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TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA In Portland, OR With Photos!

By Larry Petro, News Monkey
Monday, December 9, 2019 @ 12:15 AM


At Moda Center, November 23rd

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Review And Photos By Mike Lewis

There are many different ways to tell that the Christmas season is nearly upon us. Itís not retailers shoving it in our faces especially since these days it seems that right after the back-to-school sales are over, Christmas merchandise begins showing up on selves and I think some would simply overlook Halloween completely. The big thing for many however is knowing that just like virtually every year, TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA is heading out on the road to bring their holiday magic to the stage.

If youíre not familiar with TSO, Iíd consider that to be something of a miracle in itself. The collective is a hybrid rock/metal band founded by members of SAVATAGE. Outside of the studio when it comes to touring, TSO is actually two units, East and West, that hit the road. The band has featured a whoís who of musicians from various genres of music. After over two decades and nine full-length albums, TSO shows no sign of slowing nor does their extremely dedicated fanbase which is a very inclusive group consisting of metal fans as well as those who arenít into the heavier side of music.

2018 was the first year that I had the opportunity to see TSO live and it was also the first concert I ever took my daughter to when she was at the tender age of six. Iíve known of the band for years of course and had always heard that they were one of the live acts to see at least once. Needless to say, I was very impressed with the band as they brought a heavier edge of Christmas music combined with all the spectacle seen on stage with the biggest rock shows to grace the stage.

TSOís return to stages across the US this year however I found to be a little lackluster. The previous began in grand fashion with lasers, fire, and the extravaganza even worked in a very impressive hydraulic system at one point. In contrast, TSO was a bit scaled back this year, not to say it wasnít a good show, but it still felt as though it really lacked the impressive wow factor they launched their live set with last year. From the viewpoint of a photographer, while the past year was a visual treat, TSO came across as a little more subdued visually. The almost constantly cycling video elements that were present at the opening last year were gone and instead replaced by images that were more static for the most part or featured very little animation. The brief usage of lasers in the opening moments of the show were also something that photographers were told to not take pictures of and instead we were left with a rather bland set of three songs that provided very little in terms of variation. The live set consisted of the following:

  • "Who I Am"
  • "An Angel Came Down"
  • "O Come All Ye Faithful"/"O Holy Night"
  • "The Prince of Peace"
  • "First Snow"
  • "A Mad Russian's Christmas"
  • "Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24)"
  • "Good King Joy"
  • "Ornament"
  • "Old City Bar"
  • "Promises to Keep"
  • "This Christmas Day"
  • "An Angel Returned"
  • "Epilogue"
  • "The Storm"/"The Mountain"
  • "Handful of Rain"
  • "Mozart/Figaro"
  • "Christmas Canon Rock"
  • "Wizards in Winter"
  • "Hey, Can You Hear Me Now?"
  • "Beethoven"
  • "Believe"
  • "Wish Liszt (Toy Shop Madness)"
  • "Requiem (The Fifth)"
  • "Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24)" (Reprise)
This doesnít mean that TSO should be avoided and I think for fans and newcomers alike, having the opportunity to experience the act live, even if just one time, is a very impressive experience. However, having been to TSO before, I was really hoping to have them improve upon what they delivered the past year in terms of the overall experience. Instead this felt more like the better aspects of their performance had been overlooked on this outing. Hopefully next year will bring a more impressive, memorable experience.

Check out some more photos from the show!
All Photos By Mike Lewis


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