As is customary at any Trans-Siberian Orchestra experience, there were explosions, hydraulics, levitating platforms, pyro and lights galore when the symphonic rockers stopped by the Allstate Arena for the second of two packed-to-the-brim shows. However, the most striking moment may very well have come when all the mind-blowing production was peeled back for the power ballad “The Safest Way Into Tomorrow,” which was dedicated to the group’s late visionary Paul O’Neill, backed by just his sunglasses, gloves, coins and a candle flickering on the center screen.
With the ticket prices ranging around $40-$80, alongside T-shirts going for $25 (nearly half the going rate), Trans-Siberian Orchestra was right on point in executing its fan-friendly vision and giving everyone tons to talk about until next time.
“He is the reason we are all in this building together,” remarked fellow original guitarist Al Pitrelli. “He’s the founder, leader, writer, composer, producer and man responsible for everything you’re seeing and hearing and he’s our brother. This is a celebration of his art, genius and unwavering hope for all humanity. He used to say ‘individually we are finite, but collectively, we’re infinite.’”
And with that, a single lighter clicked on somewhere in a distant stand, but within moments, that very illustration came to literal life when more than 10,000 cellphones lit up with many clearly choked up over the sentiment. After all, Trans-Siberian Orchestra is more than just a humongous band, but an annual musical tradition now 18 years on the road that offers something for pretty much every member of the family.
Though the torch was passed now that O’Neill left this life, it was left in the more than capable hands of the current collective, who after kicking off with the ear and eye-popping performances of “Time And Distance (The Dash),” “Winter Palace” and “The Lost Christmas Eve,” offered an encore performance of the entire TV special turned album “The Ghosts Of Christmas Eve.” Tied together by a theme of “no matter where you are in life, it’s never too late,” the segment featured treasured tunes such as “Christmas Dreams,” “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24,” “First Snow” and “This Christmas Day.”
Aside from the aforementioned hat tip to Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s mastermind, the second half dived deeper into the troupe’s non-holiday specific selections, which proved to be more musically ambitious, even if they weren’t as commonly known. There was the pure progressive/symphonic bliss of “Siberian Sleigh Ride,” the Rush-like “Madness Of Men” (seasoned with videos of menacing reptiles and chopping helicopters), the classical meets classic rocker “Beethoven,” the gothic chants of “Carmina Burana” (accompanied by a caged tiger vignette) and a fire-breathing take on “The Mountain.”
For nearly two-and-a-half-hours, it was a thrill ride of epic proportions and by far the most affordable for any arena show of this scope. With the ticket prices ranging around $40-$80, alongside T-shirts going for $25 (nearly half the going rate), Trans-Siberian Orchestra was right on point in executing its fan-friendly vision and giving everyone tons to talk about until next time.
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For additional information on Trans-Siberian Orchestra, visit Trans-Siberian.com.
For a list of upcoming Live Nation shows, visit LiveNation.com.
Upcoming concert highlights at the Allstate Arena include Trans-Siberian Orchestra (Dec. 28); Little Big Town (Feb. 16); Brad Paisley (Feb. 24); Demi Lovato (Mar. 9); Lorde (Mar. 27) and Winter Jam (Mar. 30). For additional details, visit Rosemont.com/Allstate/ and Ticketmaster.com.