The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc across the globe in many ways. From separating us from our loved ones with protocol lockdowns to shaping the very way we maneuver through our normal daily lives, to even questioning our very own medical professionals with their science-backed evidence, it truly has impacted us all in some shape or fashion.
On the other hand, some of us put in an effort to bring people together.
The Trans-Siberian Orchestra is doing just that- virtually.
They’re a band that has gained international fame through its larger-than-life concerts. Paul O’Neill, creator, writer, and producer of the band had high hopes for a monumental shift within music upon the assembly of the band.
He described it as,
“A progressive rock band that would push the boundaries (of the genre) further than any group before… way, way further.”
The band’s milestones include selling over 10 million copies of their albums, Billboard magazine naming TSO as one of the top touring artists of the past decade, played for over 100 million people in over 80 cities, and has sold more than $280 million worth of tickets, among other accolades.
“I wanted to take the very best of all the forms of music I grew up on and merge them into a new style,” O’Neill says. “Basically I was building on the work of everybody I worshipped: the rock opera parts from bands like the Who; the marriage of classical and rock from bands like Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Queen; the over-the-top light show from bands like Pink Floyd… I always wanted to do a full rock opera with a full progressive band and at least 18 lead singers.”
The group will be adjusting its usual 120 live shows (about 2 a day) in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since concert venues and arenas will remain closed, the band will instead deliver its sensational holiday performance virtually.
The “Christmas Eve and Other Stories Live in Concert,” will premiere on Dec.18th at 8pm E.T.
If you can’t make the live session, a stream can be found on-demand and can be watched all the way through Dec. 20th by midnight.
Another adjustment aside from going virtual will be that TSO’s East and West touring bands will be performing together on the stage for the first time since their group’s inception back in 2000.
That’s a resounding 20 years of an epic comeback that couldn’t have come at a better time!
This time, Bryan Hicks will serve as the narrator while Pitrelli and keyboardist Derek Wieland as the key musical directors.
“At the end of the day, we still get to do what we love,” Pitrelli said. “No matter what, we wanted to do something. Like pretty much everyone else, we had to adapt, overcome and improvise. Normal went out the window really quick. We thought briefly about doing a drive-in show (like other performers have done this year), but it would have been too cold.”
No matter your music taste, it’s undeniable that TSO puts a lot of work into their craft. The group stresses storyline as their centerpiece and always tries to create an engaging atmosphere for the audience to see.
This time around, the viewers will have a “very up-close and personal performance” and “no one will have a bad seat.”
Al Pitrelli promises that this year’s show will be a “special” one.
Despite the interruptions caused by the pandemic, Pitrelli has been enjoying a lot of family time.
“This is the first year I will be under my own roof for the holidays – Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas – in 21 years,” he said. “All five of my children will be home. That’s something that just never happens. Santa Claus is going to come down my chimney and I’m going to be there for it.”
TSO’s grand achievements speak for themselves.
There is no stopping this musical movement once it hits this December, so make sure to grab your tickets as soon as you can!
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