"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Formed: 1996
From: Tampa, FL, United States
Last Known Status: Active

Latest Trans-Siberian Orchestra News

Below is our complete Trans-Siberian Orchestra news coverage, including columns and articles pertaining to the band. Some articles listed may be indirectly related, such as side projects of the band members, etc.

Note: We began associating news directly with bands in late 2003. Therefore, earlier band news may not be listed on this page.

Displaying records 1 - 20 of 27 1 2 Last

Headline News

T.S.O. Leader Paul O'Neill Passes Away At 61

Paul O'Neill, long time collaborator with Savatage and the man who created Trans-Siberian Orchestra along with Jon Oliva (Jon Oliva's Pain/Savatage), Bob Kinkel, All Pitrelli (Savatage) and famed producer Dave Witman, died late last night from a chronic illness.

More information is expected soon, but the death was announced by Trans-Siberian Orchestra and reads:

"The entire Trans-Siberian Orchestra family, past and present, is heartbroken to share the devastating news that Paul O’Neill has passed away from chronic illness.

"He was our friend and our leader -- a truly creative spirit and an altruistic soul. This is a profound and indescribable loss for us all.

"We ask that you respect Paul’s family’s privacy now. We will make additional announcements shortly."

Many members of T.S.O. shared the post, like guitarist/writer Chris Caffery (Savatage) who simply stated: "Shattered..."

O'Neill's collaboration with Savatage led to some of the most well known conceptual albums like "Gutter Ballet," "Streets: A Rock Opera" and "Dead Winter Dead." More...

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The Best Heavy Metal Christmas Songs

It's a yearly tradition for metal bands, sometimes of the very extreme death/black variety, to pull out a few tongue-in-cheek Christmas covers around this time.

While most are just jokes or aren't pulled off with much effort, there have been a handful of legitimately awesome heavy metal Christmas albums released, and we're going to show you the ones worth hearing.

If you've got a significant other or family member who insists on Christmas music this time of year, these are the albums you want to pull out to really give them a shock!

Death Metal Christmas - "Hellish Renditions Of Christmas Classics"

Back in 2013, Hate Eternal bass maverick J.J. Hrubovcak released a twistedly unholy rendition of some of the seasons darkest hymns. The EP as a whole is a bit hit or miss, but that death metal rendition of "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" is absolutely killer. For all the hype this got at the time, it's a shame there's never been a follow-up release.

August Burns Red - "Sleddin' Hill"

While I'm not a huge August Burns Red fan personally, this Christmas album is absolutely phenomenal, and filled to the brim with metallic recreations of classic holiday tunes along with some originals. It's also instrumental, which is a plus, as the instrumentation here is top-notch and the band puts a heavy spin on these songs to a much better degree than many heavy metal Christmas albums that came before.


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T.S.O.'s Caffery To Join Metal Church On U.S. Tour

T.S.O./Savatage guitarist Chris Caffery announced that he will be filling in for injured Metal Church guitarist Rick van Zandt on the band's upcoming U.S. tour, which commences March 24th in Portland, ME.

In a post on Facebook, Caffery stated: "I'm really excite[d] to announce that I will be playing guitar with the mighty Metal Church on their upcoming US tour. Their guitarist Rick had a serious eye condition develop that needed surgery and we all pray for his continued, speedy and successful recovery.

"It will be a lot of fun to play with my longtime bandmate Jeff Plate and the guys. The first time I toured with Kurdt his band Vanderhoof was opening for Savatage. Then my solo band opened for Metal Church on my Faces tour! Steve was on bass then at the time, all of these guys are amazing musicians. It's gonna be so awesome to hear Mike Howe every night! I watched him on the cruise and was blown away at how incredible his voice is!

"If you don't have your tickets yet...what are you waiting for! It's time to go to Church!

"Lots of work on my end in the next few weeks but I can't wait to play this stuff live! See you soon!"

For dates and venues for the upcoming tour (which includes European dates), head over to this location, or refer to the poster below.

