terry charles | behind the stage | nov. 2018
Where there's smoke, there's fire. And if there is smoke and fire and lasers, you are probably near the Trans-Siberian Orchestra or TSO as it is commonly referred to. If you haven't seen this incredible production, it's not our fault! TSO has been to the Brown County Arena and Resch Center more often than any other band or event in our complex's history.
TSO has performed at the Resch Center 22 times and we think at least three times at the Brown County
Arena before the Resch was completed. The band came here every year for a stretch with its Christmas show and usually played two shows in one day. More recently TSO has chosen to come to the Resch Center every other year. There were also a couple years when TSO came for a second, different show in late spring. Those performances were not the Christmas show and instead had a Beethoven theme.
How does one explain a TSO show if you've never seen one? Probably a mix between seeing the symphony and a rock concert. At the same time. They refer to it as symphonic rock or rock opera. The Christmas show usually starts out with a storyteller, songs and music in the first half of the show and then turns into more of rock concert the second half.
Green Bay is kicking off this year's 20th anniversary tour, a presentation of TSO's unforgettable "The Ghosts of Christmas Eve." It features founder/composer/lyricist Paul O'Neill's timeless story of a runaway who finds her way into a mysterious abandoned theater. The tour begins here on November 14 and will visit 65 cities across North America, for 100-plus performances, before concluding on December 30 in Milwaukee of all places.
There are two touring orchestras which explains why they can hit so many cities in the short Christmas season. Just like Green Bay, it's common for TSO to do two shows in one day in many markets. There certainly is the demand because one show would likely sell out quickly. With two shows, they both sell out most years with ticket sales chugging along in the weeks leading up to the concert date.
It makes economic sense for the tour to do two shows in one day because the expense of setting up the production does not double, yet they get the revenue from two shows. For marketing purposes, it is easy to promote one date with two shows. This year's date is November 14. We've had a November date in the past, but not this early. We have also had a date after Christmas. I think the sweet spot would be about a week before Christmas, but of course we don't get that choice and fans are happy to see TSO perform anytime during the Christmas season.
A neat aspect of all TSO concerts has been charity. As in all previous years, a portion of every ticket sold benefits select local charities. To date, more than $15 million has been distributed from TSO to worthy charities across North America. This year a portion of the proceeds will benefit Feeding America.
A lot of people like to sit close to the stage for a concert. I would recommend you try sitting close one year and then sit further back the next time you come. I think you get a little different experience sitting in the back with the light, laser and pyro effects. But I recommend you sit somewhere at least once for TSO.
Terry Charles is public relations manager for Green Bay-based PMI Entertainment Group. He's all about media relations, publicity and social media for the Resch Center Complex, Meyer Theatre, Green Bay Gamblers Hockey and other events produced by PMI. When not at work, please don't hit him with your car as he runs and bikes around the Green Bay area. You can follow him on Twitter at @TCCharles.