WANT TO GO?
WHERE: Charleston Civic Center
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday
TICKETS: $32.50, $42.50, $52.50 and $62.50
INFO: 800-745-3000 or www.ticketmaster.com_______
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- They say "nothing succeeds like success," and few shows can claim the sort of long-standing commercial success that belongs to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
TSO founder Paul O'Neill said it's nice when you do well in the music business.
"But nobody cares if you bought a new island. They want to see what new toys you're bringing to the stage."
The rock concert producer promised West Virginia would see some of those new toys when the show that's part stadium rocker, part Broadway musical and part Las Vegas spectacle returns to the Charleston Civic Center on Wednesday to perform "The Lost Christmas Eve."
O'Neill said that, as usual, the goal is to blow the audience away. TSO tries to up the ante every year, with great music and the sort of over-the-top visuals few attempt any more.
"Every lighting company, every pyro company, every laser company in the world knows, if you come up with some incredibly great special effect that is insanely expensive, there's one band out there that's dumb enough to buy it. That's us."
Want an example?
A company hired by Michael Jackson's management built a set of powerful lasers specifically to capture the color blue.
O'Neill explained, "For lasers, green is the easiest color to produce, then red, but blue is a nightmare. But these guys got it."
And then Jackson died. His tour was canceled, and the company called TSO.
O'Neill said TSO took all the lasers.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra has a very different approach to how it puts together its shows. If the special-effects toys are like weapons, then the operation itself is a kind of a small army.
O'Neill certainly thinks of TSO that way sometimes -- and an army works as a machine, with each part contributing to the function of the whole.
Some parts, he acknowledged, are more important than others, though.
When new performers are brought on board, O'Neill said, he always asks them who's the most important person in the band?
Usually, they tell him it's the musical director or the lead singer or the lead guitarist, but O'Neill explained, "But the lead singer can be having an off-night, and we'll still blow everyone away. The lead guitarist can be having an off-night, and we'll still blow everyone away."