Monday, Nov. 29 The Trans-Siberian Orchestra
From classic rock to classical to Christmas carols, a show by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra is more than a concert: It is a multi-layered theatrical event. The band is known for their high-energy, spectacular stage shows, and Monday's performance didn't disappoint. Dazzling lights, lasers and real snow were all incorporated into the music from soaring, wailing guitars, a string section, vocalists and keyboards.
Their albums are rock operas, and the concert was divided into two sections. The first half followed the narrative format. Storytelling was delivered as poetry (sometimes waning into a little cheesy) that was then expounded upon by the music. Towards the end of the first half, the pace slowed due to the juxtaposition of too many slow numbers that utilized fewer stage effects, but after introducing the extensive band, the second half took off again, with pyrotechnics and a multitude of strobes, lasers, more blinding lights and lots of hair-flipping in unison from the multiple guitarists.
Much of their music is based on familiar works, such as classical compositions, beloved carols or even Led Zeppelin. But the original music is intriguing as well. All of this was delivered with impeccable technical grace. Because of the crossing of genres, all ages and types, from grandparents to small children, from well-dressed socialites to bikers, were in attendance, and all were enraptured. Friendly banter from the leads (one of whom sounds disturbingly like Neil Diamond) created a bond between band and audience, even in the cavernous Fieldhouse, which held almost 2,500 people.