TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA – Citizens Bank Arena, Ontario, CA – 12/1/18

Review and Pictures: Sheri Hastings 

Trans-Siberian Orchestra or “TSO” as they are also known, are celebrating 20 years on the road this year, featuring an all-new production of their 2001 DVD release “The Ghosts of Christmas Eve”, plus many other favorites from their vast CD catalog of Christmas and classical rock-oriented tunes.


The 2-1/2 hour show opened with “The Ghosts of Christmas Eve” in its entirety which was narrated in between songs by Phillip Brandon, whose voice is so soothing and reminded me of being on the old Monsanto ride at Disneyland or maybe a bit of James Earl Jones.  Written by the late Paul O’Neill, the founder and brain-child of TSO, his vision of progressive rock meets Beethoven, enhanced with lasers, fireballs shooting up from the stage behind and around the band, snowflakes falling on our heads & action-filled video screens comes to life every year in the U.S. during the months of November & December. Unfortunately Paul passed away in 2017 at the age of 60, but the band is carrying on his legacy and pays tribute to him at every show.

In order to get this show out to as many as possible in 2 months time, TSO is split into 2 groups of touring musicians: “West” and “East”. Like many other, seeing TSO West in California has become an annual tradition.

The show is a virtual feast for the eyes and ears.  There is the main stage and also a smaller stage at the opposite end of the arena where they have scissor lifts that take the guitar, bass & violinists high above the audience, as well as 2 lifts coming up from the stage. The show, however, may be a little too loud for young children, or for those who may have an aversion to bright laser type lights and loud noises. 

TSO donates $1 of every ticket sold to charity.

TSO West is:

Al Pitrelli, guitar/music director

Angus Clark, guitar

John Lee Middleton, bass

Jane Mangini, keybords

Blas Elias, drums

Asha Mevlna, strings

Vitalij Kuprij, 2nd keyboardist


Andrew Ross, Chloe Lowery, Jeff Scott Soto, John Brink, April Berry, Ashley Hollister, Jodi Katz, Dino Jelusic, Mats Leven & Rosa Larichiutta

Phillip Brandon, Narrator



1st Set
Night Enchanted
Winter Palace
The Lost Christmas Eve
(Andrew Ross on vocals)

Ghosts of Christmas Past 

O Come All Ye Faithful / O Holy Night

Good King Joy
(Jeff Scott Soto and Rosa Laricchiuta on vocals)
Christmas Dreams
(Dino Jelusic on vocals)
Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24)
(Savatage cover)
Christmas Canon Rock
(Chloe Lowery, Jodi Katz,… more )
What Child Is This?
(William Chatterton Dix cover) (John Brink on vocals)
Music Box Blues
(Chloe Lowery on vocals)
First Snow
Promises to Keep
(Chloe Lowery on vocals)
This Christmas Day
(Jeff Scott Soto on vocals)

2nd Set

Wish Liszt (Toy Shop Madness) / Christmas Jam
A Mad Russian’s Christmas
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing / The Three Kings & I
(Mats Levin on vocals)
Wizards in Winter
(Pink Floyd’s Shine On You Crazy Diamond intro)
Carmina Burana
(Rosa Laricchiuta on vocals)
(Savatage cover)
Madness of Men
Find Our Way Home
(Jeff Scott Soto on vocals)
Requiem (The Fifth)
Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24) (Reprise)
(Savatage cover)

Related Links:

Trans-Siberian Orchestra

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