The Trans Siberian Orchestra brought their magic to the Jacksonville Veterans Arena last night. Not only did they enthrall the audience with their music, their storytelling and their amazing sets, but they made it snow! Not that fake shaved ice stuff, but beautiful soft, cold flakes that filled the air, lit up by the colored laser beams; landing on our heads, our eyelashes, our clothes, and creating a magical feel to the entire evening.
TSO is a genre unto itself featuring rock band instrumentals and vocals mixed with broadway storytelling and theatrics, and a little gospel and blues thrown into the mix. Their video screens which cover the entire stage are first class, especially when combined with their phenomenal light work, all synchronized to the music. It is an experience that totally surrounds and engulfs you, transporting you to their created magical place and time.
Last night’s presentation of The Ghosts of Christmas Eve was a heart warming story of a young female runaway who takes shelter in an abandoned theater and is visited by various ghosts while she sleeps, narrated in the dulcet tones of Phillip Brandon. The music and songs of TSO such as The Lost Christmas Eve, O Come All Ye Faithful, Christmas Dreams, Music Box Blues, and Promises to Keep were incredibly well performed with outstanding rock based instrumentals and vocals , leading the audience through the story to the conclusion with This Christmas Day. The first set ended with thunderous applause from the audience, who were all on their feet. Paul O’Neill then thanked the fans, praised his fellow performers and sang the praises of their road crew, who make the magic possible.
The second half of the evening was dedicated to the well known and loved music of Trans Siberian Orchestra, starting with Wizards of Winter, their song that is utilized by so many for their christmas light displays. To see and hear it played live, on stage, with the synchronized videos, pyro and lasers is truly awe inspiring. A Mad Russian’s Christmas, Christmas Jam, and The Mountain were followed by Forget About the Blame and Madness of Men from their newest album Letters From the Labyrinth. TSO ended their stellar rock opera with Xmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24.
If you have never seen Trans Siberian Orchestra live, you owe it to yourself to do so. It is a life altering experience.