orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

Entertainment

December 23, 2013

VIDEO: Trans-Siberian Orchestra offers 'Lost Christmas' encore

HOUSTON — An Christmas musical extravaganza is back in Texas for another holiday celebration.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra will perform at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m., Friday, Dec. 27, inside the Toyota Center in downtown Houston for all ages. Tickets are $43-$63 and available online at www.houstontoyotacenter.com.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO) is celebrating 15 years of touring with an encore performance of its multi-platinum rock opera, “The Lost Christmas,” which was released in October 2004. The disc peaked at No. 26 on the Billboard Top 200 chart and No. 1 on the U.S. Holiday chart.

TSO is performing an encore version of the tour in 2013 by playing the album in its entirety again after a successful run in 2012. The group is wrapping up its tour in Dallas on Dec. 30, which will conclude a 67 city, 100 show tour.

Al Pitrelli, guitarist for TSO, always looks forward to the band’s performances in Texas and is excited about bringing this year’s tour to the Lone Star state.

“I don’t want to give away too much, but it’s amazing how much technology has improved in just one year,” Pitrelli said in a telephone interview. “We basically have a 3-D world on stage with us. The video imagery is so amazing that it can take you anywhere in the world with us, and the production is so much bigger this tour than it was in previous years.”

Pitrelli said the group is utilizing 18 tractor trailers on tour to haul the massive production, a vision of TSO founder Paul O’Neill, city-to-city.

Since its 1996 debut, TSO has been an anomaly in the current music world of illegal downloading and file sharing. The group regularly performs to more than one million fans annually and has even experienced growth in album sales nearly each year, including a 15 percent increase in 2012.

“All of the tours over the past 15 years have helped us create a large fan-base,” Pitrelli said. “The band is on fire this year, and our crew is amazing. They are the ones who do all of the real work. We rehearsed in Omaha for three weeks for before the start of the tour, and the crew does their rehearsal too. It’s literally a ballet of what we do and what they do to make each show work so well.”

Pitrelli said fans should not worry about paying money to see the same show they experienced in 2012 because that is not the case.

“The front (portion) of the show is different and the back (portion) of the show is different than it was last year, and the entire production is different,” Pitrelli explained. “Only the music from ‘The Lost Christmas Eve’ is the same. We want to give our fans their money worth and it’s really awesome to see. We play for 120 minutes and we give it our all. And we love Texas. We love playing in places like Houston and San Antonio and Dallas and even Beaumont. There’s a lot of great people and fans there and we can’t wait to be back.”

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