  • Bryan

    Googling TSO came up with this blog - which contains the best info I've seen on the net!

    Has anyone taken young ones to one of these shows or seen young kids at the shows? Did they like it? We're seeing the 4pm show tomorrow and bringing my 4 & 6 yr old. I hope they like it!

  • Duncan Johnston

    When we saw them in Vegas it was almost entirely a 35+ audience, with the exception of one woman who brought an infant to the event. Now THAT is child abuse.

  • Dave H

    >>Isn’t Mannheim Steamroller the same guy who did “Convoy”

    Yep, Chip Davis, the leader of Mannheim Steamroller was also the guy that did Convoy.

    I tend to agree with the comment that Mannheim shows are not as entertaining as TSO. I like TSO but understand those that may not. I saw Mannheim about 10 years ago and described it as listening to their albums on a really good sound system, they were note for note.

    We saw TSO last night in Colorado (the west tour group). Found some differences in this years Christmas story section, slower tempos and more live input from the instrumentalists. The second half feature more of the classical themed songs where as in the past they have also done some straight up rock numbers.

    Great show though -- and their second of that day -- these guys work hard!

  • Bryan

    So we saw the show yesterday in Colorado. My kids (4 yr old boy, 6 yr old girl) LOVED it! Although, my daughter almost fell asleep during the first half. Certain points were more painful than a root canal. Luckily we stuck around for the 2nd half although my wife and kids were hinting it was time to go, but I convinced them it was going to get better. Well it got much better and wound up being a great show.

    I do have to agree with some of the other posts - I absolutely loved the light show, but the "temporary blinding retina burning mind melding" audience facing lights were rediculous. I can't believe anyone in the audience appreciated going blind temporarily. You'd think TSO would recognize this and fix it!

  • vstar

    Saw them last night. Disjointed, blasting overdone production, HEAVY effects so to overlook rather simplistic blasting overdone production - not. Siberians from...new jersey? Expecting modern, at least current - got timewarp back to 80's glamour rock hair, contrived guitar moves boy bands. Are all those people on stage really necessary? Overpriced. Will stop now :)

  • Mark

    My wife and I (we are in our early to mid 50s) are attending the TSO performance in Nashville in a few weeks. I'm a rock fan from the 60s, but she isn't. I like "oldies" rock, while she is more of a mellow rock (non-heavy metal) fan. My question is do we attend or bail on the opportunity (even though we already have the tickets)?

  • Mopie

    Early 50's here also. Didn't miss very many concerts back in the 70's. Enjoyed the TSO show even though the light show was a bit over the top. If you have the tix, go and see for yourself. It appeals to all ages and taste.

  • sheila

    This was our 3rd time seeing them in atlanta. We look foward to it all year long. However, this year I got sick from all the lights and had to run out. There was also a kid that threw up in the aisle and several people around us closing their eyes and shielding them with their hands. We were sitting straight on. I thought maybe it wouldnt be so bad from the side?! I have never had that happen before. Other than that they are just awesome.

  • http://www.muchgooder.com muchgooder

    I saw my first show last night in Buffalo and I have mixed feelings. I see why people are attracted to the splendor but parts of the show are downright cheesy (most notably the lyrics to their original songs and the non-sensical narrative). I wrote my own review at the link below:

    http://www.muchgooder.com/home/adam.nsf/LookupContentByKey/trans-siberian_orchestra_in_buffalo

  • Ryan

    I just got home and feel cheated and almost lied to!! The Good: Most of the second half, the pirotechnics, the lazer lights and spot lights show and about 20% of their music. The Bad: the other 80% of the music is HEAVY METAL, they may as well not even have the two violins cause theyre just for looks, the music sucked im sorry to say it, it sucked. The Ugly: BRING YOUR EARPLUGS IF
    YOUR FOOLISH ENOUGH TO ATTEMPT TO GO SEE THIS SHOW! IT WILL SOUND 100 TIMES BETTER WITH EARPLUGS IN.
    I CAN NOT EXPRESS HOW UPSET I AM THAT THEY ADVERTISE THIS AS A ORCHESTRA, IT IS A HETAL BAND GETTING RICH OFF OF SUCKERS! DONT GO, LOOK UP YOUR LOCAL ORCHESTRA AND GO THERE

  • Stu

    I also just got home, I don't know if I was a different concert than the previous poster, or what. It was a BLAST!!! The first 1:15 is a Christmas story, beautifully done with narration, lyrics, and music. The second half of the show is TSO's rock adaption of some great classical music with lights and pyro thrown in.

