I love most Christmas music (except for any version of "Baby It's Cold Outside" of course), but my favorite Christmas music by far, is anything by Trans-Siberian Orchestra. I'm even listening to them as I write this post. Some of you may remember that I walked down the aisle to Cannon in D at our wedding, but you may not have known that my motivation behind it was not because it's a fairly standard bridal entrance song, but because it reminded me of TSO's Christmas Canon song.
Tom and I went to their concert in New Hampshire (the timing worked out better than the Boston show this year) last Saturday. This is an annual NOT-TO-BE-MISSED Christmas tradition for me, that we almost missed this year because of our honeymoon! Tickets went on sale the Wednesday we were in Aruba and I was pretty sure I wasn't going to have reliable internet access while I was there, nor did I want to spend my honeymoon buying concert tickets. Luckily my job has some awesome perks, one of which is someone who will help you out with stuff like this!
Crisis averted, we had been looking forward to this concert since then. Most people have probably heard their version of Carol of the Bells, or their Wizards in Winter song, but they actually have multiple Christmas albums, all of which come with an elaborate story to be told between songs by a storyteller who travels with the band. They're so popular, and play so many shows, they actually have two complete versions of the show playing at the same time - one touring the west coast, and one touring the east coast (the east coast group is better, of course). I've been going to their concert every year since 2006. I've seen them in Boston, but have also traveled to Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Worcester MA to see them (that was more impressive before I had a car).
I can think of at least 8 people I've brought/dragged to TSO concerts, but if for some reason you're not one of them (want to come next year!?!?), and have never seen them live, here are some things you might see or experience during one of their concerts:
- Strobe Lights
- Smoke/fog machines
- Indoor snow
- Other random bursts of flames
- Piano duels
- Pieces of the stage flying through the air with musicians attached
- Musicians running through the audience
- Video screens moving around the stage
- Members of your local symphony orchestra
- ...and really awesome music
Here's a quick example (there's a lengthier video at the end if you're interested):
When you walk out after the show (which by the way is always longer than any other concert I've been to), all of your senses have been overloaded and it takes a few minutes to adjust back to reality. It's an experience like no other, and such a fun tradition to accompany the Christmas season.
This year our tickets were in the 3rd row, so we were able to be fully immersed in the wonderfulness. (I've still yet to be able to top the first year I saw them live when I somehow managed FRONT ROW, dead center seats. I don't think my eyes or ears were the same for weeks!) I hope I never get over the feeling of walking into a large concert venue and being able to walk down to the floor seats. There's something about them that just make the concert experience, even before a single note is played.
One thing I forgot to mention in my list above, but may be one of my favorite parts of seeing TSO live, is David Z. His joy of being on stage is contagious, and his dancing is rivaled by no other. Every time I see him I start giggling. Our seats were in the perfect spot for some major David Z dance watching. I was so excited when he started doing his signature jig, I broke my own rule of never videotaping with my phone vertical. Ooops!
We both had a great time, and immediately ran out to Target after the show to buy some blank CDs so we can burn some TSO for the car. If we had been thinking far enough ahead, we should have done this for our drive to the show, but better late than never...
If the above videos weren't enough, here's a recording of the first Carol of the Bells from the concert. Yup, that's right. The song is so popular, they play it TWICE. Actually either last year or the year before they only played it once, and I assume people go upset because they're back to playing it once around the middle of the show in addition to using it for the finale (which is a non-negotiable conclusion - You have to end with Carol of the Bells!).
Have you ever seen TSO live? What are your annual Christmas traditions?