By Kaitlyn Walker, Staff Writer
Crowds of people waited outside the arena at 3 p.m.. Movement through the sea of bodies was next to impossible. Everyone wondered why the show was being delayed.
“The lighting director is having some technical problems with a few of the Jumbotrons,” an employee at the Palace of Auburn Hills announced. “You will be seated shortly.”
Quarter after three, people piled into the arena. The show was set to start fifteen minutes later, according to the usher for Section 213.
All of the lights in the stadium went dark suddenly. Instead of cheering for the orchestra to begin, everyone was dead silent.
“Ladies and gentlemen please welcome the Trans-Siberian Orchestra,” the overhead voice declared.
The orchestra is known for having incredible lighting accompanied by pyrotechnics, fog machines and moving platforms. Every light movement or burst of flames is set to the tempo of the song. This year, they went even more extreme than past shows.
“They’re doing a new show since they have a new album out. I’m excited to see it since it’s been the same story-line the last five years,” said Amy Timcoe, 23, who comes every year with her family.
A huge wooden chest was the focal point of the stage. It opened and revealed a Jumbotron inside along with hydraulic platforms that raised and lowered the drummer, the 2nd keyboardist, and a small string section.
After the new story had been told, the lead guitarist proclaimed it was time to “rock out.” They then played all their well-known songs and blew the minds of the audience a little more with indoor fireworks and snow.
It’s no surprise that the Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO) is so successful. They have been travelling for nineteen years and say they couldn’t have done it without their fans.
“The whole idea,” Paul O’Neill, the founder of TSO, explains, “was to create a progressive rock band that would push the boundaries further than any group before…Way, way further.”
O’Neill has created a group that inspires its fans to fall in love with the multi-dimensional art form that is rock opera. Their show has produced over $280 million in ticket sales, $11 million of which has gone to charity.
The group is always changing with each year. They create new music, design new shows, and introduce new members to the band. Right now the band and crew amount to 180 people.
“It was my first time seeing the show, and I’m definitely coming back to see it next year,” said Martin Storms, 24, as he went through the pictures he snapped through the performance.
Next year, just after Christmas, TSO will return with another round of their show “A Christmas Attic.” It will mark their 20th year coming to Detroit. They will have two shows, as always, and tickets will go on sale in September.
“Hopefully, next year we’ll kick the show off on time,” laughed Robert Kinkel, lead keyboardist and musical director for TSO.