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Friday, January 4, 2013

Rockin’ Christmas with TSO!

Jeff Scott Soto
Interested in experiencing a rock opera of Christmas music to get you in the holiday spirit? The Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO) brought their Lost Christmas Eve Winter Tour 2012 to Scottrade Center in December to rock St. Louis. Considered by Billboard as one of the top touring artists of the past decade, their new show dazzled with lasers, multiple stages, lightening, fireworks, fog, “snow,” fire (from row 9 you can feel the heat!), and an expansive light show. With a crew of solid musicians, the ensemble powered their way through “The Lost Christmas Eve” rock opera, and then followed with some new music and assorted favorites from “Christmas Eve and Other Stories.”  Once again Al Pitrelli (guitar), Angus Clark (guitar), Johnny Lee Middleton (bass), John O. Reilly (drums), and Jane Mangini (keyboards) provided an experienced nucleus to the band. Asha Mevlana (strings) and Angus Clark were certainly audience favorites as they moved from one side of the stage to the other, ran up and down the main floor aisles, and soared OVER the audience on two different hydraulic stage platforms.  Vocal highlights of the evening included Jeff Scott Soto singing “Christmas Nights in Blue” and Chloe Lowry singing “For the Sake of Our Brother.” These two vocalists know how to capture an audience with their voices, expressions, and passion for a song.

TSO never disappoints as they put on one of the very best stage productions of any band I have seen, and their music is spot on. I think I have seen them eight times now. This year I was sitting with a family of “TSO Newbies.” It is definitely a lot of fun to watch someone experience TSO for the very first time! Personally, I did not like this new show as much as their previous tour, maybe because I did not get to hear some of my favorite songs. Then again, I picked up some new favorites this year! Regardless, TSO is a wonderful way to celebrate the holiday season. It certainly does not hurt that they donate part of their proceeds from every show to a local charity. You gotta love a band that gives back to the communities that support them through ticket and swag purchases.

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