December 23, 2013 –The Trans-Siberian Orchestra has come through Philadelphia during the Christmas season for the past 15 years, and I always say that I should have gone to see them. I enjoy their progressive style that mixes the musical sounds of rock and classical with Christmas, and I’ve been curious about their live performance ever since I heard them described as Pink Floyd meets Emerson, Lake, and Palmer meets The Who.
This year, we planned ahead, bought tickets, and discovered TSO was worth the wait and the hype built up over these many performances.
TSO has a special place in their heart for Philadelphia, since their first concert played here. The unique group visited the city of brotherly love again on Saturday for two live concerts, to offer their last performance of “The Lost Christmas Eve”, the third part of their Christmas trilogy, which will retire after this tour.
The story as told by the narrator in between musical numbers is a little cheesy – a man loses his wife during childbirth, gives up the child, and lives a lonely, miserable life – but it plays well on stage with all of the pomp and circumstance, and lights, lasers, and fireballs, because the music is the main attraction. “The Lost Christmas Eve” includes such Christmas classics as “What Child is This”, “O Come All Ye Faithful”, and a jamming rock version of perhaps the most beautiful piece of music ever written, Pachelbel’s “Cannon in D”.
After the story finished, TSO played for another 45 minutes and treated the 13,000 plus in attendance to a variety of songs from their albums. Throw in a little Beethoven, music from the Nutcracker, “A Charlie Brown Christmas”, and “Christmas Eve in Sarajevo”, a melody of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” and “Carol of the Bells”, and the spirit of Christmas came to life for the grateful audience who appreciated TSO’s tremendous talent.
Now that their holiday trilogy is complete and retired, will they be back next year? Most likely. Performing in a city for 15 years straight is a hard habit to break.