Metal Church will release "XI" on March 25th via Rat Pak Records (Nuclear Blast in Europe). It marks the return of former vocalist Mike Howe. More...

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Wacken Open Air Live Streams Available

Metal will descend upon Schleswig-Holstein, Germany for the annual mecca of all festivals. 80,000 are expected at the long sold out event, which features - among many - the return of Savatage and Running Wild to the live stage.

Once again, select acts will be streaming live from the internet and German TV (also through the net) via ARTE concert at this location and 3sat at this location.

As usual, the schedule is subject to change, but as of press time the following acts will be broadcast (all times CET so deduct 6 hours for EST and so on):

VIA ARTE Concert:

July 30th:

17h45 - In Extremo
19h20 - Grailknights
20h10 - Mambo Kurt
21h00 - New Model Army
22h10 - Uli Jon Roth

July 31st:

15h30 - At The Gates
16h45 - Queensryche
18h00 - Opeth
19h30 - Dream Theater
21h00 - tba
22h30 - In Flames
00h00 - Running Wild
01h45 - The BossHoss

August 1st:

14h30 - Amorphis
16h00 - Danko Jones
17h30 - Rock Meets Classic
18h55 - Dream Theater
20h15 - tba
21h15 - The BossHoss
22h00 - Sabaton
23h30 - In Flames
00h15 - Cradle of Filth
01h45 - Subway to Sally More...

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Headline News

Savatage Reunion Show Set For Wacken 2015

Promoters for the Wacken Open Air Festival announced that Trans-Siberian Orchestra will be performing live on stage at Wacken 2015, followed immediately by a Savatage reunion gig that will mark the band's first live performance in over a decade. Furthermore, these appearances are the only live appearances for both bands in Europe during 2015.

Guitarist Chris Caffery proudly proclaimed in his Facebook post: "I am extremely happy to make this post! Today our friends at the Wacken festival announced that Savatage will be finally playing again! Wacken 2015! Both Savatage and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra will make an appearance! Savatage will close the festival that night following #TSO's first ever European festival appearance! I have been waiting for then to announce this for a a few weeks! It was hard to keep it a secret! Yes Legion...our patience has finally paid off...Savatage will play again next summer!"

In addition, Running Wild will return to the stage after playing the farewell performance in 2009 before recently returning with two studio releases ("Shadowmaker" and "Resilent").

Other band named in the first wave of acts are: In Flames, In Extremo, U.D.O. (Special Orchestra show), Sabaton, Amorphis (Special "Tales from the Thousand Lakes" show), Death Angel, Powerwolf, Ensiferum, Kataklysm, Cannibal Corpse, Sepultura and Thyrfing.

The pre-sale starts in the night from Sunday, August 3rd to Monday, August 4th at Midnight (German time) (6:00pm EST) – exclusively at Metaltix.com. As always, the first offer is the 10,000 limited X-Mas Tickets. The X-Mas tickets will be available for 150€ + 10€ pre-sale fee and will be delivered together with one of the limited W:O:A X-Mas T-Shirts! Every customer can order up to 2 X-Mas tickets. More...

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Jon Olivia Begins Booking For "Storytellers" Tour

As indicated in the recent interview with legendary Savatage frontman Jon Oliva, the mastermind will embark on an intimate "Storyteller" Tour from November 28th through December 16th of this year. The show will feature Oliva with Jon Oliva's Pain drummer and producer Christopher Kinder and will consist of an extensive in-depth look into the 3 significant phases of Jon's unique career. Fans will also hear rare and alternate versions of classic songs performed live as well as hilarious, emotional and true stories that have shaped his legendary career.

The booking process for the show has begun with the first phase in Florida and up the east coast and over to Chicago and down to Texas and back to Florida. After the new year, plans are for additional shows further west.

Dates and venues to be confirmed and announced soon. For more information, head on over to this location. More...

