I agree with the other reviewers. TSO is magic. Plain and simple. But this DVD is, well, an extended music video.
There's a big difference. Let me try to explain it to you.
I saw TSO in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on December 2. It was a sold out show and I was sitting second row center.
Words can't even begin to describe the emotions I experienced that night. I was awed. I was captivated. I was stirred. I was in tears. I was transported to another world, a magical world of beauty, joy, passion -- did I say magic? The word that best describes what I experienced is "magic."
A TSO CD is mesmerizing all on its own. But a TSO performance is an unbelievable experience.
This DVD -- The Ghost of Christmas Eve -- falls somewhere in between. It's all the music with none of the magic.
Maybe that's too harsh. Maybe it's all of the music with SOME of the magic.
This DVD is part on-stage performance (lip sync'd) and part movie. It's the story of a young woman looking to get home on Christmas, helped by a kindly caretaker (Ossie Davis). The caretaker shows the girl a Christmas performance that captivates her heart and mind (naturally, it's TSO that appears on stage in what was an empty auditorium).
Paul O'Neill, the director of this and producer of TSO and Savatage albums, is brilliant. He has the ability to capture the feeling of Christmas magic and set it to music.
But this effort is far too tame, too flat, to do justice to what TSO has to offer.
Don't get me wrong. This is really fun to watch. But if Paul really wants to stir his audience he'd simply film the band live -- the entire show from start to finish -- and let the performance speak for itself. I would pay hundreds of dollars to see a DVD of the performance I attended. And I'm sure there are many others like me out there.
So until an actual, real, magical TSO performance is filmed, this DVD will have to do. But it's a pale imitation of the real thing.