Around 20 years ago, Paul O’Neill, a composer, lyricist, producer, and songwriter came up with the concept of Trans Siberian Orchestra (TSO) and brought it to Atlantic Records.
“I wanted to take the very best of all the forms of music I grew up on and merge them into a new style,” O’Neill said in 2011. “Basically I was building on the work of everybody I worshipped: the rock opera parts from bands like the Who; the marriage of classical and rock from bands like Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Queen; the over-the-top light show from bands like Pink Floyd… I always wanted to do a full rock opera with a full progressive band and at least 24 lead singers ( Huffington Post, Entertainment, April 25, 2012).
Unfortunately, O’Neill passed in 2017, but his concept is still going strong. In Pittsburgh on Dec. 28, 2018, the group (one of many varying incarnations over the years) rocked out 36 songs in a genre-blending, visual and audible overload of stimulation.
All photos: Ed Thompson ©2018