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Christmas rocks

Move over, Mannheim Steamroller. Every Christmas, like a big, awesome blizzard, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra reappears. The group is actually two groups. They crisscross the country, bringing Christmas extravaganzas to venues that seem to get larger every year.

The Trans-Siberian Orchestra is in the business of Christmas rock opera. In 1996, they came out with the multiplatinum "Christmas Eve and Other Stories." Two years later, they came out with "The Christmas Attic." Now, it's time for "The Last Christmas Eve."

Like its predecessors, "The Last Christmas Eve" features "symphonic rock" treatments of traditional carols, including "O Come All Ye Faithful" and "The First Noel." The band also likes to throw in a smattering of classics. Rumor has it that "The Last Christmas Eve" contains some of the Queen of the Night's music, from Mozart's "The Magic Flute." Also look for "The Christmas Canon," a rock version of the Pachelbel hit.

A live performance of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra features an orchestral string section, a full rock band, vocalists, a narrator, an extravagant light show and pyrotechnics.

The Trans-Siberian Orchestra appears at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in HSBC Arena. Tickets are $28 to $48. For more information, call (888) 223-6000.

Mary Kunz Goldman

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