By Lillian Linscott
All those who grew up watching PBS can probably remember watching Trans-Siberian Orchestra whenever Christmas time rolled around. The lights, the music, the story, it was all so captivating and wonderful. I would sit and watch the concert on television with my family, rocking out to the music and singing along with the promise of seeing them live in the future.
The night of Dec. 2, that promise was finally fulfilled, and I was not disappointed. TSO is truly a spectacle to behold. There were live fireworks, shooting flames, an intense light show and wonderful music. I could barely contain my excitement as the band rocked out on stage. The only thing preventing me from releasing my hair from its confines and joining in the headbanging was the knowledge that I would inevitably incur the wrath of the group of ladies sitting next to me.
Throughout the band’s performance, I experienced intense chills, nostalgia, extreme excitement and utter awe. TSO has been touring for 20 years and their expertise in creating an astounding show that will captivate and hold the audience’s attention was clearly shown. There was so much going on, but it all fit together and each song brought on new surprises. When three performers were lowered from the ceiling playing their instruments, I was completely stunned. I was further blown-away as another song began and the backup singers/dancers were raised up on individual platforms whilst dancing. A few times other performers even ran through the crowd on the ground floor to a platform that was slowly raised and spun around once they were securely on it.
The most surprising occurrence was definitely when there were real flames shot into the air and I could feel the heat on my skin. Upon the first appearance of the flame shooters on stage, I didn’t believe that it could be real. I thought the flames were an assimilation. This was until in the middle of the auditorium, closer to where I was seated, their logo was suddenly encased in fire and lifted high and then flames shot out rapidly. I turned to my sister in shock and excitement. Although dangerous, shooting flames accompanied with headbanging music is pretty amazing.
One of my favorite parts was definitely listening to the storyteller, Bryan Hicks. As he spun the fantastical story of “The Ghosts of Christmas Eve,” chills crept up my arms and a smile caressed my lips. This story was familiar and beautiful. A story of love lost and hope renewed. The storyteller’s voice rang clear and true, telling the story of a young girl who had left home years before, but now wished to return. The story was speckled with musical performances in between, all of which brought on different emotions, awe being a constant. As the story came to a close, the storyteller’s voice rang out with joy, and I could clearly hear the smile on his lips as he told us of the girl’s decision to return home.
Each performance, whether musical or narrative, was laced with a message of hope, love and comfort. I am extremely glad that we finally went to this concert and got to experience the amazingness that is TSO. I would highly recommend attending their concerts, it is an experience that won’t be forgotten and a great time to be had. I just hope next time I can get floor seats and rock out to my heart’s content.