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Trans-Siberian Orchestra: Lasers, Fire, and Giant Rigs

On December 10, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO) brought their Christmas show back to New Orleans.  This time around, the band is touring in support of a new album, Letters from the Labyrinth, and the band chose to represent the set in two parts. If you couldn't be there, there's always next year, and in the meantime, I'll share what I thought, saw, and even what I heard.

TSO's performance was an interpretation and reimagining of some of their material titled The Ghosts of Christmas Eve. Carrying a 23 song set out as an interpretive action is a daunting task for any band, so TSO opted to run with a split set. That just means they had more opportunities to give the audience an introspective story followed by an all-out bells and whistle rock show.

Add into that pyro of various styles, moving lights and lasers galore, hydraulic rigs that stretched out and moved over the audience (truly breaking that 4th wall), and other moving rigs with lights on them, and you've got quite a spectacle. As if all those eye-popping spectacles weren’t enough, the production managed to surprise everyone by making it snow inside the arena.

TSO tend to tour extensively in November and December, so much so that they have to split the band into a West and East version. In touring so much the band takes out the time to support a local charity in each city they play and also use local musicians to fill in the orchestra. They were led by Asha Mevlana on electric violin.

When you walk outside in shorts and flip flops in the middle of December, the Christmas spirit is a bit hard to find; granted we’ll be complaining once it does turn cold. Taking comfort in a TSO show does help one achieve that notion, at least for a few hours. Trans-Siberian Orchestra is more than just a rock show, it's an experience. You can see an extended gallery here: http://jalbum.net/a/1681640

 

Steven Hatley is a New Orleans-based photographer. You can find more of his photography here.