Concert Review Archive


Trans Siberian Orchestra

Saturday, 18th January 2014
Heineken Music Hall, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Article and photos By Menno von Brucken Fock

As an offspring from Savatage, Trans Siberian Orchestra today is an entity on its own. Great musicians, a diversity of vocalists, theatrical performances, spectacular lighting and lasers, so an evening full of entertainment. A wonderful mixture of melodic hard rock, classical influences and musical. Mastermind behind this project is Paul O’Neill, while Robert Kinkel and Jon Oliva have been composing for Trans Siberian Orchestra since the nineties.

Trans Siberian Orchestra

A mere two weeks Trans Siberian Orchestra performed at the world renowned ‘Brandenburger Tor’ in Berlin, a spectacular show, witnessed by thousands of people. Fortunately Trans Siberian Orchestra included The Netherlands in their tour and the Heineken Music Hall (a seated concert!) was chosen as the venue of choice. Known for its fabulous acoustics, this show couldn’t go wrong.

A lot of Savatage T-shirts could be seen when the show started right on time. Unfortunately all photographers were allowed to take pics from the PA and possibly on ones knees from the aisles, so anyway a long way from the stage. My apologies for the poor quality of the photo’s!

Trans Siberian Orchestra

In the first section of the show the spotlights were on Savatage guitarist Al Pitrelli and although Jeff Scott Soto was on stage as featured vocalist most of the attention was drawn towards Mr. Pitrelli.

Between all section of the music Mr. Bryan Hicks came forward for a short interlude. Supported by a fantastic light show, pyro’s and lasers the four members of Savatage were accompanying all vocalists, together with one of the best keyboard players of this millennium: Vitalij Kuprij. Furthermore there was the lovely Mee Eun Kim also on keyboards and the gorgeous Asha Mevlana on the violin. This fair lady was also conducting a locally recruited string section.

Trans Siberian Orchestra

The whole show went down smoothly and timing proved to be essential: all special effects had to be on time, just as the lasers and pyro. Although I was just a little disappointed in Jeff Scott Soto’s performance, all vocalists were delivering a superb presentation and especially Robin Borneman (borne in The Netherlands) and the impressive Nathan James did an outstanding job. Off course facts was one had to be a fan of heavy metal or at least melodic metal. Although there were several classical pieces, like the wonderful rendition of a part from Carmina Burana (stunning vocals by ‘the choir’) and lovely poppy ballads, there were quite a few Savatage songs there. With her slim body, gracefully moving across the stage and her eclectic performances, Asha Mevlana was the star of the evening for me, while Kuprij laid down a maginificent solo towards the end of the show. Pitrelli, obviously the ‘main man’ introduced all members of the band and the vocalists before the grand finale Sarajevo.

Even a little part of our national anthem the “Wilhelmus’ was included! Maybe Trans Siberian Orchestra could be looked upon as a typically American show: perfection in every detail, but everything was programmed. Nonetheless I’d rather see performances like these: on time, in every way a real pleasure to watch with well dressed and smart looking performers and surely musically speaking a powerful combination of metal, pop, rock, musical and classical music. It is a pity many of the zines & mags on progressive rock tend to give Trans Siberian Orchestra not too much attention: in my humble opinion Trans Siberian Orchestra deserves better!

Trans Siberian Orchestra

Line up:

Storyteller: Bryan Hicks
Vocals: Nathan James, Erika Jerry, Rob Evan, Robin Borneman, Kayla Reeves, Chloe Lowery, Natalya Rose Piette, Andrew Ross, Jeff Scott Soto, Autumn Guzzardi
Guitars: Al Pitrelli, Chris Caffery (Savatage)
Bass: John Lee Middleton (Savatage)
Drums: Jeff Plate (Savatage)
Keyboards: Mee Eun Kim & Vitalij Kuprij (Artension, Ring Of Fire)
Strings (conductor and solo violin): Asha Mevlana


Time & Distance
Winter Palace
This Is The Time
Christmas Jam
Handful Of Rain
A Last Illusion
Gutter Ballet
Mephistopholes Returns
Child Unseen
Wish Liszt
After The Fall
Wizards In Winter
All That I Bleed
Dreams Of Fireflies
Carmina Burana
The Mountain
Piano Solo
Local National Anthem
Sarajevo 12/24

Trans Siberian Orcheastra's official Website

Heineken Music Hall


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