It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Each and every December I make sure to continue my annual tradition of seeing the Trans-Siberian Orchestra… twice. They have two touring groups, the East Group and the West Group.
Last year I saw the East in Ft. Wayne, Indiana and the West in San Diego, California. This year, I get to stay a little closer to home. The West Group stopped by the iWireless Center in Moline, Illinois on December 8, which was the 15th TSO show I’ve attended, and coming up on December 23, I am seeing Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s East Group in Chicago with my family.
Among both groups, this year they are performing in 34 states, in 61 cities, 105 shows and 44 of those days were double show days from November 17, 2016 through December 31, 2016 with a total of 21,172 miles toured.
Both groups perform a plethora of shows in a very limited amount of time all over the United States and Canada. This year, they are out supporting the debut of their album, ‘The Ghosts of Christmas Eve’ with a new show “Ghosts of Christmas Eve – The Best of TSO and More.” With every ticket purchased online at www.Trans-Siberian.com, you get a digital download of TSO’s new album.
This year was different, in the best way possible. The tour changes up their set design and graphics each year, but I have to say, I thought this year was spot on. Usually the stage has two moving arms that extend over the audience, but I never fully like that mechanism. This year they had a horseshoe shaped platform that lowered itself from the ceiling, along with five different level platforms that raised and lowered to create a visual extravagance.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s music ignites a fire in my soul. Their tunes are pure perfection. When you can see their performances, in-the-flesh, complete with lighting, lasers, snow, pyro, smoke, moving stages, talented musicians, amazing singers – you’ll become hooked, just like I am.
I have usually favored the East Group over the West Group, but they are now both equal in my mind. I feel I was partial to the East because I was more familiar with their performers. I’m ecstatic for the return of TSO East guitarist, Joel Hoekstra, this year!
New to the West Group were singers, Dino Jelusic and Mats Leven, both had that TSO look with long hair and super talented vocals. Also rocking their voices were Ashley Hollister and Rosa Laricchiuta, two new female vocalists to the West Group. Their powerful and soulful singing encompassed the entire venue. TSO West includes guitarists Al Pitrelli, Angus Clark and Andrew M. Ross (also vocalist), electric violinist Asha Mevlana, bassist Johnny Lee Middleton, keyboardists Jane Mangini and Vitalij Kuprij, drummer John O. Reilley, vocalists Jodi Katz, John Brink, Chloe Lowery, April Berry and Jeff Scott Soto and narrator, Phillip Brandon. These performers are at the top of the top, the cream of the crop, their talent is impeccable.
At the beginning of each show, two to three TSO cast members come out on stage and present a check with a local celebrity. TSO always gives back and for every ticket sold at every show, they donate $1 to a local charity. TSO donated $3,300 to Handicapped Development Center and $3,300 to Genesis Health Services Foundation, both local to the Moline area.
I would like to show my appreciation to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra crew. The amount of work it takes to put on a production like this is unlike any other and they deserve a round of applause and huge respect.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s remaining shows include:
Thursday, December 15: Washington, D.C. Verizon Center
Thursday, December 15: Jacksonville, Florida Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Coliseum
Friday, December 16: Hershey, Pennsylvania Giant Center
Friday, December 16: Sunrise, Florida BB&T Center
Saturday, December 17: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Wells Fargo Center
Saturday, December 17: Orlando, Florida Amway Center
Sunday, December 18: Hartford, Connecticut XL Center
Sunday, December 18: Tampa, Florida Amalie Arena
Wednesday, December 21: Cincinnati, Ohio US Bank Arena
Wednesday, December 21: San Antonio, Texas AT&T Center
Thursday, December 22: Grand Rapids, Michigan Van Andel Arena
Thursday, December 22: Dallas, Texas American Airlines Center
Friday, December 23: Chicago, Illinois Allstate Arena
Friday, December 23: Houston, Texas Toyota Center
Monday, December 26: Newark, New Jersey Prudential Center
Monday, December 26: Phoenix, Arizona Gila River Arena
Tuesday, December 27: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Consol Energy Center
Tuesday, December 27: Ontario, California Citizens Business Bank Arena
Wednesday, December 28: Sacramento, California Golden 1 Center
Thursday, December 29: Columbus, Ohio Nationwide Arena
Friday, December 30: Detroit, Michigan The Palace of Auburn Hills
Friday, December 30: Portland, Oregon Moda Center
Saturday, December 31: Cleveland, Ohio Quicken Loans Arena
Saturday, December 31: Seattle, Washington Key Arena