Arts & Entertainment

The Trans Siberian Orchestra was back in Tacoma

It is officially the beginning of the holiday season, which means that it’s time for the annual Christmas music explosion, and what group is more festive to help you embrace the music than The Trans Siberian Orchestra. The TSO makes classical music experience exciting for everyone, thanks to their use of electric guitars, drums, singers, electric violin, a mini orchestra, tesla coil — which is electricity hitting a metal ball making different pitches — and a laser light show.

Before the show started, the hosts of the radio station Star 101.5 gathered on stage and explained that part of the proceeds from tickets to the show were going to organizations in the area. The first was called The Forgotten Children’s Fund, which helps give children Christmas gifts, and they received a $6,610 donation. The second is a sister program of The Forgotten Children’s fund called Birthday Dreams. This organization has helped 85 hundred kids have wonderful birthdays, and they received $6,610. The third organization was called Northwest Harvest, which gives food to 375 hundred organizations in the Tacoma/Seattle area to help people have food and they got the largest donation of $13,213. The fact that the Orchestra helps the organizations in the areas that they are playing at is admirable, and what they value. 

The TSO has been around for 21 years. This particular concert was “Christmas Eve and Other Stories,”  reflecting their CD of the same name. Some of the well-known songs the group performed were: “A Mad Russians Christmas,” “O Come All Ye Faithful/Holy Night,” and “Christmas Eve” (Sarajevo 12/24). 

During the second part of the show, the group did not perform songs from the album, but these were songs that people would recognize by ear, from composers such as Beethoven and Mozart/Figaro. During the second half of the show, musicians from the Orchestra interacted with the audience — just like any other concert — asking if this was anyone’s first show, who were repeat offenders, and if we were overall enjoying the show. At one point, they talked about one of their members Paul O’Neill and how he put so much work into the Orchestra, helping make the show into what it is today. They played a song that has never been released called, “Can You Hear Me Now,” a song they came across after the death of O’Neill that he had written. The song was dedicated in his memorial. During this song, it was not like the other songs with all the guitars and light show, it was a slow song and the only light show that happened was from everyone turning on the lights on their phones.

Overall, the show was a really fun experience, and a great way to kick off the holiday season.  The audience enjoyed both some traditional Christmas music along with some that is off the beaten path. The light show made it all the more enjoyable, as well. Even the parts of the show where the members came out and told stories between the sets were enjoyable, even if some people likely thought it was cheesy. If you ever get the chance to go and see the Trans Siberian Orchestra go see it — even if it is not their holiday show in particular. Any one of their shows will truly be a memorable experience.