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Trans-Siberian Orchestra @ Prudential Center (12/18/2010)

Logo - Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Artist: Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Venue: Prudential Center (New York, NY)
Opener: n/a
Date: 12/18/2010
Label: Lava Records

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year” as the familiar holiday song would sing and that meant that once again we would be indulging ourselves in the sounds and sights brought forth by incredible Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Before I headed out to the event I sat back and tried to gauge just how long I had been supporting the group and while I had been a fan since the beginning (even though I missed the very first tour), I had apparently spent most of my journalistic career with this enterprise. In terms of numbers, that meant I started writing these articles around 2003 and began doing them on the TSO shows as well. Since we were in 2010 now, I was soon going to be walking into my eighth Holiday season as a scribe and fan of this juggernaut of an act. The amount of years seeing these shows is truly making it harder and harder to offer up critique that stresses more than “you need to see it to believe it” but I will still give it a go to the best of my ability. The show interested me for a couple of other different reasons this time around and the first would be based on the choice of arena. For the last few years the show had taken place at the Izod Center over in the Meadowlands in East Rutherford NJ and for the NYC fans with no cars, this was always an adventurous trip to make. The group had moved there from Madison Square Garden which I will venture to guess was a cost effective decision since everything in the Big Apple seems to be going through the roof in terms of price. With the show now in Newark, NJ, the journey would be a decent PATH train ride for people like me and one that let its fans off with only a five minute walk to the arena. This was a no fuss no muss kind of trip in all honesty and one I would make again for bands if I had tickets.
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Trans-Siberian Orchestra @ Izod Center (12/13/2008)

Logo - Trans-Siberian Orchestra

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.
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Trans-Siberian Orchestra @ Continental Airlines Arena (12/21/2006)

We have been both fans and supporters of the incredible Trans-Siberian Orchestra since we first heard the signature tune on Savatage’s “Dead Winter Dead” CD so long ago. Our yearly coverage of their show continues below, but we did not get to take any photos of the group in action. Hopefully the article sparks your own interest in attending and trust me its always well worth it.

Logo - Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Artist: Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Venue: Continental Airlines Arena (East Rutherford, NJ)
Date: 12/21/2006
Label: Lava Records

The Holiday season would not be complete without my attending at least one of the area performances of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and by now the group is no longer a mystery to anyone. If you have listened to radio, seen videos and commercials on TV or watched YouTube.com, you have a very clear picture as to who they are and what they do. They have been around ten years now and this year would find no Madison Square Garden show and instead they would perform at both the Nassau Coliseum and the Continental Airlines Arena for the first time. We attended the Continental (or Meadowlands) show for all your eighties rockers, our vantage point would give us a very easy and complete view of the stage and its effects. After the opener of “March Of The Kings” the groups Narrator enters the stage and begins the tale of “Christmas Even And Other Stories”. If this sounds familiar then you are not imagining things for the beginning of the TSO show always follows format and performs their debut release in practically its entirety. It’s a formula that has worked for them, and no one really seems to complain. Over the last couple of years also the group has had some new members in its sometime rotating cast of players and after all these shows and numerous performances I am happy to say that both Jay Pierce and James Robert Lewis are incredible additions to the family. Historically, Jay replaced Daryl Pediford who passed away while Lewis fills in the space where Joe C. used to perform. Once again the players were in top form and this is to be expected for the core musicians in this East Coast Company have been the same for many years with Skolnick, Caffery, Kim, Kinkel, Plate, Z., and Wood. The amount of shows and years of professionalism they all bring to the table have them all making this look quite easy and a whole lot of fun.
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Trans-Siberian Orchestra @ Beacon Theater (12/10/2003)

Logo - Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Artist: The Trans-Siberian Orchestra “Christmas Eve & Other Stories Tour 2003”
Venue: Beacon Theater, NYC
Date: 12-10-2003

Every Holiday Season, The Beacon Theater in New York City has been the place where the power symphony known as Trans-Siberian Orchestra makes its home for a couple of nights. This year will mark the 5th Anniversary of such performances. The venue itself holds a little over 3,200 people and every seat in the place is terrific. On top of excellent views, one cannot mistake the quality of the sound in the room. Among the best acoustics I have ever experienced. This will be my 4th year in a row attending a Trans-Siberian Orchestra performance (The TSO for short). It is officially a Christmas Tradition for my Friends and I. Each year it’s a spectacle that gets bigger and better each time.
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