One of the best concerts I’ve ever attended, Christmas or otherwise, was the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. It was really an explosion of light and music that was mesmerizing, as much a dizzying spectacle as a concert; there was nothing subtle or laid back about it. This time of year, you expect one of the TSO versions to be coming to an arena near you, but of course, because of the pandemic, that won’t be happening this year.

However, the band didn’t want to break their streak of US tours that started in 1999; that was three years after their breakthrough album, Christmas Eve and Other Stories was released. But, while the band can’t tour this year, they are still planning on putting on a show, just virtually. According to the Asbury Park Press, the live-streamed "Christmas Eve and Other Stories Live in Concert" debuts 8 pm Friday, Dec. 18, and will be available through midnight on Sunday, Dec. 20.

Jeff and I had the chance to interview the TSO’s founder Paul O’Neill several years ago (he died in 2017) and he was passionate about the band’s shows being a memorable experience for attendees. He wanted you leaving the venue with your brain swirling from the sensory inputs that were almost, but not quite, overwhelming.

The group’s current music director, Al Pitrelli, told the Asbury Park Press the central story of the album is particularly fitting for this year: "The center of the story is about missing someone around the holidays, in particular the holidays." Pitrelli added "Well, how poignant is that all of a sudden, this year? Everybody’s missing everybody, not only all year but now you can’t even get together with your loved ones, your family, your friends.”

The concert is available for $30 and you can buy access at the band’s website.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.

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