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. Continue reading Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s Debut “Christmas Eve & Other Stories”; A Modern Classic At 20 Years→
For those who have been living under a rock, let me inform you about the juggernaut of musical enterprise that is the Trans-Siberian Orchestra – it is a power packed ensemble that first came into the public eye with the “Christmas Eve and Other Stories” CD and since that time has performed for record numbers of wide-eyed fans. Primarily a holiday themed group, the original premise of the TSO came from producer Paul O’Neill who was instrumental in a number of Savatage releases in terms of the musical direction that the group took. As a matter of fact the bands signature number “Christmas Eve Sarajevo” was originally presented on that bands “Dead Winter Dead” CD. The rest is as they say history. We’ve covered every release from the band and have seen them perform a number of times. To enjoy our articles on the various Trans-Siberian Orchestra adventures just click their logo below to launch the query.
Since the original time that I had this group in my no longer used “Artist Of The Month” section on PiercingMetal.com, a number of changes have happened with the lineup but the music and show grows bigger and better each and every year. I start getting goosebumps in anticipation of it happening around October when the tickets usually go on sale. Once you see it for yourself you will understand why.
Artist: Trans-Siberian Orchestra Venue: Izod Center (East Rutherford, NJ) Opener: n/a Date: 12/12/2009 Label: Lava Records
As I walked into the Izod Center for this years Trans-Siberian Orchestra show, I had to say that I felt that the time had flown by quickly from when I was doing it the last time around. I also mused to myself how this was actually going to be my tenth year supporting the group having seen them every year since 2000. That was their second tour and I had only missed the first go round of it because it came and went faster than anyone could have imagined. As a music journalist, this evening’s appearance would be my seventh show which would be documented for the masses at large and while I greatly enjoy what they do, the schedule that I keep does not permit me to be one of those fans that hit a number of shows each season. Instead of following the band around to different cities as some are apt to do, I find myself satisfied with the one show every year and this has been a tradition of mine since 2002 when I felt that this should be one of my yearly agenda items. In 2009 the TSO as they are lovingly referred to by their fans have become a massive undertaking with two separate companies hitting the cities across the nation and now a full five albums under their belt. Five you say? Well, yes I do because we found the group releasing their long awaited second non-Holiday CD “Nightcastle” only a few weeks ago. That was sure to offer up some difference to the fans tonight and here are some highlights of the performance if you somehow managed to miss out. Continue reading Trans-Siberian Orchestra @ Izod Center (12/12/2009)→
Artist: Trans-Siberian Orchestra Venue: Izod Center (East Rutherford, NJ) Opener: n/a Date: 12/13/2008 Label: Lava Records
I cant be the only Metal head who feels as though 2008 went by like a rocket and yet here we are at the annual gathering held by The Trans-Siberian Orchestra which in most cases comes off as my final show of the musical year in terms of coverage. Of course this will not be the case this year as we are only in the second week of the month and according to my records there are still a couple of things to investigate for the Metal legions. If am recalling this correctly, tonight will be my sixth year supporting the bands live concerts and for me it never, ever gets old based on the manner in which they deliver it, and how they always seem to pull out the surprises and the stops for their always growing fan base. Similar to last year, I had opted for the matinee show this time around because I wanted to be home early for a change and since the afternoon show would mirror the later performance there was really no risk at missing anything that I would kick myself in the head about the next day. Having seen the group a number of times in the past I can easily repeat my own words by describing every minute detail but this time I will not even bother and that would be smart based on a couple of the amazing differences that this tour would offer in terms of the music and the membership roster. This year we would still find the presence of Chris Caffery and Alex Skolnick on lead guitar but gone from the East Coast company lineup for these shows would be Mark Wood, their violinist. The musician would be joining the West Coast company this time around and in his place would be Anna-Phoebe McElliott who I had heard some really cool things about. The bass duties once held by Dave Z. had been replaced by Chris Altenhoff who I had assumed would be in place this evening as well. As the Narrator came out to introduce the nights festivities the bands newest song “A Night Enchanted” began and while some of the members were already on stage, there was no Chris, Alex, or Phoebe or the bassist……suddenly with a page torn out of the KISS playbook three platforms began to descend from the rafters and on them with smoke billowing out was Chris Caffery, Alex Skolnick, Anna-Phoebe and a face I was amazed and surprised to see, the one and only Johnny Lee Middleton. Yes, a full four members of Savatage live and in your face for the East Coast Company and while I always loved what Dave Z. did, I will take Johnny Lee Middleton over him any day when it comes to having these guys together onstage again. What an opener. Continue reading Trans-Siberian Orchestra @ Izod Center (12/13/2008)→
It’s slowly becoming a holiday tradition for me, and here I was again witnessing the majesty that is the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. It’s always an amazing show and it seems to get bigger and better every year. Check out my thoughts about this year’s adventure by scrolling past the logo below. Happy Holidays everyone.
Artist: Trans-Siberian Orchestra Venue: Izod Center (East Rutherford, NJ) Opener: n/a Date: 12/15/2007 Label: Lava Records
My yearly tradition of attending one of the area Trans-Siberian Orchestra concerts would continue in 2007 as I made my first trip to the Izod Center in East Rutherford, NJ. Alright, this was NOT REALLY my first trip to the place as I have honestly been here dozens of times over the years, but for those who were not aware of this, “Izod Center” is the new name for the arena formerly known as the Continental Airlines Arena in the Meadowlands and going even further back was once called The Brendan Byrne Arena. This change must have happened recently as I swear I was only here a few months ago when it was still the Continental. No worry for the fans of the arena as nothing else appears to have changed which to me is always a good thing. I really like this arena and have seen a number of great shows here over the years that I have been going to concerts. To the best of my knowledge I was here for KISS, W.A.S.P., Motley Crue, Triumph, Deep Purple and Van Halen being a choice few of them. Today my bands witnessed at the building would increase by one more increment as The Trans-Siberian Orchestra did their thing. When it comes to this group, I have been lucky enough to see them from many different vantage points over the years and that is pretty cool when one considers how much their show actually involves. I have been up as high as the rafters and off to the various sides and there were even times when I’ve been lucky enough to be on the orchestra level of the floor somewhere as the band projected right out to us straight on. Each time I managed to grab something unique and special to me about the show. Tonight would be one of those lucky floor nights for a change and as I glanced about the massive lighting rigs that they brought with them this time I admitted to feeling a slight twinge of hesitation. It was like some giant space age colossus. Continue reading Trans-Siberian Orchestra @ Izod Center (12/15/2007)→