Holiday Bombast

Trans-Siberian Orchestra bridges grandiloquent art rock and Christmas.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Trans-Siberian Orchestra cranks Christmas up to 11.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra cranks Christmas up to 11.

We'd say that Trans-Siberian Orchestra's prog-rock-inspired holiday sound isn't your mother's Christmas music . . . if Mom didn't like TSO so much. The N.Y.C. group -- a revolving ensemble of players anchored by producer Paul O'Neill -- takes traditional Christmas songs, spices them up with some bitchin' guitar solos (most of the founding members played with '80s metalheads Savatage), and dishes them out with a side of pyrotechnics. "We like Christmas," says keyboardist and co-founder Robert Kinkel. "It's the one time of year when people are nicer to each other." The orchestra -- which puts 23 classical and rock musicians onstage together -- has released three Christmas-concept CDs since 1996, each more stuffed than the last. Says Kinkel: "It just seems natural to put this all together." Trans-Siberian Orchestra is at Quicken Loans Arena (100 Gateway Plaza) at 8 p.m. Friday and 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $32.50 and $45.50; call 216-241-5555. -- Michael Gallucci

Candy Shop

SAT 12/3

Cosmic Candy makes no excuses for playing cover songs exactly the way you remember them. "Some bands play cover songs their own way," says bassist Brian Cowley. "They [want to eventually] play their originals. But we try to sound like the real thing." Since early last year, the quartet -- "'80s classic-rock kinda guys playing dance and funk with a 25-year-old singer up front" is how Cowley describes the group -- has crisscrossed the region, playing everything from David Bowie's "Let's Dance" to LaBelle's "Lady Marmalade." But you won't find the band in the same bar more than once a month. "I don't want to play the same three clubs in one neighborhood," says Cowley. "People won't drive from Lakewood to Beachwood to see a cover band." Cosmic Candy performs from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday at the Avenue Bar & Grille, 9055 Mentor Avenue in Mentor. Admission is free; call 440-255-7030. -- Cris Glaser

Gone to Blazes


Tommy Blaze lives for marital conflict. In fact, he draws much of his material from it. "We have a 53 percent divorce rate in this country. Which means if you're not divorced, your spouse will be." He also shares observations as a single parent: "Most grown men dress exactly like a five-year-old boy." Blaze is at Hilarities 4th Street Theatre (2035 East Fourth Street) Tuesday through December 11. Show times are 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 7:30 and 10:15 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $10 to $18; call 216-241-7425. -- P.F. Wilson

Scroll to read more Things to Do articles
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.


Join Cleveland Scene Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.