The Christmas season is defined by tradition and the comfort of rituals and ceremonies like no other time of the year. And time with our families, contemplation and harmony have never been as important as in the turebulent year of 2020, that was characterized by declines and deprivation – physical distancing became a part of our daily lives, events were cancelled, tours got postponed.
The annual Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO) holiday-tour across the United States has been a beloved constant in the Christmas season for millions of American families for two decades. Like so many other events, 2020’s rendition of the show had to get cancelled due to the ongoing pandemic. But fans of the project, founded by longtime Producer Paul O’Neill and featuring members of metal legends SAVATAGE, don’t have to let go of their beloved habit, and as of today, even European fans can look forward to this very special event: TSO will bring this year’s show directly into living rooms all around the world.
On the 18th of December, the band will livestream a re-conceptualized show based on the album Christmas Eve and Other Stories and provide it via video on demand for 48 hours. The high-quality show won’t only appeal through the eclectic musical concept, but also through eye-catching sceneries that have been adapted to meet the high demands of the brand new format. The story of the album, that is set on Christmas Eve and tells the tale of a young angel sent to earth, couldn’t be a better fit for what we have learned in this troubling year. Humanity, kindness and compassion have probably been the most important virtues of 2020. SAVATAGE-guitarist and TSO-music director Al Pitrelli comments:
“So many things have changed in 2020. Masks, social distancing, home schooling, and of course live entertainment. What will not change is all of us being able to celebrate the Holidays together. It will just be different. For 21 years we’ve had the privilege of bringing our tours, including Christmas Eve and Other Stories, to hundreds of cities and millions of people. This year we will bring this timeless story to the living rooms. We will miss seeing all our Fans in person, but like Paul O’Neill always said, “Adapt, overcome, and improvise”. That’s exactly what we are going to do. It will be an opportunity to see your favorite holiday story up close and personal. We can’t wait to share this with everyone. In the meantime… Stay safe. Stay healthy. We’re on our way!”
The result really couldn’t spread more joy among friends of spectacular shows: Not only will their European fans be able to see a TSO show for the first time since their legendary performance with Savatage at Wacken 2015, which was the first ever concert held on both of the festival’s main stages simultaneously. Furthermore, fans will be able to tap into the beloved TSO Christmas experience from this side of the big pond for the first time. While TSO is touring annually in the US, shows in Europe have been rare during the last years, so the online event marks a true highlight for fans from North to South. And the good news keep on coming, for the orchestra’s back catalogue will soon be available digitally on all European streaming platforms for the first time ever. This includes not only the streaming event’s album but also The Christmas Attic, The Lost Christmas Eve, Night Castle and Beethoven’s Last Night.
As an additional treat, the Savatage records Sirens and Dungeons Are Calling are set to be re-released early next year, as well as a special limited 10” vinyl single of the Savatage classic Hourglass.
The pre-sale for the streaming-event starts today. For the family-friendly price of 30 US$, tickets are available via the website www.trans-siberian.com, along with special gift packages that include shirts, ornaments and masks. It’s also possible to buy tickets and send them to family members or friends as a digital present. Aside from the 90-minute live firework, special behind-the-scenes-material and interviews will also be available.
It’s a beloved TSO tradition that a portion of the proceeds from the livestream will be donated to charity. And thus, the Christmas Eve and Other Stories-narrative comes full circle in reality – which might be a bit less ordinary, but surely not less Christmas-y and pleasant this year.