Trans-Siberian Orchestra continues Christmas tradition

Photo+via+www.trans-siberian.com
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Trans-Siberian Orchestra continues Christmas tradition

Photo via www.trans-siberian.com

Photo via www.trans-siberian.com

Photo via www.trans-siberian.com

Photo via www.trans-siberian.com

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One of Milwaukee’s most notable Christmas traditions is hosting the Trans-Siberian Orchestra at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. On Monday, Dec. 29, TSO will return to the city, performing its live debut of “Christmas in the Attic” both in afternoon and evening performances.

TSO is a rock-symphonic band that has created its own genre over the years. According to lead guitarist and co-founder Al Pitrelli, the group has used its New York City background and the influence of many different genres to establish “the TSO sound.”

“I think we have created something completely different,” Pitrelli said, “utilizing the progressive guitar playing with some orchestral pieces, weaving a theatrical story throughout the music.”

“If you give two or three great chefs 12 ingredients each, whatever they may be, and the 12 ingredients, just like there are only 12 notes in music, these master chefs have to use to come up with three different meals,” he continued. “None of the combinations will ever be the same because each ingredient has its own dynamic and touch. We (in Trans-Siberian Orchestra) are using the same ingredients as Mozart. Yet, we have created something unique and different.”

Audience members can expect an opera-style rock concert performance on Monday. The band is renowned for the extensive light show and laser exhibit, pyro-choreographed to the music. Pitrelli mentioned that the performance will also include poetic interludes and story characters with moving thresholds. The first half of this year’s performance will be the entirety of “The Christmas Attic,” followed by a rock concert featuring TSO’s most famous and high energy songs.

“It’s absolutely ridiculously over the top,” he said. “It’s a stadium rock and roll show that we’re squishing into an arena. Until you’re sitting in the middle of it, you have no idea of the scope or magnitude of it.”

Pitrelli said that his most rewarding experiences with TSO have been watching the group’s music influence others to explore music and watching TSO grow. Influenced by childhood favorite such as The Beatles, co-founders Paul O-Neill and Jon Oliva write their music with Pitrelli and then fill in the places with instrumentalists once the piece is nearly complete. They focus equally on studio performances and live performances. The group also makes a point to give back to the community through their music and charity work.

Although TSO sold over one million tickets for their holiday tour last year, Pitrelli said he and the band members are still determined to improve.

“Every year we try to get better and we work really hard to improve,” he said. “This year we will do it more, bigger, better.”

 

Tickets for Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s Monday, Dec. 29, 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. shows can be purchased online or at the BMO Harris Center box office prior to the performance.

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