TSO captured the public imagination with its spectacular concerts replete with laser lighting and intricate music pieces. The band was founded by producer, composer and lyricist Paul O’Neill in 1996. The core team comprises Robert Kinkel (keyboards), John Oliva and Al Pitrelli of Savatage. They shot to fame in 1999 after completing album No. 2. They are well known for their elaborately planned concerts which include laser lighting, moving trusses, special effects synchronized perfectly to music to name a few. Their concerts are always sold out and to date they have over 10 million ticket sales – they also have a lot of records in firsts – they don’t have an opening act, they have never been one and have never played at any clubs.
What to expect:
Now that it is almost December, it is time for the Orchestra’s performance. Their tours are usually held around this time and they are fondly named “an electronic rock Christmas band”. Compared to the Mannheim Steamroller, which created a name for itself with takes on Christmas music, the TSO leans more towards heavy rock. Their most famous work was the Wizards in Winter – snippets of their music video were included in an ad for beer.
Quite a few people like the band’s music over their vocals – there is no doubt that they have a cult following. Every concert goer has been to at least 3 if not more. It is almost a ritual, like attending the Nutcracker. It is hard to imagine unless one attends an event what it must be like to see 6 trillion lights changing colors and moving at phenomenal speeds, interspersed with flames etc.
Any TSO concert is an audio-visual feast for the attendee – many people go for exactly this reason. The aim is to make it the biggest Christmas show on earth, replete with music and lighting. When they are on tour, the band offers young, talented musicians in each city the chance to perform with them – one young 18 year old pianist performed on Profokiev’s Piano Concerto No.3 in Tucson, Arizona.
No music genre is off limits to them – movie themes like Gone with the Wind, Sea Hawk, Ben Hur, Mission Impossible, Schindler’s List and even Spiderman which got all the kids in the audience really excited. Of course, Christmas music always takes center stage and hearing a lot of carols and old favorites like Frosty the Snowman were enough to melt the most hardened heart. The TSO music director Adam Flatt tries his best to choose a variety of music to ensure that it is unique and one of a kind.
What TSO is well known for is its donations in the form of concerts – they do this to encourage an interest in music and also to bring their programs to areas where people might not have the opportunity to do something so special. One way to find out where they will be performing next is to check their Facebook. There is bound to be detailed information on their tour dates, performances, ticket prices and venues.
The band is famous for its theatrical retelling of old classics, great visuals and awe inspiring musicians to say the least. They have put on shows in over 80 countries and sold 10 million albums. For those who are able, it would be a great idea to attend at least one concert in a lifetime to understand what makes this band so unique.