Tag Archives: al pitrelli

The Trans-Siberian Orchestra Unveils Their “2017 Winter Tour” Dates!

Given the state of the world in which we live in and its constant barrage of words and actions that make the sanest among us shake their respective heads; I was so looking forward to a little light and this came care of the powers that be behind the mighty Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Read the brief press statement below the exciting video about their “2017 Winter Tour” – Needless to say there are a lot of dates to choose from (more than “100” in total between the East and West Coast companies) so you have quite a choice. Especially if you are a fan that attends more than one city like the folks I have met over the years.

The Press Announcement:
“Dear TSO Fans, We are especially grateful to announce that we will hit the road again this winter to perform ‘The Ghosts of Christmas Eve’ the best of TSO and more!! We appreciate the loyalty our fans have shown us throughout the years and we want to make sure you know how dedicated we are to you and the traditions we have created together. If you are taking part in this year’s Fan Club Presale, we have a new process where Ticketmaster #VerifiedFan registration is now required so visit our website for instructions and important information! We are looking forward to seeing everyone this touring season! Sincerely,
All of us from the Trans-Siberian Orchestra”

The Tour Dates:
Nov 16: 7:30 PM – Council Bluffs, IA @ Mid-America Center
Nov 16: 4:00 PM & 8:00 PM – Erie, PA @ Erie Insurance Arena
Nov 17: 8:00 PM – Baltimore, MD @ Royal Farms Arena
Nov 18: 3:00 PM & 8:00 PM – Allentown, PA @ PPL Center
Nov 18: 3:00 PM & 8:00 PM – Denver, CO @ Pepsi Center
Nov 19: 3:00 PM & 7:30 PM – Colorado Springs, CO @ World Arena
Nov 19: 2:30 PM & 7:00 PM – Wilkes Barre, PA @ Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza
Nov 21: 4:00 PM & 8:00 PM – Salt Lake City, UT @ Vivint Smart Home Arena
Nov 22: 7:30 PM – Rochester, NY @ Blue Cross Arena
Nov 24: 7:30 PM – Spokane, WA @ Spokane Arena
Nov 24: 3:00 PM & 8:00 PM – Worcester, MA @ DCU Center
Nov 25: 3:00 PM & 8:00 PM – Manchester, NH @ SNHU Arena
Nov 25: 3:30 PM & 8:00 PM – Seattle, WA @ KeyArena
Nov 26: 3:00 PM & 7:30 PM – Eugene, OR @ Matthew Knight Arena
Nov 26: 3:00 PM & 8:00 PM – Uncasville, CT @ Mohegan Sun Arena
Nov 29: 7:30 PM – Fort Wayne, IN @ Allen County War Memorial Coliseum
Nov 29: 7:30 PM – Fresno, CA @ Save Mart Center
Nov 30: 7:30 PM – Lexington, KY @ Rupp Arena
Nov 30: 7:30 PM – Oakland, CA @ Oracle Arena
Dec 01: 3:30 PM & 8:00 PM – Sacramento, CA @ Golden 1 Center
