Two thousand and four years ago a little boy was born in manger in Bethlehem. He would grow up to change the world forever by preaching his message of love, compassion and faith. He would be remember by those who believe as the son of God; Jesus Christ. Every year on December twenty-fifth, the faithful celebrate his birthday by spreading love, cheer and X-Boxes to all.
Eight years ago, a man named Paul O'Neil found out how best to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. It wasn't through gift-giving, praying or fervent faith" it was through blistering guitar riffs, retro-80's haircuts and ridiculously over-dramatic stage shows. Paul, or Christ II as I call him, started the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and the world has never looked back.
For those of you not familiar with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and you should all be ashamed of yourself they are, simply put, the greatest band of all time. A full orchestra and chorus, they fuse subtle string arrangements with blaring guitars and drums. And, best of all, they rock about Christmas; transforming (or, Trans-Siberianating) classic Christmas tunes to satisfy the 80's metal-head dwelling in all of us. They are the "Metallica" of the music hall" The "Cinderella" of the symphony" the "Twisted Sister" for the opera listener" the hair band for the classical fan!
Their opus is certainly 1996's "Christmas in Sarajevo." Some of you may remember the video which is perhaps the cheesiest piece of cinematography ever produced. We open on a young girl, no more than seven, sneaking into the living room of an opulent house on Christmas Eve. Forsaking her unopened presents, the young girl heads instead to a mysterious chest glowing within. As she surveys the contents of the chest, she removes an ancient hour glass" and that's when the rocking starts! Apocalyptic images flash across the screen as the young girl removes more items from the accursed chest; a clock spins rapidly, fighter jets take off, ruthless dictators fire guns into the air, even her two little kittens begin to fight. The music swells and the double doors swing open to reveal the Trans-Siberian Orchestra rocking in the back yard, snow falling all about them. The young girl rocks with them, conducting in unison with the bearded, fatherly leader of the Orchestra. Silhouetted guitar players riff, a snow-covered piano shakes with passion and the kittens roam about on cottony snow. The narrative continues with the young girl frantically trying to sneak back into her home as to not have her transgressions discovered by her awakened mother. And so concludes the finest video ever produced.
If you aren't already downloading this masterpiece and sweating with anticipation, hear this; they still tour. A friend of mine recently went to see them in Connecticut and what a time she had. She returned from the show with tales of over-ambitious laser usage, flowing mullets gracing the backs of tuxedos and even pyrotechnics on the scale of "White Snake" circa 1986. And all in the name of Christmas revelry; this is what Jesus would have wanted.
Now, I don't want to say that Jessica Simpson isn't capable of capturing the spirit of the season on her Christmas album, but let me ask you this: is singing in a sexy, soft voice in a little red outfit really Christmas magic? It may be nice to listen to and may even evoke the spirit of the holidays, but it cannot capture the raw power, the awesome sensuality, the screaming intensity that was the birth of Jesus!
Is there such a thing as rocking too hard? The Trans-Siberian Orchestra doesn't think so. If you're looking to show your family that not only do you believe in Christ the Savior, but also like to rock about it, there isn't a better way than blasting the T-SO all day long. If you are still doubting the magnitude of this clearly-not-aware-what-year-it-is band, then check out their website at Trans-Siberian.com. Especially enjoy the thrilling video for "Christmas in Sarajevo" which is found in the multimedia section of the website.
Now, I have some serious symphonic-rocking to do.