Live review: Trans-Siberian Orchestra @ the Pepsi CenterBy Paige Montgomery | December 27th, 2011 | 3 comments
Christmas held on a little longer Monday night at Denver’s Pepsi Center. Those in attendance for the holiday concert indulged in a full night of traditional Christmas songs and classical music performed with a unique rock ‘n’ roll treatment that has become a signature of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
The sheer size of the staging created a buzz inside the arena as the crowd filed in. The lights finally went down at 8:15 p.m., and, following the evening’s only moment of silence was a three-hour spectacle of music and theatrics that changed the way many of us listen to classical.
A floor-to-ceiling LED screen transformed the stage from a snowy winter night, to a house with stained glass windows, to a fire-breathing truss monster that gave life to the music that coincided. With electric guitars and violin at the forefront, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra delivered amped-up versions of holiday classics from the Nutcracker Suite, “O Come Al Ye Faithful,” “Wizards in Winter” and their famous rendition of “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo,” to name a few.
There was no downtime during the concert as the cast of performers, who all adopted a unique classical musician-meets-rocker style, each contributed stunning solos and ensemble performances. The 132 tons of “stuff” as former Megadeth and Alice Cooper guitar player Al Pitrelli described it, was put to use late in the set as a catwalk that expanded the width of the arena elevated the TSO guitar players, violinist and dancers above the crowd.
By the time the finale of “Carol of the Bells” approached, the Pepsi Center audience was on full sensory overload. All at once during the final song of the night there was snow falling from the ceiling, smoke billowing from the stage, lazers and pyrotechnics that rivaled any rock ‘n’ roll concert today -— there is a reason the Trans-Siberian Orchestra has been going 27 years strong.
Paige Montgomery is a Denver-based freelance writer. Check out more of her work on
Alan Cox is the president/creative director of Cox Creative, a Highlands Ranch-based creative shop. He works too much, sleeps too little and spends every free moment coaching baseball, shooting images and hanging out with his rowdy sons and rowdier wife. Check out his photos here.