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Trans Siberian Orchestra Live in Manchester, NH

Added 16 December 2021, 2:45 AM

The TRANS SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA is an American rock band made up of members of multiple bands and other musicians from around the world. They have a Christmas show they take all over the United States from October to January every year. 2021 marks the 25th anniversary of the band’s first release and 22 years’ worth of touring. The difference between 1999 and 2021 is immense and there is no doubt it will continue to grow and expand.

Having seen them in 1999 on that first tour, I’ve experienced their growth through the years. I saw them again in Manchester, NH on November 26, 2021, for the sixth time. In 1999, they barely fit on the smaller stage of the Bronco Bowl in Dallas, TX. The venue only held about 2,500 people. Now, they sell out 15,000-20,000 seat arenas twice in a single day. They have an East and West touring company.
I have seen their early shows, the West Coast group, the Beethoven’s Last Night show, and not the East Coast group. The show is never the same twice in a row. The songs and lighting schemes change every year. The talent and precision of the musicians never varies. They put on one of the best shows you will ever see, every time.

Before the show last night, Chris Caffrey, one of the two incredible guitarists, comes out and does what they do before every show, announce the donation to the local music charity of their choice. It’s $1 from every ticket sold for every show on the tour, from both touring companies. First, they invest tons of money in the stage show, then they give back to the local communities. Is it any wonder they have a great reputation as not only an amazing act, but also great people.
If you have not ever seen TRANS SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA, do yourself a favor and make one of their shows. If not this year, then next year. You will not regret it. You might become addicted. The crowd is typical fairly subdued, not standing through the whole show. The age range is 8-80, the variance in musical tastes is probably broader than that. People show up in jeans and t-shirts, casual, business, and formal wear. The diversity is amazing to see.

The show is even more refreshing. There is a narrator to guide you through the story, telling the parts in between the music to keep you on track. The music is precise, clear and beyond entertaining. The guitars do everything from bluesy rock to classical to shredding. The keyboards are phenomenal. The drums, bass, and string section, led by a lead violinist who rivals both guitarists in intensity and sheer stage presence, drive this massive machine through over two hours of amazing tunes.
The sound is crystal clear. I’ve been to louder shows, and often the music gets a bit overpowering. Here, they keep it a few decibels lower, and the clarity is noticeable. Having been to hundreds of concerts, including more than one for bands that claim to be the loudest in the world, this clarity is a welcome change. There is nothing like this show and being able to hear every word and every note really makes a huge difference.

The stage show is absolutely astounding. The lasers are so well-timed, you know a computer runs them. It has to be. The lighting is extremely complex and intricate. The color-changing globes that shift and move with the music added an incredible dimension to the lights. Screens everywhere, pyrotechnics, moving pictures, there is no lack of visual stimulation. Start to finish, this is a visual and auditory performance unlike anything else you will ever see.

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