Trans-Siberian Orchestra | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen
Trans-Siberian Orchestra performing during the 2022 Winter Tour: The Ghosts of Christmas Eve Tour at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas on December 30, 2022. (Photo: Jason McEachern)

Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO) is a progressive rock band founded as an outlet for the many rock operas late rock industry veteran, producer, composer, and musician Paul O’Neill was writing.

TSO was created to push the boundaries of what was possible for a band to create – both musically and visually. Paul O’Neill dreamed of a different kind of “band” that is not limited by the confines of traditional rock acts and instead established one with multiple singers who could inhabit the various characters he was writing into his rock operas.

Although TSO is best known for their Capra-esque trilogy of holiday records – Christmas Eve & Other Stories, The Christmas Attic, and The Lost Christmas Eve – they have also released several other rock operas. Beethoven’s Last Night (2000) was the first of these non-holiday rock operas and tells a compelling tale of a battle for Beethoven’s soul between good and evil.

It features instrumental crossovers between classical composers and contemporary rock, along with original vocal tracks featuring Patti Russo (Meatloaf) as the character Teresa, Beethoven’s love. Later albums take on great themes such as war and redemption, namely Night Castle (2009). Night Castle was TSO’s first Top 5 album debut and included a bonus track featuring Greg Lake (Emerson, Lake & Palmer, King Crimson), who was one of TSO’s greatest influences. Letters From The Labyrinth (2015) was another Top 10 release for TSO. In total, TSO has sold in excess of 12 million albums and DVDs.

Consistently one of the Top 25 touring acts in the country, TSO shows no signs of slowing down. Since its touring debut in 1999, TSO has played over 2,000 Winter Tour shows for more than 18 million fans. So far TSO has also donated over $18 million from these tours to local charities.

At the time of his passing, O’Neill had several TSO projects in various stages of completion at his recording studio in Florida. He also had two finalized rock operas: Romanov: When Kings Must Whisper, about the 1917 Russian Revolution, along with a live concert adaptation of Night Castle. O’Neill also planned to eventually bring the TSO experience to Broadway. Nearly 25 years after the release of their first album, Trans-Siberian Orchestra continues to create and live on.
Fantastic rocking Christmas show with a fully talented group of musicians. Light show and elevated stages appear during the two+ hour show! I’ve seen this show five times and this was the best one.

Awesome show! The show was awesome and truly worth 4 hour of round-trip driving. Having listened to recordings TSO for many years, I was excited to finally see them. I could never have imagine how much more exciting and electrifying it would be in person. The musicians and performers put on a show that exceeded all my expectations. Their energy showed that they really cared about the show and the audience. Next year we plan on seeing it again.

Enjoyed the show immensely. Sound and choreography were great. Stage productions where amazing fire show spectacular. Enjoyed the entire program

Best TSO show to date! Every year, my wife and two friends, have been going to their shows. This year, one of our daughters and grandson joined us. They are now huge fans and will be part of our yearly group. This years show did not disappoint. The staging was incredible, as was their lasers and pyrotechnics. The sound was spot on, not too loud but loud enough, a great mix. All in all, they gave their fans what they want to see, a fabulous and exciting show, filled with both a Christmas/Holiday theme and an excellent musical concert!

Awesome show! Trans Siberian Orchestra never disappoints! Fire, ice, laser lights, big screens and great music performed by great musicians combine to give the audience an awesome show!
Setlist for the show at the AT&T Center
  • Fate
  • Prometheus
  • The Lost Christmas Eve
  • O Come All Ye Faithful / O Holy Night
  • Good King Joy
  • Christmas Dreams
  • Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24)
  • Christmas Canon Rock
  • What Child Is This?
  • Music Box Blues
  • First Snow
  • Promises to Keep
  • This Christmas Day
  • Christmas Carousels / Siberian Sleigh Ride
  • A Mad Russian's Christmas
  • For the Sake of Our Brother
  • Christmas in the Air
  • Wizards in Winter
  • Child of the Night / A Last Illusion
  • Not What You See
  • Madness of Men
  • The Snow Came Down
  • Requiem (The Fifth)
  • Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24) (Reprise)

Trans-Siberian Orchestra
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