Their full-fledged productions have become an annual tradition for many, and while you can find metalhead parents bringing their children to a Slipknot concert (as we have seen while covering their spectacular shows in Tampa), TSO put together an affair that marriaged dark rock themes with a more Broadway-style feel during their recent show at the Amalie Arena.
After running into none other than Savatage mainman Jon Oliva (who plays a large role in the music of TSO) at soundboard, the stage unfolded into a larger-than-life display with animated video scenes and brilliant light displays.
Several musicians were lifted into the air on elevated platforms, hammering out an extensive instrumental with electric violin, wild percussion and group vocal harmonies giving a prog metal feel.
TSO delivered a hard hitting run through of ‘The Ghosts of Christmas Eve,’ pulling out staples like “Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24)” and “Christmas Canon Rock” to the delight of the crowd.
By show of hands, with a little more than half of the audience at the afternoon show being returning fans (and yes, they played another sold out show at the same arena that same evening) some were singing right along to even the lesser known cuts like “Good King Joy.”
The second half of the concert brought out more of a ‘Greatest Hits’ style set, propelled by selections such as “Christmas Nights in Blue” and “Wizards in Winter.” One clear highlight was TSO’s brilliant rendition of “Requiem (The Fifth),” where the full band was able to hammer away on the brooding metal overtones.
It was a memorable event that delivered more rock and metal than I was anticipating from this year’s holiday production. And just as it was great to hear the distorted guitars rise occasionally in the mix, it was equally nice when the artificial snow rained upon the crowd mid-show – something native Floridians rarely get to see, especially in the middle of a massive arena rock show.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra 12/18/16 Tampa, Florida Set List
Who I Am
The March of the Kings
The Ghosts of Christmas Eve
O Come All Ye Faithful
Good King Joy
Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24)
Christmas Canon Rock
Music Box Blues
Promises to Keep
This Christmas Day
A Mad Russian’s Christmas
A Last Illusion
Christmas Nights in Blue
Wizards in Winter
The Night Conceives
Requiem (The Fifth)
Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24) (Reprise)