Dec 01: 3:30 PM & 8:00 PM – Toledo, OH @ Huntington Center
Dec 02: 3:00 PM & 8:00 PM – Dayton, OH @ Nutter Center
Dec 02: 3:30 PM & 7:30 PM – Ontario, CA @ Citizens Business Bank Arena
Dec 03: 3:00 PM & 7:30 PM – Grand Rapids, MI @ Van Andel Arena
Dec 03: 3:30 PM & 8:00 PM – Phoenix, AZ @ Gila River Arena
Dec 06: 3:00 PM & 7:30 PM – El Paso, TX @ Don Haskins Center
Dec 06: 7:30 PM – Richmond, VA @ Richmond Coliseum
Dec 07: 7:30 PM – Charlotte, NC @ Spectrum Center
Dec 07: 7:00 PM – Lubbock, TX @ United Supermarkets Arena
Dec 08: 4:00 PM & 8:00 PM – Greenville, SC @ Bon Secours Wellness Arena
Dec 08: 8:00 PM – Wichita, KS @ INTRUST Bank Arena
Dec 09: 3:00 PM & 8:00 PM – Duluth, GA @ Infinite Energy Arena
Dec 09: 3:00 PM & 8:00 PM – Kansas City, MO @ Sprint Center
Dec 10: 3:00 PM & 7:30 PM – Greensboro, NC @ Greensboro Coliseum
Dec 10: 3:00 PM & 7:00 PM – Oklahoma City, OK @ Chesapeake Energy Arena
Dec 13: 7:30 PM – Birmingham, AL @ BJCC Arena
Dec 13: 7:30 PM – Raleigh, NC @ PNC Arena
Dec 14: 7:30 PM – Jacksonville, FL @ Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena
Dec 14: 7:30 PM – Washington, DC @ Capital One Arena
Dec 15: 3:30 PM & 8:00 PM – Hershey, PA @ Giant Center
Dec 15: 8:00 PM – Sunrise, FL @ BB&T Center
Dec 16: 3:00 PM & 8:00 PM – Buffalo, NY @ KeyBank Center
Dec 16: 3:00 PM & 8:00 PM – Orlando, FL @ Amway Center
Dec 17: 3:00 PM & 7:30 PM – Philadelphia, PA @ Wells Fargo Center
Dec 17: 3:00 PM & 7:30 PM – Tampa, FL @ Amalie Arena
Dec 20: 7:30 PM – Indianapolis, IN @ Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Dec 20: 7:30 PM – New Orleans, LA @ Smoothie King Center
Dec 21: 4:00 PM & 8:00 PM – Cincinnati, OH @ US Bank Arena
Dec 21: 3:30 PM & 8:00 PM – Houston, TX @ Toyota Center
Dec 22: 3:30 PM & 8:00 PM – Dallas, TX @ American Airlines Center
Dec 22: 3:00 PM & 8:00 PM – Pittsburgh, PA @ PPG Paints Arena
Dec 23: 3:00 PM & 8:00 PM – Detroit, MI @ Little Caesars Arena
Dec 23: 3:30 PM & 8:00 PM – San Antonio, TX @ AT&T Center
Dec 26: 3:00 PM & 8:00 PM – Newark, NJ @ Prudential Center
Dec 26: 3:00 PM & 8:00 PM – St Louis, MO @ Scottrade Center
Dec 27: 3:00 PM & 7:30 PM – Albany, NY @ Times Union Center
Dec 28: 3:00 PM & 8:00 PM – Chicago, IL @ Allstate Arena
Dec 29: 3:00 PM & 8:00 PM – Cleveland, OH @ Quicken Loans Arena
Dec 29: 3:00 PM & 8:00 PM – Milwaukee, WI @ BMO Harris Bradley Center
Dec 30: 3:00 PM & 8:00 PM – Columbus, OH @ Nationwide Arena
Dec 30: 3:00 PM & 8:00 PM – St Paul, MN @ Xcel Energy Center
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Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s Debut “Christmas Eve & Other Stories”; A Modern Classic At 20 Years