    I would suggest you edit your post and add the word STUPID to your first sentence,

    YOU MISSED THE POINT OF THE EVENING. IT'S CHRISTMAS for christ sake.

  • rjl

    Sell your tickets if you can. Save yourself. The music is BAD and the narration is pitiful. The light show is lame. The sound system is the WORST. We attended the Dec 3rd, 2008 concert in Denver and wished we'd bought an ipod Nano for our son instead for the amount we spent.

  • Duncan Johnston

    I must differ slightly from the previous post. The music isn't bad; in fact the musicianship is quite good, assuming your favorite genre is heavy metal, and you're still stuck in the 80s. If that's your bag, bless you and enjoy. Most of us have moved on.

  • gigi

    Saw them in NJ yesterday. The biggest gripe, which could be fixed if they take care of my other gripes is TOO LONG. Three and a half hours in the same seat with no intermission,,,,,, ouch my eyes AND butt. We stayed because our usher promised 2 surprises which ended up being Steven Tyler from Aerosmith performing 2 numbers with the "orchestra". Awesome.
    The first half was horribly painful to sit through. My seventeen year old son and I agreed that we felt like we were sitting through a bad narration of "the Grinch Who Stole Christmas."
    The vocalists were sub-par, particularly the men with grating voices. When you're an "orchestra" you should stick to what you do well (instrumentals) and leave the singing to other groups. Their big instrumental production numbers which they are famous for were phenomenal.

  • DocBrown

    I must say the show is absolutely amazing! I will give all of you old people with apparently bad eyes a suggestion, sit in the lower bowl area, not on the floor! TSO's main thing is their intense and amazing light show, and in the lower bowl you get really nothing in your eyes, and you see the entire thing without having to look up or left and right. The beginning does drag with the narrator and I'm getting sick of hearing the same jokes year after year. On the plus side, they are playing more and more from Night Castle each year, so there is some new music. With Night Castle, I hear rumors that they may end up with a Christmas tour and then a summer tour, self explanatory what they would play for each tour. I am an LD and my goal ius to one day be part of TSO's tour, only time will tell.

  • Whoa

    Their recorded music is awesome. Live, it is just too hard to pay attention to the music with the continuous visual assault. I am not exaggerating. WAY overdone.

  • Danielle

    I have a quick question..does anyone know the name of the song that they did, it was sung by one of the guys with just a guitar. It wasn't any of their songs but another bands. I really loved that song and I just can't remember what it was. I am sorry this was so vague.

  • Fred

    I am scheduled to see this Dec 23rd in Memphis. I like Techno and European Electric, but I am not a heavy metal fan...I lived through the '80's...I like the music, but I can stay home and see that. From what I have read, I am not sure what to expect out of this. I have never been to a TSO concert, but I like their recordings. I like a good show and music, but I have paid a small fortune for these tickets, I do not want to waste my time as well.

  • Bryan

    I'm writing due to the fact that this piece of garbage call TSO is horrible. This collection of rock band, orchestra, light show, is possibly the worst idea ever. The show will guarantee to ruin your evening, and anyone that is pathetic enough to actually like it has a distorted sense of nature. PLEASE save your money!!!!!! STAY AWAY!!!! The clientele drawn to this type of event is band geeks, trailer trash, and people with low IQ's.

  • Andrea

    Bryan, you're a TOTAL snob. I'm neither trailer trash or a band geek and don't think I have a low IQ. I just saw the Nashville show with my teenage son and we both thought it was great! The lights were indeed "bright" but that's part of the attraction to this kind of show. If you want to see a "normal" orchestra go to your local symphony. I must agree with some of the earlier reviewers, the first part of the show was a tad bit slow....the narrator and the loooong song sung by the "Christmas Bum" could have been cut...our favorite part was the second half of the show where they just let loose and entertained. The showmanship was second to none. We walked away very entertained and just saying "WOW"! And our eyes didn't even bleed.

