When Trans-Siberian Orchestra comes to Tampa with its holiday concerts — as its does most every year — there’s always a bit of nostalgia attached to the show. The band, best known for its extravagant Christmas arena concerts, evolved out of Savatage, a metal band that got its start playing clubs in Tampa Bay before becoming an international powerhouse.
There’s an added measure of nostalgia this time. One of TSO’s first big successes was a 1999 television special titled “The Ghosts of Christmas Eve,” written by Paul O’Neill, one of the founders of Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and starring Ossie Davis.
Last year, O’Neill and company adapted the TV special for the stage, and audiences around the country loved the result. So TSO is bringing it back on the road for 2016. They’ll perform it at Tampa’s Amalie Arena twice on Sunday.
O’Neill, who produces TSO’s records and writes a lot of the ensemble’s lyrics, called the original stage production of “Ghosts of Christmas Eve” an experiment, and said that “integrating segments of the TV show with a live narrator, and full rock band was something TSO has never done.” It was supposed to be a one-year project, with a new show touring the country this year, but audience response encouraged O’Neill and company to reprise it this year. (Davis will be there only on video; he passed away in 2005.)