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Jon Oliva To Release First Solo LP In 2013

Savatage/Trans-Siberian Orchestra/Jon Oliva's Pain founder Jon Oliva will release his very first solo album in 2013. While his band Jon Oliva's Pain continues to write the follow up to the 2010 LP "Festival," Oliva will release his solo LP in Spring 2013 via AFM Records.

The announcement reads as follows:

"Good day one and all,

"We thank you all for your patience with regards to announcing our new recording plans.

"While JOP is very much intact and focused on new music and future touring...JON OLIVA will release his first ever solo record in early 2013.

"Jon has assembled a collection of ideas from the past 4-5 years and wants the opportunity to present them as his own work. Jon will be recording nearly all the instrument tracks and vocals himself and also playing drums on several tracks. Once again, I have the honor of recording the bulk of the drum tracks on the new cd, but this record will have been created from start to finish with Jon being completely at the helm."

Jon Oliva commented on the album: "I’ve got some weird ideas that I wanna try and I’ve got some time to do it. I don’t want do just 'another' JOP record. I’ve done four of those already. I wanna do something different. I have some material that I’ve wanted to put out for a while, that I’ll talk with the record company about, maybe putting something out quickly, like in the next four or five months, to give me more time to do this JOP record. I want the next JOP cd to be very special. I’ve got some great friends from other bands that are going to be a significant part of the next JOP release. We are going to do a killer JOP record and then an additional bonus cd with guest stars... kind of like the AVANTASIA thing but not in a story line. Tobias Sammet does a magnificent job with it, but I don’t have that much time to write a whole story, so I’ll just have some powerhouse friends from various bands come in and take it over the top."

Drum recordings, handled by J.O.P. drummer Christopher Kinder, begin at the legendary Morrisound Studio's in mid December.

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TSO To Release Narrated Version Of Beethoven's LN

Trans-Siberian Orchestra will release a narrated version of the band's first non-Christmas oriented LP "Beethoven's Last Night," which was originally released in 2000. The re-issue, dubbed "Beethoven's Last Night: The Complete Narrated Version" will be issued through Rhino Records and hit Walmart stores in the US on March 13, 2012. The album features performances from Savatage members Jon Oliva (Jon Oliva's Pain), Al Pitrelli, Chris Caffery, Johnny Lee Middleton and Jeff Plate.

The band is streaming the first few tracks with narration here:

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Trans-Siberian Orchestra Lights Up Hartford

It was 1996, New York City, in what was a converted church. That was the first and last time I saw Trans-Siberian Orchestra. I was 25 years old. A band, comprised mostly of my heroes since I was a child, took the stage, fittingly on the church's former altar. You see, this new incarnation of Savatage had erupted on the scene quicker than those same heroes did in all the thirteen years prior to that first show.

It seems that by incorporating Savatage material into Christmas material with Broadway type singers, the band, disguised as Trans-Siberian Orchestra, gained almost instantaneous commercial and mainstream notoriety. They had been "accepted." I knew then that Savatage was doomed to end and time revealed it to be true, as they released only two albums in what would be the band's final five years after. Now relegated to a side project with a terminal "on hold" status, Savatage can only be heard within Trans-Siberian Orchestra, who continue to this day incorporate song parts, whole songs and it's legacy with contributions from all members, including one of its main writers/composers, The Mountain King Jon Oliva. More...

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Just For Fun

The Most Metal Christmas Light Shows

Ever since the amazing display of Christmas lights set to Trans-Siberian Orchestra's "Wizards In Winter" that was so popular it was even used for a Miller Lite beer commercial, setting your lights to music has become more popular despite the need for technical know-how to pull it off. One might think that these displays are largely dominated by Trans-Siberian Orchestra songs - and they'd be right - but there are some people that are metal enough to have the balls to set them to heavier songs, making putting together this list worth the effort and sharing. So here is our top metal Christmas lights list, pulled from the Interwebs:

11. Metallica - "Enter Sandman"

Good song choice, but the light show could use a little more work. Don't worry, we're just getting warmed up here...


