It's a seasonal rite of passage for many, and the return of Trans-Siberian Orchestra to the Xcel Energy Center Saturday for 2 shows. I did not attend the 3pm show, but by the traffic congestion and St Paul Police redirecting the massive crowd as the Xcel emptied out, it's safe to say the 3pm crowd was as large as the 8pm show. The later show was close to a sell out.

This would be my third time watching this spectacular event unfold in it's usual, jaw-drop amazing fashion. I skipped last year but was happy to return for the 2018 edition. This year's 20th anniversary tour, a presentation of Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s  unforgettable 'The Ghosts of Christmas Eve,' features founder/composer/lyricist  Paul O'Neill's timeless story of a runaway who finds her way into a mysterious abandoned theater.


Photo: 'Train Wreck' ~ Z-Rock Weekends

There seemed to be a definitive dichotomy to the performance, although is was subtly masked.The first half told the story as detailed above, with the second half more like a balls-out, flaming progressive rock spectacular. Filled with searing guitar licks, soaring vocal performances, and a laser light show that sets the bar. TSO's use of real flame thrower effects in the 2nd half of the performance eclipses that of acts like Motley Crue and KISS in my opinion, with a point on perfection and attention to detail.

If you were there on Saturday, you know what we saw; something truly special! If you have never seen TSO perform, make a point to do so sometime. Throw it on your 'bucket-list'. TSO is a multi-generational, family event. By the crowd response, at least two thirds had seen them before when asked by TSO Band Director Al Petrelli. 

Photo:'Train Wreck' ~ Z-Rock Weekends -- Al Pitrelli ~ Trans-Siberian Band Director - (west group)

It's worth noting that TSO donated $1 for every ticket sold to the local Salvation Army's annual Red Kettle campaign. [ PHOTOS BELOW ]

Photo: 'Train Wreck' ~ Z-Rock Weekends

I hope you enjoy the photos!
'Train Wreck' ~ Z-Zock Weekends

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