What’s becoming a holiday staple now in its 20th year, The Trans-Siberian Orchestra made its way through the Buffalo area with 2 shows this past Saturday. BackstageAxxess attended the 3pm matinee show. The production was running just a few minutes behind, so the show didn’t start until about 3:10pm.
The were a few new faces along with familiar ones. The noticeable addition was Caleb Johnson (former American Idol winner in 2014) enjoyed a solo spotlight for “Three Kings and I.” For longtime fans, familiar faces like Bryan Hicks (storyteller), Jeff Plate on drums and Chris Caffrey on guitar were again there to give the sense of familiarity. Hicks, who is a fan favorite and well respected, always does a commendable job describing the actual story of the “Ghost of Christmas Eve.”
TSO have the best of the best musicians from all over the world including Juillard alumni Plate and keyboardist and musical director Derek Wieland. Another musician who is all over the arena and been a big part of the band for the last several years is violinist Roddy Chong. Chong is one of the featured artists along with Caffrey and guitarist Joel Hoekstra. Hoekstra adds that rock flair with his versatile guitar playing and hair flipping. He also is all over the arena and accompanies Chong on the extended hydraulic lifts at the back of the arena.
What also was noticeable difference than years past was the amount of pyro and snow (both were increased.) Snow fell during “Lost Christmas Eve” and “First Snow.”
The Best of TSO setlist changed as well as they added “Tracers” and “Someday” to the set. Even though many come back to see the staples, I (for one) like the changes in the setlist. And the fresh songs add a vibrance to it.
Overall, the attendance for the 3pm show was very strong showing there is still a desire to see this show. Quite possible, many feel it isn’t truly Christmas unless you partake in the annual show.
The Lost Christmas Eve
The Ghosts of Christmas Eve
O Come All ye Faithful/O Holy Night
Good King Joy
Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24) (Savatage Cover)
Christmas Canon Rock
What Child is This? (Wiliam Chatteron Dix cover)
Music Box Blues
Promises to Keep
The Christmas Day
Wish Liszt (Toy Shop Madness)/Christmas Jam
A Mad Russian’s Christmas
Hark! The Hearld Angels Sing/The Three Kings & I
Wizards in Winter
Tracers (Shine on Crazy Diamond snippet-Pink Floyd cover)
Chance (Savatge cover)
Madness of Men
Find Our Way Home
Requiem (The Fifth)
Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24) Reprise (Savatage Cover)
We would like to thank Anna Loynes from Solters PR for the credentials to review the show.