The Trans Siberian Orchestra (TSO) is a stadium rock band with a classical twist. As a matter of fact, the name of the band is a reference to the Trans Siberian Railroad which connected several cultures which were isolated from each other. TSO bridges classical music with rock and roll which are otherwise totally isolated. They are most famous for their renditions of Christmas classics and Christmas originals. Their albums also tell a story. I love this band! Last year, my mom took Marcela and me to see TSO in concert up at the Bank Atlantic Center in Ft. Lauderdale. I had such a good time. Naturally Marcela did too. She introduced me to this group almost 5 years ago. In the concert, they had a 40 foot hydrolic lift with fire shooting from the side as a guitarist and an electric violinist performed atop. They had explosions, lasers, and tons of incredible musicians piping some of my favorite Christmas tunes as well as other classical tunes they have not even released yet. These are my top 5 TSO Christmas songs.
#5. Mad Russian Christmas – This is your basic Heavy Metal medley of Tchaikovsky’s Nut Cracker Suite. Off the album “Christmas Eve and Other Stories”, this is one of the most layers songs they do, because it takes you from a deep dark serious rock to a light happy dance kind of rock, all while serving up the Christmas favorite Nut Cracker songs you love.
#4. Wizards in Winter – This is a TSO original instrumental of “The Lost Christmas Eve” album which was used in several popular internet videos with synchronized Christmas lights. Very happy and very rock! It has a few bars from Tchaikovsky’s Nut Cracker like many of their songs.
#3. Wish Liszt (Toy Shop Madness) – This track is from “The Lost Christmas Eve” album, and bounces around sometimes as my favorite TSO song. It is a reworking of the Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 by Franz Liszt. It has one of the coolest call and answer/dueling guitar and piano pieces in music. This was my favorite from the concert I was priveledged to see last year.
#2. Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24 – This medley of “Carol of the Bells” and “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” off the Lost Christmas Eve album is by far their most popular and recognizable Christmas song. The NFL loves to use this song as one their themes for pre game music, and for good reason. This song will knock you out of your socks like a LB hitting a WR. It’s the story of a lone Cellist playing forgotten Christmas carols in war torn Sarajevo. The song structure starts with beautifull Christmas bells leading to an exciting opening romp and ends with one of the most climactic finishes of any rock song I have heard.
#1. Christmas Canon Rock – There were two versions of the Christmas Canon on two different albums. This one is the more rocked up version and seems to have more of an emotional and heartfelt sound. It starts off smooth and moves into a great heavy metal rock groove. “On this night, on this night, on this night, on this very Christmas night!” The guitar solo on this song is so classically heavy metal/hair rock. This internet version does not have the killer solo on it unfortunately.