  • Mark

    I posted to this blog on December 6 asking the question "would we like this concert?" We attended the evening performance in Nashville on the 21st and we both agree it was worth the money! Great music and a light show that is second to none! Loud? Yes. Bright lights? Yes. Fantastic entertainment? Absolutely!!

  • Ron

    We went to the matinee performance of Trans Siberian Orchestra in Nashville and I must say, if you only have one concert to go to for the rest of your life, make it TSO. The sheer raw talent, showmanship, professionalism and personality they throw out was highlighted by lights, lasers, pyrotechnics, fog, snow and incredible music.

    It was nothing like any live performance we've seen. To make it more special, at the beginning of the three-hour show, the concert master came out with some of the local DJs and the director of Vanderbilt Children's Hospital and presented a $16,489 check - $1 for each ticket sold.

    And get this - the backup string section was comprised totally of the Nashville Strings.

    I wish I could be more descriptive, but the pageantry was almost overwhelmingly beyond mortal words. Simply fabulous.

    The story-telling by the kindly old gentleman and the convincing song and story by the "hobo" at the first half of the show were superb. The second half is where TSO seriously got down and kicking.

    We were third row center. When they came to the edge of the stage, we were about 12 feet away. The lower platforms put them about six feet away, which brought the end of the show gestures even better. Mark Wood came down and presented a young boy his violin bow, and Tommy Farese presented another young boy a guitar signed by what appeared to be the entire band.

    Despite what negatives some may have about the show or the band, that was pure class in our my opinion.

    It was my Christmas present from my girlfriend and this will go down as the best ever.

  • Tate

    I was at the Nashville concert yesterday and agree with several postings above. The show was worth the time, and expense. I'm glad I was able to experience it. As mentioned, the direct lights were a bit much but the lasers were great.

    Can anyone tell me how much of the show is actually live? I know there were several numbers that were but some of the larger light production numbers the timing looked too perfect to be live.

  • Aaron Baker

    I think the TSO has enough material for a 30-minute concert but they throw a bunch of other stuff and make it an interminal 3 plus hours. The big numbers are awesome, set is cool, and the lights were incredible. We were in the lower bowl and I didn't feel like the lights were in my face too much, but sensory overload was definitely happening. The sound was quite good, although any choir vocals were totally garbled. The narrator must have pictures, otherwise he wouldn't have been on the road with them. I would pay to see their 5 best songs, but I wouldn't sign up for another entire show, felt really tedious about an hour in--little did I realize that I had another 2 hours to go. Many people around me were leaving or texting much of the way through the show.

  • Dave

    Couple of comments on some previous questions

    >>And get this - the backup string section was comprised totally of the Nashville Strings.

    Actually, the backup string section is always locally hired musicians, so in Denver it's the "Denver Strings", etc. A common practice in the music industry.

    >>Can anyone tell me how much of the show is actually live? I know there were several numbers that were but some of the larger light production numbers the timing looked too perfect to be live.

    I'm not aware that any of it is recorded. If you look closely, the entire band has ear pieces so I would suspect there are click tracks or other cues that are sent to the band to keep everything in sync when needed.

  • Laura

    It appears that I am the first Knoxville concert goer to post. I agree with most of the things the Nashville folks are saying especially Ron. I was not even aware of who TSO were until the last couple months. One of the cooks in my restaurant began playing them constantly on his ipod and I became interested. When he mentioned they were coming to town I decided to take a chance and make it my Christmas gift to my father who is increasingly impossible to shop for and is a classical music freak. Well, I must say I am now a die hard fan and can not wait to see them again. I will go out of town if necessary. What a group of people! You can tell they're having an absolute BLAST on stage. And when they announce after the "halftime" that they're going to "blow some stuff up" when they already kicked butt throughout the first half....well you know you're in for a treat. The only negatives are a couple times the music tends to drown the singers. Do they miss a note here and there? Sure. It's a live show! The lights keep moving most of the time so they're very tolerable. Only a couple times did they just sit in my face (I was in third balcony straight out). I never thought it was too loud. Just a couple times when the electric guitars lingered a few seconds too long. But you pay for a show and you GET A SHOW. With as big a show and arena I truly felt a comraderie among them. It blew my mind and I heard my dad chuckling after the classical bits. It's nice that a group can appeal to such a broad spectrum of tastes and also deliver a nice Christmas message. Is the first half boring? NO WAY!!! I don't know what that person saw. Must have been a different concert. Their performance of O Fortuna was simply mesmerizing. I think I had to close my mouth afterwards. Anyway people, please do check these guys out. I think they're simply amazing, awesome, breathtaking, and any other word you can think of that is almost life changing. I just joined the fan club and am looking forward to the new album. Here's hoping they continue to include Knoxville on their tour date roster.

