The Trans-Siberian Orchestra returns to Columbus with music and fanfare
Drummer Jeff Plate’s holiday season last year didn’t include flashing lights, billowing smoke, or rock-infused versions of Christmas music.
For the first time since 1999, the longtime member of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra was home for the holidays. The group, which perform both classic and original Christmas music in shows that have the pyrotechnics of a rock concert, canceled last year’s winter tour due to the pandemic.
This meant that Plate was home for the holidays.
âFor me personally, it was ‘OK, great. I’m home. I’m in upstate New York. There’s snow on the ground. We’re decorating the house,'” said Plate, 59 years old. “But at the same time, I felt like I should be at work.”
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This year, the group is back to work: As part of a tour to coincide with the 25th anniversary of their hit 1996 album, “Christmas Eve and Other Stories,” the Trans-Siberian Orchestra will perform at 3 p.m. and December 20. 26 at the Nationwide Arena.
Plate enjoyed the free time, but is glad to be back on the road.
âA lot of us are away from our families during the holidays, which is part of the deal,â he said. âLast year was a nice little injection of that into the soul, and this year we’re back to work. But for us, bringing that to all of these people is what it’s all about.
While the band’s sound and rock style may not seem like a good fit for Christmas music, the combination was part of the concept envisioned by founder Paul O’Neill. In 1995, the heavy metal band Savatage – led by O’Neill, who died in 2017, and of which Plate was also a member – recorded the song “Christmas Eve / Sarajevo 12/24”, in which the tunes “God Rest Ye Merry , Gentlemen âandâ Shchedryk âwere used to refer to the Bosnian War.
âThis song really became the vehicle for Paul to put together the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, which was his dream project,â Plate said. “He wanted to be able to do something that was going to cover just about anything, musically, that you could imagine.”
The Trans-Siberian Orchestra made its way with âChristmas Eve and Other Storiesâ and, within a few years, hit the road. And with all the lights and smoke, their live shows have entertainment value beyond the music.
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âPaul was a guy from New York,â Plate said. âHe loved Broadway, he loved the theater, he loved storytelling. … and all of this is presented in the show.
And stationed at his drum seat under all the effects, Plate thinks he has the best seat in the house.
âI’ve been sitting in the middle of this since the first note,â he said. “I saw him grow up in front of me, above me, next to me, all of it.”
For fans of the group, however, the music of upcoming concerts in Columbus will have some solid familiarity: expect to hear such staples as âChristmas Canon,â âPromises to Keep,â âThis Christmas Day,â and, well. sure, “Christmas Eve / Sarajevo 12/24.”
âIt’s the loudest, biggest song we perform on the show,â Plate said of the show. âI’m just jokingly trying to find out how many times I’ve played this song. It must be 2,500 times, but every time I play the song the audience gets excited. They are standing.
And the audience response on the band’s first pandemic-era tour has been enthusiastic.
âI think there’s an added sense of appreciation,â Plate said. âWe’ve always had a great response,â¦ but I think this year just the fact that we’re back on stage (and) people are back in theaters enjoying the show, everyone is enjoying it a bit. every moment. a little more than usual.
In one look
The Trans-Siberian Orchestra will perform at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. on December 26 at the Nationwide Arena, 200 W. Nationwide Blvd. Masks are compulsory. Tickets cost from $ 46.50 to $ 86.50. For more information, visit www.nationwidearena.com.