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Soilwork Member To Take Part In Symphony Show

Bjorn Strid, Guitarist of Swedish melodic death metak act Soilwork, will participate in the third annual "Winter Metal Symphony" show, formerly "Christmas Metal Symphony." The event is set to take place January 22, 2011 at 013 in Tilburg, The Netherlands. The singers will be backed by a six-piece band and a 30-piece classical orchestra as they perform classic heavy metal and hard rock songs. This unique show will contain "songs from all metal genres — from prog-metal to rock, from death to speed and from industrial to symphonic." The show also features members of Death Angel, Revamp and Pagan's Mind.

Confirmed musicians:
Björn "Speed" Strid (SOILWORK)
Floor Jansen (REVAMP)
Mark Osegueda (DEATH ANGEL)
Nils K. Rue (PAGAN'S MIND)
Anneke van Giersbergen (THE GATHERING)
George Oosthoek (ex-ORPHANAGE, PLEURISY)

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Alex Skolnick Bows Out of TSO This Year

Testament guitarist Alex Skolnick has issued the following update about his decision to not participate in the Trans-Siberian Orchestra winter tour this year:

"It’s been nearly ten years since my first TSO Winter Tour. Each year it’s been an incredible experience, traveling from arena to arena being an important part of the largest symphonic rock production in history. This year, however, I’ve decided to make the difficult decision of stepping out of the spotlight (and lasers, fog, fire and snow) and embarking upon new adventures.

"The reasons for this are twofold. As one might imagine, the TSO winter tour is a demanding one- with long days and an action packed show that calls for no less than 200% of yourself, often twice a day from the mid-October rehearsals to the final show in January. While the awesome response from fans and the collaboration with fellow performers make it beyond worth it, there comes a point, after so many years of annual grueling intensity, for some of us to draw upon that quarter of a year’s worth of time and energy in order to launch a renewed focus on our own visions.

"In my case, this process begins with the release of a brand new album (Alex Skolnick trio ‘Veritas’ Due October 15) to be followed by heavy touring, including winter dates in support of RodrigoYGabriela. There are many other endeavors in the works, the information of which will be continually updated on-line at www.alexskolnick.com. Furthermore, as someone who has been on tour with multiple projects and running on all cylinders during the entire calendar year since 2006, reclaiming this three month period will open up the option to take breaks once in a while, remember what home looks like, lessen the constant separation from friends and loved ones and recharge my own batteries as needed.

"I’m really looking forward to sharing all the new projects with everyone. Updated info can always be found at www.alexskolnick.com and you can follow me on Twitter: www.twitter.com/alexskolnick.

"Of course, I’ll miss doing the TSO tour. The stage time, friendships and overall experience has been invaluable. I’m grateful to Paul O’Neil and Nightcastle Mgmt for the opportunity, to all the musicians and singers for the good times and to all the fans for the unyielding support, you guys are the best! I look forward to seeing many of you out there in different configurations."

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Jeff Plate Video Interview Available

Vater percussion has posted a video interview online with Trans Siberian Orchestra / Machines of Grace drummer Jeff Plate, in which he discusses his playing style, influences, history and more. You can view the video clip below.

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Testament Recruits Guitarist Glen Drover For Tour

Bay Area thrash legends TESTAMENT have recruited guitarist Glen Drover (ex-MEGADETH, KING DIAMOND) to fill in for Alex Skolnick on their upcoming Mexican tour dates with JUDAS PRIEST.

Due to Alex's prior commitment to the TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA, the band sought out Glen Drover to fill in and rehearsed together all week.

Glen says, "I am really looking forward to playing these four upcoming shows in Mexico with my buddies in TESTAMENT, along with JUDAS PRIEST. We are totally going to crush!"

