I went to see the Trans Siberian Orchestra and it was not that great

This post has nothing to do with fashion, but it does have to do with Christmas and general merriment. For that reason, I am abandoning my niche to warn you….

Do not attend a Trans Siberian Orchestra performance.

But I am getting ahead of myself. Let’s start at the beginning…

So back in August, I saw that the Trans-Siberian Orchestra was coming to my town to perform a Christmas spectacular of music and wonderment the likes of which the universe had never seen before. I was so excited. I had always wanted to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra in real life. This song is one of my Christmas favorites! Without checking a single online review, I got a pair of rather expensive tickets. Every few weeks I would ask my husband if he was so excited to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and he was all like, ‘yes.’

Fast forward a few months and the night of the performance is finally here. I put on a cute black dress, met my husband for dinner, then we went to the theater (which wasn’t a theater at all, it was a convention center where they play sports). The convention center was packed. I don’t think there was an empty seat in the house. I was getting even more excited. Then the lights dimmed, and the show began.

From the moment the first electric guitar note violently reverberated off my body, I was aghast.

So here’s the thing. I know that the Trans-Siberian Orchestra is an orchestra with the unexpected and delightful accompaniment of electric guitars, keyboards, and drums. But what I saw was not that. What I saw was a stage full of manufactured smoke, strobing lights, a tiny group of violin players surrounded by plexiglass who appeared to be there for show, a tragically styled choir, four rhythmically-challenged, long-haired, peroxide-blonde electric guitar players who dominated the show and literally looked like they fell out of a 1980’s hair band and onto the stage, and a lovely violinist whose instrument was hooked up to an amp.

The electric guitar men began making a noise with their guitars that had the slight undercurrent of a festive Christmas carol, but to the untrained ear it just sounded like screeching amp feedback. I knew right then, in the first thirty seconds of this musical assault, that I had made a terrible mistake.

So for the next twenty minutes these men played their guitars and in the background a large screen projected skulls in Santa hats, broken clocks, pictures of what I think were shopping centers, and other random sh*t that didn’t make sense.

Then people from the choir started singing. I should mention this next part is a personal bias of mine. I do not enjoy made-up Christmas songs. Just pick one of the existing 30 Christmas songs people are already familiar with and cover one of those. We don’t need your raggedy Christmas original. But, oh, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra had plenty of original Christmas songs. Each was no less than 5 minutes long. It must have been a requirement to sing as dramatically as possible while also dancing off beat. In the background fire shot out of the stage, some lasers strobed, and fake snow fell on the super fans sitting in the front.

This went on for two and a half hours.

Then the lights abruptly came on. One of the 80’s hair band men greeted the (frantically applauding) crowd, and informed us that we were only at intermission. At that point, my husband had no choice but to end things and suggested that we leave. So we did.

If I had to summarize my experience I would say — go see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra if one of your favorite pastimes is going to a dive bar in a rural area and listening to a slightly greasy, very intoxicated middle-aged man perform a mediocre version of Every Rose Has Its Thorn. If you don’t like that, just go to the Nutcracker.



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  • Reply Jess December 14, 2016 at 9:28 pm

    Longtime reader here… thanks for the heads up! That sucks about the poor performance, but you guys did the right thing leaving early for something that can’t be refunded. I fell in love with the Trans Siberian Orchestra when listening to the radio songs all these years, and will keep listening to them on the radio.

    • Reply Clare December 14, 2016 at 10:22 pm

      Hi Jess! Thanks for commenting 🙂
      Definitely do not go and see them live. I too was a fan of them from listening to their music on the radio. The live performance is nothing at all like the beautiful and creative music you hear on the radio.

  • Reply Jena December 16, 2016 at 6:46 am

    OMG! What a disaster! I too always wanted to see them in concert. Skulls in Santa hats? LMAO. No thank you! Thanks for the review.

  • Reply Shawanna December 19, 2016 at 11:26 am

    Wow, you just saved me serious money. I’ve been dying to see them, the Christmas Canon song is one of my favorite holiday songs so I thought they’d be awesome I’m concert.

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