Trans-Siberian Orchestra perform its holiday extravaganza ‘The Ghosts of Christmas Eve’ this Sunday at Footprint Center

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Preview by Val Tapia
Photo by Jason McEachern

The holiday season brings both excitement and dread to many people, whether anybody likes to say that out loud or not.  However, there is one annual event during this time of year that seems to consistently grow— in production and attendance– and it shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.

In fact, it can be argued that one doesn’t even have to celebrate the holidays to appreciate what Trans-Siberian Orchestra deliver onstage: an evening of sight-and-sound unlike no other during the winter season.  In most cities they tour, the band perform both afternoon and evening shows. With no opening act, mind you.

This year, TSO will once again perform 1999’s The Ghosts of Christmas Eve (which was originally created as a made-for-television special), along with a second set featuring “The Best of TSO and More”.

Regarding the latter, that portion of the show also includes non-holiday music the band has recorded throughout its 27-year career.

By the way, there’s also a song (or maybe two this year?) by the band that preceded the formation of TSO— a band called Savatage. In short order, that can never be overstated— ever!

It’s been said there really is something for everybody at a TSO concert.  It’s a hybrid of rock, theatre, and classical music, with a little gospel and R&B added to the mix.  Throw in some arena-sized visuals, and you can understand why people return every year.  By the way, those fans are lovingly referred to by TSO as “repeat offenders”.

And as always, giving back to the cities they play in remain a cornerstone of the yearly outings.  For those who may not know, the band donates one dollar from every ticket sold that benefits various local charities in the community.

For the Phoenix shows this Sun. Dec. 3, the dollar donations will go to non-profit organizations Operation Santa Claus (the 3:00 p.m. show) and Lost Our Home Pet Rescue (the 7:30 p.m. show), respectively.

Giving back was of utmost importance to late TSO founder and creator Paul O’Neill. Musical director and lead guitarist Al Pitrelli has told me in past interviews that “Paul wanted to save the world!  Part of our conversations since the early days of TSO were centered around giving back to those less fortunate.  It was something he never wanted attention for— Paul just saw it as doing the right thing, and that was it.”

“After he passed away (in April 2017), his family wanted to continue doing that, so we have.  It’s something I’m extremely honored and proud to be a part of.”

Trans-Siberian Orchestra is scheduled to play two shows this Sun. Dec. 3 at Footprint Center in downtown Phoenix. Showtimes are 3:00pm and 7:30pm, respectively.

Ticket prices range between $39 and $109 in advance and are available at ticketmaster.com

Doors open at 2:00 p.m. for the 3:00 p.m. show.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for the 7:30 p.m. show.

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