Alex Skolnick commented on his (temporary) replacement: "I regret that I'll be unable to perform at TESTAMENT's upcoming shows in Mexico this month. As many know, I've been touring with TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA since 2000, and it's been a blessing to be a part of both projects since reuniting with TESTAMENT in '05. I respect the TESTAMENT guys' decision to accept some gigs during this period, and I'm super happy to have Glen Drover filling in for me. I recommended him personally, respect his playing and know he'll do a great job. I apologize to any TESTAMENT fans for not being able to make it this time around but we have a lot of shows lined up in 2009 so far, all of which I'm on. Thanks for understanding, and I look forward to seeing everyone all over the world with TESTAMENT in 2009!"

Guitarist Eric Peterson commented: "I've known Glen since he played with KING DIAMOND, and if anyone can jump in, Glen can. Plus, Alex is happy with our choice."

TESTAMENT will be traveling to Mexico this week to play a string of dates with JUDAS PRIEST. See below for tour dates. The band is coming off a successful headlining run with SOILENT GREEN, to support their first studio album in nine years, "The Formation of Damnation."

Here are TESTAMENT's tour dates in Mexico with JUDAS PRIEST:

Oct. 27 - Monterrey, Mexico - Arena Monterrey
Oct. 29 - Guadalajara, Mexico - VFG Arena
Oct. 30 - Puebla, Mexico - Auditorio Siglo XXI
Oct. 31 - Mexico City, Mexico - Sports Palace

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Classic Rock Hits The Road With "Flashback" Tour

Billboard.com reports: Music by Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, the Doors, Janis Joplin and Deep Purple, among others, will be performed live by the Mystic Orchestra as part of "Flashback -- the Classic Rock Experience." The nearly 50-date U.S. arena tour launches Wednesday (Aug. 27) at the Mobile Civic Center in Mobile, AL.

Inspired partly by Paul O'Neill's Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO), which features a full rock band, a string section, multiple vocalists and a laser/light show, "Flashback" boasts 14 musicians and singers, along with an 11-piece string and horn section. The concert's approximately 30-song set features such classics as Hendrix's "Purple Haze," Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven," Pink Floyd's "Money," and the Doors' "Light My Fire."

The first leg of "Flashback" will visit 6,000- to 25,000-seat U.S. arenas through the beginning of November. Tickets cost between $17-$55.

The second leg of "Flashback" will tentatively begin in mid-February 2009, and run through early spring, hitting mostly the central part of the country and the West Coast.

Read the full article at Billboard.com.

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Circle II Circle Reveal New Album Details

CIRCLE II CIRCLE, the band led by ex-SAVATAGE singer Zak Stevens, will release its new album, "Delusions of Grandeur", on April 25 via AFM Records. The CD will be issued as a regular jewel case, a limited edition featuring bonus material, and on picture vinyl.

"Delusions of Grandeur" (cover artwork) track listing:

01. Fatal Warning
02. Dead Of Dawn
03. Forever
04. Echoes
05. Waiting
06. Soul Breaker
07. Seclusion
08. So Many Reasons
09. Chase The Lies
10. Every Last Thing

Digipack bonus material:

11. Revelations (live video clip)
12. Stay (audio)

CIRCLE II CIRCLE will release a new four-track single on March 28 via AFM Records. Entitled "Every Last Thing", it will include a non-album and a live video clip. More...

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Chris Caffrey, Zak Stevens To Play Nightmare Fest

On Saturday March 22nd, Nightmare Metal Fest will be host to a very special show by Chris Caffery and Zak Stevens (SAVATAGE, DR. BUTCHER) also known greatly for their work with TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA and CIRCLE II CIRCLE. These two long time musical friends will reunite in the area of SAVATAGE's inception and will be performing a special set that may include songs from their SAVATAGE years, DR. BUTCHER and or other interesting moments of musical collaborations.

