Sure, we need Santa Claus, but what would the holiday season be without a visit from Trans-Siberian Orchestra, too? Their annual concert tour is coming back to Charlotte for two shows (3:00 pm, 7:30 pm) at Spectrum Center on Saturday, December 9, 2023. If you’ve never experienced one of their hard-rocking Christmas arena extravaganzas in person, get yourself a ticket immediately. This may be our most festive Throwback Threesome yet!
Part hard rock band, part classical ensemble, TSO is all entertainment. The group was founded in 1996 by producer, composer, and lyricist Paul O’Neill. His music industry experience included managing and producing the likes of Aerosmith, AC/DC, Joan Jett, and Scorpions. O’Neill recruited Jon Oliva and Al Pitrelli of the heavy metal band Savatage, as well as keyboardist and co-producer Robert Kinkel to form the creative nucleus of Trans-Siberian Orchestra. According Songfacts, Kinkel wrote TV ad jingles in the ’80s, including one for Hefty trash bags. Remember “Hefty, Hefty, Hefty – Wimpy, Wimpy, Wimpy?” That was his.
After completing their second album, The Christmas Attic, in 1998, Trans-Siberian Orchestra began touring the following year. That’s when their popularity really began to build. TSO’s elaborate concerts have always had more to offer than the typical rock shows. Their productions included a string section, a light show, lasers, video screens, and various effects synchronized to music. Fans were hooked.
Paul O’Neill died in 2017, at the age of 61, but his creation lives on. Trans-Siberian Orchestra has released numerous albums and sold out venues across North America. TSO is actually two groups that tour simultaneously, which is how they manage to perform so many shows each year. They also give back to the communities they visit by donating at least $1 of every ticket sold to local and national charities.