Venue

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.