Here is the line-up for the Nightmare Metal Fest so far:

FRIDAY, MARCH 21, 2008 - Doors at 6pm
DISASTERPEACE (featuring Wade Black –Crimson Glory and Pete Blakk of King Diamond)

SATURDAY, MARCH 22, 2008 - Doors at 12pm
(Dinner break )

The festival takes place at the Bourbon Street Nightclub, located at 4331 US Hwy 19, New Port Richey Florida 34652 (25 Minutes from Clearwater; 30 Minutes from Tampa).

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A Heavy Metal Christmas Song Round-up

Yet another way you can tell metal is on the rise (commercially) is by how many metal Christmas songs are out this year. I don't recall another year that I have heard of more than one or two metal renditions of Christmas songs. This year, however, I've seen postings for more than half a dozen of them - some old, but some new as well. So I've decided to compile a list of these metal Christmas songs so that fans of this sort of thing can listen to and download them while they're still online.

Personally, I'm a sucker for metal Christmas songs, but only if they're done well. I figure if I've got to listen to something, it might as well be heavy or at least have a rock or metal edge to it. Granted, some of these songs are not ultra-heavy, but I find them to be fun expressions for the holiday season by metal bands. Others are parodies of Christmas songs or Christmas itself, and these are usually heavier than the actual Christmas carols.

Without further ado, here's the list: More...

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New Trans-Siberian Orchestra Album Next Year?

Billboard.com reports: Trans Siberian Orchestra founder Paul O'Neill says he's "damned and determined" to have the group's new album, "The Night Castle," finished and released in 2008. Of course, he said the same thing last year, and the year before that...

"The unfortunate thing is nobody believes me," O'Neill tells Billboard.com with a laugh. "Even my own manager doesn't believe me. But I do want to turn it in this spring and have it out this summer."

O'Neill says the delay in making "Night Castle" -- which will be TSO's first release since "The Lost Christmas Eve" in 2004 -- is one of quality control. "We just want it to be perfect," he explains. "I just think the band is slowly building a reputation of not letting the fans down. I don't want to let them down, ever, in live concerts and especially on the albums."

Also slowing process has been the fact that "Night Castle" has grown. Originally slated as a single, song-oriented CD, it will now be a double-disc set, one of which will feature another TSO rock opera that O'Neill describes as "like 'Doctor Zhivago' was about the Bolshevik Revolution, but told through the eyes (of the characters), so not, like, historically factual."

O'Neill says he's canceled all TSO commitments and turned down all offers after the group wraps its annual holiday tour on Jan. 6 in order to focus solely on finishing "Night Castle" -- which will include some big-name guests from the classic rock world who he's currently keeping secret (though he acknowledges that some have made cameos at TSO shows before).

Once the album is out he says the group will embark on a year-long world tour, including TSO's first-ever outdoor dates and some shows tied in with Major League Baseball teams.

O'Neill is also planning special packaging for "Night Castle," as well as a subsequent deluxe package re-release of 2000's "Beethoven's Last Night," TSO's only non-Christmas album to this point.

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Trans-Siberian Orchestra Announces Winter Tour

One of the biggest arena attractions in rock music, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO), will once again take to the road this holiday season for what will be its largest-ever tour, more than 90 cities coast-to-coast over a ten-week period beginning November 1st.

Established in 1996 by producer/composer/lyricist Paul O'Neill, TSO has been a true rock mega-success, both on record and the concert stage. The band's four CD releases, including the holiday-themed Christmas Eve & Other Stories (1996), The Christmas Attic (1998) and The Lost Christmas Eve (2004), have sold more than 5,000,000 units, over 900,000 in 2006 alone. TSO's 2001 DVD release, The Ghost of Christmas Eve, also achieved platinum status.

TSO's 2006 Winter Tour was its most successful to date, playing to over 1,000,000 fans at 80 concerts, generating revenues in excess of $40 million. Since its first Winter Tour in 1996, TSO has been one of the concert businesses' most successful acts, consistently rating in the Top 10 for both gross revenues and audience attendance.

Here are the tour dates for TSO's 2007 North American Winter Tour: More...

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