Do we have any TSO fans here? If so, could you tell me if there is much shredding in a typical TSO concert? I know TSO was formed by basically turning Savatage into TSO and the man behind that, Paul O’Neill wanted to turn Savatage into a big money making machine, which he did. The downside, and there’s always a downside when you make artistic decisions based upon what what type of music can you play to make the most money possible. O’Neill achieved his goal and TSO became one of the ten highest grossing touring acts over something like a ten year period.
There was a price to be paid for turning Savatage into a money making machine named The Trans Siberian Orchestra as you would imagine there would be. Savatage started out as and that absolutely loved heavy metal and they embodied many of the traits that the best metal bands have – the heavy guitar riffs, the rebellious spirit, the aggressive, intense guitar solos. etc.
Part of the price they paid was they’ve lost the heaviness that they once had with classic riffs such as the riffs from Sirens, Holocaust, City Beneath The Surface, Hall Of the Mountain King, Hounds, Grace Of The Witch, The Dungeons Are Calling, Jesus Saves, Taunting Cobras, etc. They’ve gone from that to playing Christmas music. I’m familiar with Sarajevo 12/24 (their cover of Carol Of The Bells) and yes, there is some fast guitar playing, but none of the fast guitar playing with the aggressive feel and intensity Criss Oliva was famous for. Do TSO concerts have many places where the guitarists still get to play aggressive sounding, intense, shredding leads, or are they relegated to playing the type of shredding you hear in Sarajevo 12/24 which is fast but lacks the intensity and aggressiveness that was Savatage’s hallmark?