I can hardly believe that I am writing this but I am got for today marks the 20th Anniversary of the release of “Christmas Eve and Other Stories” by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. It was the group’s first album and it blew me away from the very first listen and I can proudly say that I have been listening to this recording since it was released. My introduction to them is on the amusing side because I had been a longtime fan of the band Savatage and was keeping up with their releases as they appeared at the record shop and found the sounds on the album “Dead Winter Dead” to be something very, very different. In my mind the band always pushed the creative envelope and were more than a typical Heavy Metal band but with this body of work there was a grandiose nature to it and even a sense of cinematic or Broadway drama. This was of course due to the creative genius of Paul O’Neill and Jon Oliva who wrote and composed this one from beginning to end. When that album reached the track of “Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24)” I was floored. Yeah I had listened to Heavy Metal Christmas tracks when I heard them but they were few and far between at the time. Stryper had a good one but most of the rest were just Rock artists. This was new and quite different to my aural senses.
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“Return To Wacken” by Savatage

Artist: Savatage
Title: “Return To Wacken”
Label: Ear Music
Release Date: 6/30/2015
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 4/5

It’s been far too long since the Metal world has had new music from the great Savatage and their last recorded work together was on “Poets and Madmen” which hit us hard back in 2001 care of Nuclear Blast Records. Since that time, Savatage has been on a bit of a lengthy hiatus while numerous members focused their creative energies on the holiday touring juggernaut known as the Trans-Siberian Orchestra while others continued on into projects of their own. Now in celebration of the bands return to the live stage for the Wacken Open Air Festival, a rather sound compilation of some of the bands classics has been issued and for the foreseeable future this is as close to “new” as we shall get from the legendary band. My notes on the release come from my relatively long association with their material (since 1988 if memory serves me correctly) and a deep knowledge of their back catalog. I didn’t have a copy of my own and was listening to a digital stream of it online. As a collection, this serves up well as a grouping of very necessary tracks for the listeners who might not be all that up on the bands historic game. Let’s consider this to be “Savatage Primer” since its all expected numbers as opposed to any sort of deep tracks. Perhaps if this was a double CD edition but alas this is only a single disc.
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“Michael Bolton” by Michael Bolton

Artist: Michael Bolton
Title: “Michael Bolton”
Label: Sony Music
Release Date: 10/25/1990
Genre: Melodic Rock
Rating: 3.75/5

You might be thinking that I’ve lost my wits as you glance upon a review of a legacy piece by crooner Michael Bolton on a Metal and Hard Rock reviews website, but believe me there is a sound reasoning for my opting to do so. The self titled recording “Michael Bolton” is historic for a number of reasons, even though the original 1983 release that hit the shelves was the singer’s third actual solo album. The first piece of historical note was that this was the singer’s first usage of his stage name on a recorded work and the second was based on his music actually being a very melodic and catchy Hard Rock as opposed to what he eventually became known for. The album open’s up with “Fool’s Game” which is a pumping track for its time period and has a great “big” chorus that finds you singing along at the first listen. The tune was actually covered by the German artist Axel Rudi Pell a couple of years ago and this was part of the reasoning for my digging the album out of my musical archives. I always liked the basic groove of the opening track and the anthem-like “She Did The Same Thing” which seems to find a pair of guys comparing negative notes on a recent love. “Hometown Hero” is a solid number and could have worked on the conventional radio of the time period and it even had a great guitar solo. I’m not sure which guitar players did exactly what tunes on the release but the album features several of them in Bob Kulick, Aldo Nova, and Al Pitrelli. Perhaps you have heard of a couple of them and if not, do a little Google searching because they’re all worth learning a little more about.
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“Anthology: Set The World Afire” by Megadeth

Artist: Megadeth
Title: “Anthology: Set The World Afire”
Label: Capitol Records/EMI Music
Release Date: 9/30/2008
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 4.5/5

It seemed like only yesterday that we found this very label releasing a “Greatest Hits” compilation by those stalwarts of the Heavy Metal way Megadeth and while it was true that the release would deliver the goods when it came down to pure and intelligent Metal, the time had clearly come for the game to be upgraded and for this idea to be visited once again. That Greatest Hits package was a single disc seventeen track affair and it managed to cover a lot of ground which definitely served the needs of the bands fan base but now with the labeling being that of an Anthology, we would now get two discs and the material would span some thirty three tracks. From top to bottom, everything that you expect to find on such a release is here to be enjoyed and examined from an early career to most recent viewpoint. Of course with the band now being on Roadrunner Records, we don’t find anything from their latest album “United Abominations” but we do go up as far as “Risk” and “Cryptic Writings”. All of the staple tracks from the bands beginnings are here and while it seems as though every song that we found on “Greatest Hits” is made available here, we do find that “Symphony Of Destruction” is a live version and “Mechanix” this time around is the original for on the hits release a couple of years ago gave us a remix from 2002. A second live track is offered up with a rousing version of “Peace Sells” from 1992 and if that doesn’t please you enough there is a demo track called “High Speed Dirt” from a 1992 session to enjoy. The bonus content was good enough in my opinion but with a release like this I lean towards the classic tracks that made me a fan of the band in the first place. They provide a several page booklet but it really doesn’t offer much to that kind of fan who loves to read something while the album is playing. It just lines out the individual tracks and lets you know what album they have originally come from. There are a few but not a lot of photos between these pages to enjoy as well and these depict four different lineups of the band from across the years.
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