I've followed TSO since their inception from the single hit "Christmas Eve Sarejevo (12/24)". Many don't realize this song is NOT a TSO original. It originally was recorded and released on Savatage'* album "Dead Winter Dead". The founding members of TSO all had ties to Savatage and used one of their songs as a beginning. TSO has 3 Christmas themed albums out. 1st was "Christmas Eve and Other Stories". 2nd came "The Christmas Attic". 3rd was "The Lost Christmas Eve". There is a DVD featuring Jewel, Ossie Davis, Michael Lanning, and the late great Diamond Darryl Pediford (forever rest in peace good brother, I miss you), this DVD is titled "The Ghosts of Christmas Eve". It'* the story of the first album come to life in an old theater. There'* also a non-Christmas album out titled "Beethoven'* Last Night". Another non-Christmas release is still in the making and hopefully will be released soon, "NightCastle".
TSO on tour is 2 touring groups, East and West. I know some of the band members and when it comes to just plain good people, TSO is good people. As far as ticket prices go...you definitely get more than you'd expect for the price. Considering shows today where 3-5 band members play for 1:30 and leave the stage and charge $80 or more (Roger Waters tickets went for over $300 in Ticketmonster bidding...disgusting)...TSO is a deal. They play for over 2 hours, include an incredible stage setup (4 additional tractor trailers of gear for this year'* shows), one tractor trailer for the pyro effects alone, and you get over 20 performers on stage, and after evening shows, time permitting, they all stick around and sign autographs for as many fans as want to stay after the show. When filling a place like the Mellon Arena (Pittsburgh) with 11,000 fans, that can be a real time investment after a show. Also, from the very first show, $1 from every ticket sold is donated to local charities in the town they're playing in. Sometimes even more is donated when they're in town for an extended stay. Sorry to ramble on so, but in this day and age of greed and corruption, TSO is a breath of fresh air. They're genuine, and they've touched many lives ... give them a chance.
Anyone going to the Pittsburgh shows on December 3rd, and want to get together between shows or after the evening show, drop me a note. After the evening show we typically end up at the Denny'* in West Mifflin. You'll be able to find me...I'm the guy with the TSO/Steeler Santa Hat worn by Chris on stage at last years Pittsburgh show. :P
For more info on TSO visit the band'* website at http://www.trans-siberian.com
<*Car pics coming soon*>