  • http://comcast Edith

    Saw the awesome concert last night in Memphis and I do mean awesome. This is the most amazing concert I've ever been to and I've been to a lot. My 14 year old son also loved it. The combination of musicians, singers and lights are spectacular. I must say I felt I received my moneys worth and then some. If you don't like this concert, then you don't like rock or classical. They have taken Christmas music to a whole new level. Chrismas "Rocksical" as I like to call it. They are the best of the best. I don't even want to go see another concert, because after this all other concerts will seem lame. I plan to see them every time they're in Memphis. TSO - Keep on Rockin'!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Pam

    Is it a jeans and t-shirt kind of affair or dress and suit? I've heard lots of different opinions on the concert and can't wait for tomorrow.

  • Gwen

    Well, what seems to be lost in this review is that Trans-Siberian Orchestra is about Christmas. Yes, they are rock opera/Christmas but HELLO they tour during Christmas. If you are not about Christmas, which has always had what some label a "sappy story" to tell, then why would you bother going to see this band?

    Part of what is wrong with the world today is that we have a select group of people whom seem to think that they have the right to shred honest and worthy works of others. Critics are a dime a dozen, and this critic seems to lack the good taste to know when they have seen/heard something worthwhile. I have little tolerance for the likes of this critic and those whom have jumped on his band-wagon to trash this awesome band. Did your mother not teach you, that if you have nothing nice to say, you should say nothing at all? Or were you raised by the GRINCH? I would imagine the latter would be more likely the case.....

    Oh, and to the critic, why don't you do everyone who likes the band a favor, and stay home next year, so a true fan might sit in your seat? Oh and to the person who thought people were just leaving early in the show....those would have been the people who were in the front of the line for the meet and greet. The first time I went to see Trans-Siberian Orchestra, I thought what is wrong with those people? Don't they know that the concert is not over yet? But, there they were, after the show the first people in line for the meet and greet. I know this for fact, because the couple who were sitting next to me where the first two people in the incredibly long, long line to meet TSO!

    So, go to see Trans-Siberian Orchestra by all means those of you out there who have never been! You will get your money's worth, and hopefully you will not be seated near a disrespectful critic and his son who choose to laugh at the Christmas story and whine and complain about the group.

  • Yirmin

    Just saw their show last night... and I knew I was in trouble when the old dude behind me noticed that I had ear plugs and said, "Aw you came prepared, so did I," and pointed to his sunglasses.... I wasn't prepared... yes the ear plugs helped to tone down the sound so you could more clearly hear what was going on, but I think I needed a wielders mask to tone down the lights.

    The lights were so bright that I found myself closing my eyes during some of the show and simply listening to the music because being 20 feet from the stage where they have strobes lights pointed at your face tends to blind you.

    I think I'll just listen to them at home from now on. I can enjoy just about any type of music... but they don't seem to realize that loud doesn't equal good (the show was in an area designed for maximum crowd volume during basketball games, that means it has lot of echo and mega loud music becomes noise)... and bright lights don't equal a good show. The most enjoyable parts of the show were the times when a member did a solo since it was the only time you could truly hear them play and that only time they seem to hold off on the blinding strobes.

    Sometimes less is more... unfortunately TSO doesn't understand that.

  • Diane

    To Danielle who inquired about the song that was sung by one of the guys with just the guitar--the song is called "Old City Bar". You should be able to find the words at the TSO website (under lyrics). My hubby and I are 70 and 60 respectively and we see two performances of TSOs a year at different venues. Next year we said we'll probably take in three shows. Without going out on a limb, this is the biggest rock musical production in the world and we enjoy it more than we can express!