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  • Misael Ruiz

Trans-Siberian Orchestra - Ontario, California - 12/3/22

Trans-Siberian Orchestra is an arena rock band first formed in 1996 by producer and musician Paul O'Neill. The band itself is a spinoff of the metal band Savatage and most members of Savatage now play in TSO. The theme of TSO is Christmas and because of that, they only tour in the winter. Their shows are known for their use of lights, lasers, screens and pyro. Their tours are so long and massive that the tour is split into two bands, TSO West and TSO East. Both bands feature members from Savatage split between the band. The stop for this show was the Toyota Arena in Ontario, California. TSO had two shows on this day and both shows were sold out. The show started promptly at 7:50 and the venue was filled to capacity as fans of all ages eagerly awaited the best Christmas rock band on Earth.

The lights went out and the sold-out crowd cheered as some of the members of TSO came out and started with Fate. Immediately, you could see how they're classified as an arena rock band. The music sounded beautiful and was perfectly executed. TSO continued with Prometheus followed by The Lost Christmas Eve. The intro songs were finished and now it was time for TSO to being playing their album The Ghosts of Christmas Eve in its entirety. The first song was the classic TSO song, O Come All Ye Faithful/O Holy Night. The light show really pops to this song and each song is more beautiful than the last. The album has lots of TSO's best songs and some of those songs include Good King Joy, Christmas Canon Rock and Music Box Blues. One of the highlights of the show is when TSO plays their most famous song Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24). It's one of the most amazing songs played that night as well as one of the most popular Christmas songs. Nearing the end of the album, the song Promises to Keep was played. It is sung by Chloe Lowery who is a TSO veteran and is criminally underrated as a singer and also has her own solo career. The song itself was sung beautifully and can only be heard by her if you see TSO live. The album came to an end with This Christmas Day which is sung by Jeff Scott Soto. It's TSO's last chance to tell everyone Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. Now that half the show was done, guitarist Al Pitrelli came out to say hello and greet the audience. He also does his favorite part of the show which is asking who here on their first TSO show versus the repeat offenders. Now, it was time for the second half of the show and time to blow stuff up and use the stage's full production. This set comprises of greatest hits which includes A Mad Russian's Christmas, Wizards in Winter and Requiem (The Fifth). Pitrelli came back out to talk once again to talk about the band's founding member Paul O'Neill who sadly passed away in 2017. In his memory, TSO played a cover of Not What You See originally by Savatage. It was sung by their newest singer Moriah Formica who fronts the band Plush. To end the show, TSO played a reprised version of Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24). This is where they went all out and used every light, laser, firework and pyrotechnic that they had available. Every band member came out and they all bowed to their audience before taking their leave. Lots of people make seeing TSO a yearly tradition and should be seen by everyone at least once. It is guaranteed to be one of the best shows you'll see.


Photos and review by Misael Ruiz

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