The band’s rock-opera style sprinkled with symphonic and heavy metal arrangements are famous for their dazzling displays of lights and a large number of instrumentalists and vocalists on stage at any given time.
When recording in a studio, TSO creates its music with a 60-piece orchestra and a choir. While touring, as of 2004, the band is comprised of 14 vocalists, 14 musicians and two narrators.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra was created in 1996 by Paul O’Neill, who previously managed and produced rock bands Aerosmith, Scorpions and Humble Pie. Robert Kinkel, TSO’s co-producer and a friend of O’Neill, said TSO’s name was inspired by Russia’s Trans-Siberian Railway, at which many members of different countries and cultures meet.
TSO’s first album, “Christmas Eve and Other Stories,” came out in 1996. Since then, according to Billboard.com, the group has sold more than 7.2 million albums.
Throughout the years, TSO produced albums that peaked high on the Billboard charts, including 2004’s “The Christmas Attic,” which contains “Christmas Canon Rock,” a spinoff of Pachelbel’s “Canon in D.” The album “Beethoven’s Last Night” ranked No. 165 on Billboard and “The Lost Christmas Eve” made No. 26. TSO also created the “Whoville Medley” for the film “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” in 2000.
In October, O’Neill released the group’s second non-Christmas album, “Night Castle.” At the center of “Night Castle” is the story of U.S. Army special forces officer Lt. William Crozier, who battles the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia in the 1970s. It’s a story that speaks to the heart of O’Neill.
“What happened in Cambodia still breaks my heart,” said O’Neill, quoted on Billboard.com. “The things humans can do against humans never ceases to blow my mind, but somehow in the end good always wins and gives us hope. I think that resonates, especially with what’s going on now in the world.”
TSO performs Friday at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. at the Reno Events Center. Tickets cost $25, $49.50, $59.50 and $69.50 and can be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com or at the Silver Legacy box office. For more information, call 335-8840.