Prog rock has always been, by definition, kind of overblown -- epic keyboard! Finger-tapping, warp-speed guitar solos! Melodies across more octaves than is humanly possible! So Trans-Siberian Orchestra might have achieved the apex of the style by creating an entirely new offshoot, dubbed "rock theater."
From the beginning, band founder and music industry vet Paul O'Neill envisioned TSO less as a traditional album-by-album band, and more as a vehicle for producing music-driven, full-on spectacles. His original idea was a few rock operas and a trilogy about Christmas, but it was this holiday fare that quickly became the most popular. The band's debut album, 1996's Christmas Eve and Other Stories, mixed unabashedly feel-good holiday sentiment with electric-guitar powered updates on symphonic sounds and Christmas classics.
That disc remains the band's best-selling, and similar albums have followed suit. In recent years, TSO has also toured behind a non-holiday-themed disc, Night Castle, but its bread and butter remains its annual winter tours. This time around the band revisits Christmas Eve and Other Stories with a full-on stage show at American Airlines Arena (601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami) that includes backup singers, musicians, set changes, and special effects. If you like a little metal inflection with your Pachelbel’s Canon, you're in luck. If that raises an eyebrow, well, even the biggest cynics have been known to melt under the power of TSO's blasts of unequaled hard rock holiday cheer.
Fri., Dec. 9, 9 p.m., 2011