Trans-Siberian Orchestra returns to Nutter Center

After being limited to a livestream concert in 2020, Trans-Siberian Orchestra has returned to the road for its annual holiday tour, including a pair of concerts at the Nutter Center in Fairborn on Saturday, Dec. 4.

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

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After being limited to a livestream concert in 2020, Trans-Siberian Orchestra has returned to the road for its annual holiday tour, including a pair of concerts at the Nutter Center in Fairborn on Saturday, Dec. 4.

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Group celebrating with 1st album ‘Christmas Eve and Other Stories’

Trans-Siberian Orchestra was limited to a livestream concert in 2020 that was financially successful but not fully representational of the bombastic progressive rock outfit’s massive stage show. Much to the delight of fans and band members alike, TSO is back on the road for its annual holiday tour, which includes a return to the Nutter Center in Fairborn for performances at 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4.

“It’s just amazing to be on stage all these years later after all the doubt and the questions and everything circling around this thing when it first started,” said guitarist Jeff Plate, who has been a member of the group since 1996. “To be able to be doing this all these years later with millions of people on board with you every year, it’s something. We’ve become a tradition.

“That’s a pretty heavy thing to say,” he continued. “But I think last year really showed that with the amount of people that turned out for the livestream just how upset people were that we were not touring, not just fans but also band members, everybody involved.”

Members reassemble

After an extended break from touring, the members of TSO reconvened in Omaha, Nebraska in late October to begin rehearsals for its return to live performances. It doesn’t take long to get this crew back into form according to guitarist Al Pitrelli, who has also been a member of TSO since 1996.

“These guys are great,” he said. “Everybody in the band is just on it. We’ve all been out of work for a year-and-a-half thinking about one thing and one thing only: getting back to work.”

Plate elaborated.

“We’ve been very fortunate that the bands, the East Coast and the West Coast groups, have been intact for a long time,” he said. “We’ve played these songs many, many, many, many times. A lot of times it’s just brushing the dust off and figuring out what order things are going to be in, but it’s going to be exciting on a different level this year.”

caption arrowCaption
After being limited to a livestream concert in 2020, Trans-Siberian Orchestra has returned to the road for its annual holiday tour, including a pair of concerts at the Nutter Center in Fairborn on Saturday, Dec. 4. CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

After being limited to a livestream concert in 2020, Trans-Siberian Orchestra has returned to the road for its annual holiday tour, including a pair of concerts at the Nutter Center in Fairborn on Saturday, Dec. 4. CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

caption arrowCaption
After being limited to a livestream concert in 2020, Trans-Siberian Orchestra has returned to the road for its annual holiday tour, including a pair of concerts at the Nutter Center in Fairborn on Saturday, Dec. 4. CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Ready to rock

Despite the lingering concerns of COVID-19, the bandmates agree they’re eager to return to the stage.

“We’ll show up in hazmat suits and play, dude,” Pitrelli said. “We’re just like caged animals chomping at the bit. To not do what we’ve been doing for 20-something years, to have that taken away from us last year …

Pitrelli trails off before continuing, “When you love something this much, once you have it back in your hands, you love it, cherish it, protect it that much more. So, I just want to put a guitar around my shoulders and stand out in center stage and say, ‘Let’s go.’ "

Return of the original

This year, TSO is touring with the album “Christmas Eve and Other Stories.” It holds significance as the very first album and has been certified-triple platinum. The group, founded by the late Paul O’Neill, has toured on it frequently over the years. Plate says it’s still his favorite.

“I’ve said along, I think this story is really the star of the show,” he said. “This is what kept bringing people back every year. People connected with the story and realized it’s about them. It’s about everybody. This is just how people, through word of mouth, kept coming back.

“These audiences kept building every year,” Plate continued. “This is our first venture with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, ‘Christmas Eve and Other Stories,’ so this has a lot of meaning. It’s very special for all of us. The songs, the story, everything about it, I think is fantastic.”

Pitrelli agrees.

“As I get a little bit older, these songs become a little more important to me, and I relate very deeply to the story,” he said. “Then, what I noticed was everybody in the audience was relating, too, because, everybody misses somebody. With Paul’s story, what it brings to everyone’s attention is at least you’re not alone in that thought.

“It doesn’t take away the pain or the worry as a parent or whatever, but at least you know that the person sitting next to you is having the exact same thought,” Pitrelli added. “You can find a little bit of solace in that, I think, or at least I can.”

Contact this contributing writer at 937-287-6139 or e-mail at donthrasher100@gmail.com.

HOW TO GO

Who: Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Where: Nutter Center, 3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy., Fairborn

When: 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4

Cost: $49.50-$89.50

More info: 937-775-4789 or www.nuttercenter.com

Artist info: www.trans-siberian.com

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