Photos: Trans-Siberian Orchestra at the Pepsi Center (review) - Reverb

Trans-Siberian Orchestra at the Pepsi Center (photos, review)

Celebrating 15 years of touring, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra kicked off the encore tour of “The Lost Christmas” album with two shows in Denver on Sunday. The 7:30 p.m. audience was thinner than the 3:00 p.m., but the half-filled Pepsi Center generated adequate applause nonetheless.

The show began with a $11,283 donation check presented to the Denver Post Community Foundation, as funding was generated from a portion of each ticket’s sale. The lights went down and the audience was greeted with TSO’s bombastic display of fog, fake snow, lasers and pyrotechnics, accompanied by a small choir, classical musicians and a heavy metal band. All of this worked together to overwhelm the senses in a tightly choreographed visual production that, guided by a Dickens-like narrator, unfolds the group’s double platinum yuletide rock opera.

Highlights included guitarist Al Pitrelli’s musical dual with violin player Asha Mevlana on “Winter Palace” and Jeff Scott Soto’s gritty vocal delivery of “Christmas Nights in Blue.” It was all very over the top, flirting with Spinal Tap status at moments, but all great fun and satisfying to the multi-generational crowd in attendance. Following “The Lost Christmas,” the setlist called for favorites from the other two parts of their holiday trilogy, “Christmas Eve & Other Stories” and “The Christmas Attic.” TSO decked the halls with a unique hybrid of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s theatrics, Savatage’s metal sensibilities and Pink Floyd’s circus light show — all whirled through a Christmas blender — to produce a holiday entertainment concoction that’s easy to digest.

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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.

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  • Stenjco

    Trans-Siberian Orchestra at the Pepsi Center on November 17, 2013 was their best concert by far. It was our 4th concert…with a new lead female vocalist whose vocals “rocked” the Pespi Center with a power and range that elicited “goosebumps” from her audience, a new keyboardist whose fingers were on fire as he “dueled” with longtime keyboardist Mangini (she is always awesome), new violinist Asha Mevlana who was fantastic, new male solo vocalists whose powerful voices carried to the far corners and soared to new heights. The Lost Christmas Eve story is truly TSO’s best narrative creation and musical concert.

  • Ed Grieze

    Last weekend my wife and I finally saw the Trans Siberian Orchestra. I’ve
    been curious about them for years. Progressive Christmas rock done to a
    Tim Allen light show. All work for me.

    I liked the instrumentals the best because it was on those that they
    really went off in a progressive musical style. The songs with lyrics
    were much more straight forward musically. They did perform a

    Christmas album which includes instrumentals. They worked in
    their takes on about four traditional Christmas songs with the rest
    being original material. I expected the show to be about two hours
    wrapped tightly around their latest Christmas story. And they did
    finish that part in about two hours. But then they went into all kinds
    of other material. The show ended up being a full three hours. Point
    being there was a Christmas flavor, but it wasn’t all about Christmas.

    They had a woman who played a very aggressive violin/fiddle. She and the
    lead guitar player dueled on several leads. That was really good. Two
    piano players, one man and one woman. They took their solo leads by
    alternating brief piano pieces. All fast. The woman player made the
    last one the Peanuts Theme with the full band joining in part way
    through for emphatic finish. That worked very well too. There very
    multiple lead singers. Four female background vocalists who also took a
    couple leads. There was a guy who provided the spoken word parts
    to the Christmas story who came off like James Earl Jones younger
    brother — sounded just like him.

    Laser lights, strobe lights, seemingly every kind of light. Real fire so hot
    we could feel the heat from it and we weren’t that close to it. Two
    performer pedestals which lifted them out over the audience with long
    arms (seemed Stones-like). A square stand at the back of the floor
    audience which lifted performers (dueling leads) straight up into the
    air. This contraption also had lights and shot out fire. So yes, the
    performers came out into the audience. Behind the stage was a castle
    which they converted into different images by changing lights upon it
    and within it.

    Back to the music. The instrumentals I would compare most closely to Rush because the majority of them rock, they move. The next comparison would probably be Yes. But what Trans Siberian seems to lack is putting lyrics together with the progressive piece. They have all the components. But they did not
    have a “Starship Trooper.” That is the only criticism I can give them.

    It was an excellent and exciting show. My wife liked it very much as well. I
    could see them again. I don’t need to now that I know what they’re
    about. But given the right conditions, I would go again. They
    definitely give you your money’s worth.