CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A well-known, multi-platinum rock group is making Charleston one of its stops on its annual holiday tour again for the first time in several years.
The Trans-Siberian Orchestra announced its return to the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center on Friday, November 17 with “The Ghosts of Christmas Eve– The Best of TSO and More” as part of its 2023 Winter Tour. Tickets for the performance go on sale this week.
V100’s Steve Bishop took to social media in recent months to create a petition to bring TSO back to the area after many fans have been saying the group has been gone for too long.
“Every year people contact me for the last five years since they’ve been here and they’re like, ‘how come they’re not coming?’ and I go, ‘I’m sure it’s not an intentional thing,’ but I thought this year we’ll just make some noise and let them know, ‘hey, we’re still here if you want to come do a show,” Bishop said
He said he received a big response from that petition.
After topping high on the touring charts for the past 15 years now, this year’s tour brings on a new and larger version to the traditional performance of “The Ghosts of Christmas Eve” that has become a beloved crowd favorite for multiple generations.
The tour kicks off on November 15 in Green Bay, Wisconsin and Council Bluffs, Iowa, playing a total of 62 cities and 104 shows during the course of the tour before wrapping up on December 30.
Bishop said the performance adds a fun, rock n’ roll flare to the Christmas season.
“Some people really get into this type of music and they really do add a nice twist to some of the classics but they have their own stuff, too, and the show’s incredible, it’s really not only something to hear but something to see, too,” he said.
While the performance is based on TSO’s multi-platinum CD and TV special “The Ghosts of Christmas Eve,” it’s also a product of the late founder of TSO Paul O’Neill’s own imagination.
It follows the story of a runaway who breaks into an abandoned vaudeville theater on Christmas Eve while seeking shelter from the cold, only to find her life turned around with the help of the ghosts and spirits from the building’s past.
Along with the rock opera performance, a rock show containing fire, laser lights, and more of TSO’s greatest hits will make up the second set of the show.
Bishop said O’Neill’s vision created an experience that is truly remarkable to see.
“I used to joke with the band management that every year Paul spent more money than I thought they were probably taking in on the concert tours across the country, they have two of these Trans-Siberian Orchestras, east coast and west coast, but I always said, ‘I don’t know how you guys are making any money, because Paul is spending it all on lights and sounds, and explosions and lasers,” he said.
Since its touring debut the orchestra has played more than 2,000 winter tour shows in front of over 18 million fans.
Bishop said while TSO appeals to a lot of different crowds, they still uphold a unique element to them unlike any other.
“There’s always been a curiosity factor, and this has been one of those things that I found humorous at times, some people go an they think they’re going to see Mannheim Steamroller and it’s not, Mannheim Steamroller has their sound and Trans-Siberian Orchestra has more of a rock n’ roll appeal,” said Bishop.
TSO continues to keep to O’Neill’s vision as being one of the more charitable rock bands, as they plan to give at least $1 from every ticket purchase to some kind of charity.
For Charleston’s performance presented by V100, 98.7 The Mountain, and Live Nation, a portion of the proceeds will be going to WVU Medicine Children’s.
The performance will begin at 7 p.m. Nov. 17 and tickets go on sale this Friday at 10 a.m. A limited number of specially-priced $39 tickets will be available for one week while supplies last.
For more information about the performance and buying tickets, people can visit the Charleston Coliseum on its website, Ticketmaster, or on V100’s Facebook page.