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Progressive Boink Holiday Mixtape: The Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

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The Trans-Siberian Orchestra is bad and you should feel good.

In a lot of ways, our parents had things way better when it came to concert-going. They came of age in an era of huge arena rock concerts. There were light shows, and smoke machines, and lasers. Life was just one long Van Halen video. Per my understanding of the 80's. These days, we pay 200 bucks to watch Johnny Greenwood fiddle with knobs while Thom Yorke weeps quietly in the dark and we're happy to do it. Things just haven't been the same since the railroad came to town.

Because of this, the continued existence/popularity of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra tends to baffle people my age. A bunch of dudes with Sebastian Bach hair wearing tuxedos and shredding through weird metal/classical Christmas music monstrosities. It sounds dorky and cheesy. It IS dorky and cheesy. But I'm here to tell you: TSO is awesome. Not "ironically." Only assholes like things ironically. Completely, seriously, terribly, AWESOME.

To fully understand the appeal of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, you kind of have to see them in concert. Though their song "Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24" still gets tons of radio play around Christmas, it kind of sounds like the trailer for a shitty movie you were really excited about in 1997. But check out this video of their second biggest hit, the HYSTERICALLY named, "Wizards in Winter":

I honestly don't know you can have two eyes and a heart and not enjoy that on some level. Especially when you consider that, at the concert I attended (YUP), they were so sure this was their money shot that they played that shit TWICE.

This video, for the equally hilarious "A Mad Russian's Christmas" (like, seriously, are you starting to get why this is great?), showcases one of the very best parts of the TSO experience: the EPIC VIOLIN BATTLES.

There are very few things in life I love more than watching violin players earnestly ROCK THE FUCK OUT. Although my favorite part of this particular video might be the guitar guys running back and forth in the background like they're Axl god damn Rose.

I compare my love of TSO to friends with otherwise discerning taste who really love seeing the Insane Clown Posse in concert. You might feel weird about going, but the energy and enthusiasm level is so high that, by the end, you find yourself drenched in sweat and Faygo and questioning/loving all of the life decisions that brought you to that moment.

Also? They do what is apparently a cover of a song called, "NUTROCKER." I include it here only because, in this moment, nothing makes me laugh harder than typing NUTROCKER in all caps. NUTROCKER.