With all the pomp, circumstance, bombast and over-the-topness that could possibly be mustered, Trans-Siberian Orchestra takes the holiday stage once again this year at the Wells Fargo Center. Prepare to be dazzled by pyrotechnics (enough to be witnessed from space), lasers and synchronized lights and videos, accompanied by an incredibly accomplished, intricate prog-rock score (think Emerson Lake and Palmer meets Beethoven).
The brainchild of producer, composer and lyricist Paul O’Neil—whose ideas were first realized in the studio in 1996 and on stage in 1999—Trans-Siberian Orchestra arose from the ashes of the heavy metal band Savatage. Since then, TSO shows have evolved into must-see events. A rigorous November-December touring schedule has the ensemble performing two shows daily in most cities. They often play two cities in one day, straddling two states up to a thousand miles apart. How do they do it? There are two touring bands during the two-month holiday crunch: TSO East and TSO West.
This time around, concert-goers will experience the live debut of The Christmas Attic, an elaborate presentation involving a young girl’s trek up to the family attic and the treasures it holds. One of the hallmarks of TSO holiday shows is the charitable component. In every city, they donate a portion of proceeds from ticket sales to a deserving organization. In Philadelphia, it’s Toys for Tots. A big check is presented at every show, usually topping $12,000.
It’s the extra tinsel on the tree, that sugary-shiny swirl of all things Christmas. Trans-Siberian Orchestra puts the exclamation point on the holidays.
Hallmark Presents Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Wells Fargo Center
Tuesday, Dec. 23
4 and 8 p.m.