Tag Archives: bob kinkel

Trans-Siberian Orchestra @ Continental Airlines Arena (12/21/2006)

We have been both fans and supporters of the incredible Trans-Siberian Orchestra since we first heard the signature tune on Savatage’s “Dead Winter Dead” CD so long ago. Our yearly coverage of their show continues below, but we did not get to take any photos of the group in action. Hopefully the article sparks your own interest in attending and trust me its always well worth it.

Logo - Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Artist: Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Venue: Continental Airlines Arena (East Rutherford, NJ)
Date: 12/21/2006
Label: Lava Records

The Holiday season would not be complete without my attending at least one of the area performances of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and by now the group is no longer a mystery to anyone. If you have listened to radio, seen videos and commercials on TV or watched YouTube.com, you have a very clear picture as to who they are and what they do. They have been around ten years now and this year would find no Madison Square Garden show and instead they would perform at both the Nassau Coliseum and the Continental Airlines Arena for the first time. We attended the Continental (or Meadowlands) show for all your eighties rockers, our vantage point would give us a very easy and complete view of the stage and its effects. After the opener of “March Of The Kings” the groups Narrator enters the stage and begins the tale of “Christmas Even And Other Stories”. If this sounds familiar then you are not imagining things for the beginning of the TSO show always follows format and performs their debut release in practically its entirety. It’s a formula that has worked for them, and no one really seems to complain. Over the last couple of years also the group has had some new members in its sometime rotating cast of players and after all these shows and numerous performances I am happy to say that both Jay Pierce and James Robert Lewis are incredible additions to the family. Historically, Jay replaced Daryl Pediford who passed away while Lewis fills in the space where Joe C. used to perform. Once again the players were in top form and this is to be expected for the core musicians in this East Coast Company have been the same for many years with Skolnick, Caffery, Kim, Kinkel, Plate, Z., and Wood. The amount of shows and years of professionalism they all bring to the table have them all making this look quite easy and a whole lot of fun.
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Trans-Siberian Orchestra @ Madison Square Garden (12/19/2005)

Logo - Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Artist: Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Venue: Madison Square Garden (New York, NY)
Date: 12-19-2005
Opener: n/a

According to my ticket stubs this will be the sixth year that I have gone to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra in concert and as a result I officially declare it a Holiday tradition in my life. By now the music of this amazing group is no longer a mystery to most people and songs such as the signature track of “Christmas Eve Sarajevo” can be considered a staple on mainstream radio during the holiday season. As a matter of fact, the recent years have found both “Christmas Canon Rock” and newer numbers like “Wizards In Winter” also being showcased. This is a good thing since the TSO has so much to offer such a wide audience and the more that hear them then the better it is all around. As I looked back on my year of musical coverage I could not think of a better way to close it out than to see a group that I enjoy so much and in New York City’s famous Madison Square Garden as well. The Trans-Siberian Orchestra is the brainchild of Jon Oliva, Bob Kinkel and Paul O’Neill; together the three of them formed something magical that is not easily forgotten once you are caught in its spell. The scope and impact of this group on the Holiday Season led it to have two separate entities formed so proper touring could be facilitated and reach the most people as they possibly can. Given my New York location, we get the talents of the East Coast Company and since this group has my personal favored performers that suits me fine. The part that has become tricky in coverage of this performance is in deciding if one year was better than the last or if I enjoyed it more. I honestly always have a great time as do my friends and the light show seems to get more impressive as each year passes. Musically it remains the same with the beginning portion being the full presentation of “Christmas Eve & Other Stories” which has narration of the story from the CD. All the while the group of performers playing their hearts out. With so many fantastic numbers on this first record I am glad they have kept the format of performing it in full. I feel it is far more effective this way.
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“Beethoven’s Last Night” by Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Artist: Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Title: “Beethoven’s Last Night”
Label: Lava Records
Release Date: 4/11/2000
Genre: Symphonic Rock
Rating: 8/10

The Trans-Siberian Orchestra has proven the depth of their skills by releasing “Beethoven’s Last Night” as their third outing. The album is not one with a Christmas or Holiday theme but instead a walk steeped in the Classical influences of both Beethoven and Mozart. The group’s founder/creator Paul O’Neill also manages to work up a very different and much darker tale for this one, as we find ourselves bearing witness to the last night in Beethoven’s life. The tale is about what perhaps happened on that night and brings us to believe that Fates and the Devil were all vying for his Soul. It’s an interesting tale and when you listen to this CD especially you feel as thought you are listening to a Broadway Musical soundtrack rather than Symphonic Rock. The cast for this release are Jody Ashworth (Beethoven), Jon Oliva (Mephistopheles), Guy Lemonnier (young Beethoven) and Patti Russo (Theresa) as the main singers of the piece. There are also some great vocals by Savatage 2nd singer Zak Stevens. The musicians for the piece are Robert Kinkel, Jon Oliva, Al Pitrelli, Chris Caffery, Jeff Plate, Johnny Lee Middleton and Paul O’Neill. Essentially the cast of players gives you a piece of music that includes all of the members of the “Wake Of Magellan” era Savatage. As a result there is a certain heaviness that comes to the front on the instrumental numbers. Let’s face it the music of Beethoven was powerful as it is and under the control of the TSO is given a new and rocking feel. Fans of the other instrumental tracks that the band had done will most likely enjoy these ones as well for in “Requiem (The Fifth), “A Last Illusion” and “Mozart/Figaro” we find stellar musicianship and execution at its best.
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“Ghosts Of Christmas Eve” [DVD] by Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Artist: Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Title: “The Ghosts Of Christmas Eve”
Label: Lava Records
Release Date: 11/13/2001
Genre: Holiday Rock
Rating: 7/10

The Holiday Extravaganza that is the Trans-Siberian Orchestra have given fans their very first DVD movie. Now before you go any further please be aware that this is not a full live concert performance but instead a stand alone film that features the group and its music. Entitled “The Ghosts Of Christmas Eve”; the DVD is perfect family fare and can easily stand alongside any Christmas program collection. It was filmed in a restored theatre in Jersey City, NJ and tells the tale of a runaway girl (Allie Sheridan) who comes upon a closed theatre for shelter. Inside she meets The Caretaker (veteran actor Ossie Davis) who takes her on a magical journey into the world of Christmas and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Ossie also provides some narration as the film plays out. It is well-done and very heart warming for both its message and spirit for the Holiday Season. Primarily featuring the music from the first two TSO albums the film is enjoyable to watch from start to finish. Joining the TSO are Atlantic Recording Artists Michael Crawford and Jewel who contribute their fine vocal styles and add a level of star power to the release. Crawford is outstanding in his delivery of “O Holy Night”, but you really cannot expect any less of a singer of his caliber. Before this was issued on DVD it was aired on television around holiday time and by having the popular singers would have guaranteed more viewers.
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Trans-Siberian @ Madison Square Garden (12/27/2004)

Logo - Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Artist: Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Venue: Madison Square Garden NYC
Date: 12-27-2004

For several years now, I have made the music of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra a Holiday tradition. It is a show that I look forward to each time it makes it’s way to New York. In the past, the scene had been the Beacon Theater but this time it would be the famous Madison Square Garden. A sold out show with just over 13,000 fans in attendance. I wanted to point out that they always start out with a donation to a charity based on $1 from every ticket sold. An admirable act and one worth mentioning. This year would hold the most visible changes for the TSO as “Diamond” Darryl Pediford had passed away just before the tour was to begin. In addition, two other male vocal leads would not be present. On the upside, this year marked the return of Alex Skolnick on guitar and Mee Eun Kim on keyboards.
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