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Concert review: Trans-Siberian Orchestra rings in the holidays with a huge spectacle
Ably backed by an Oklahoma City string section, the musicians didn't give up the spotlight easily, though. Pianists Jane Mangini and Vitalij Kuprij somehow managed to keep “Wish Liszt (Toy Shop Madness)” rocking along even as they dashed back and forth switching keyboards. Original TSO member Al Pitrelli and fellow guitarist Angus Clark engaged in a friendly but furious competition from the amped-up opener “Faith Noel,” although violinist Asha Mevlana managed to one-up them more than once, especially on the sizzling instrumental “Wizards in Winter.”
Like an overloaded holiday table, “The Lost Christmas Eve” just proved too much of a good thing, the storytelling bloated with too many power ballads, meandering musical interludes and lofty rhyming from the narrator. But the band introductions provided a bit of a palate cleanser, and when Pitrelli asked “Are you ready for a rock show?,” the audience was indeed.
Although less emotionally attuned to the season, the last third of the 2 ½-hour show was actually more electrifying, as the band blasted through hits like “The Mountain,” its rendition of Grieg's “In the Hall of the Mountain King,” its orchestral-metal take on “Requiem,” from the TSO album “Beethoven's Last Night” and its majestic holiday favorites “This Christmas Day” and “Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24).”
— Brandy McDonnell