TSO with Paul Rodgers (a surprise guest appearance)

Date:2007-12-28 04:01:06
I just got back from seeing TSO in Houston and it included two special guests at the end. One was Paul O'Neill and the other was Paul Rodgers. O'Neill said a few words and thanked the crowd for making TSO a success, then he strapped on a guitar and played a few numbers with the band. Someone needs to tell the guy he's getting too old and pudgy to wear black leather. I think only Jim Steinman looks worse in the same outfit. Anyway, this was quickly followed by the surprise introduction of Paul Rodgers for a few Texas dates. He sang Bad Company and Alright Now with the full TSO band and lights. For a fifty plus year old singer, his voice is still incredibly strong. He didn't miss a note and really belted out both numbers. He literally had the audience at his command. This was a nice bonus and it finally got the older generation on their feet.

Overall, the night was typical TSO. The first half is the same old performance of the entire first album. While I like that album it was getting long-in-the-tooth several years ago. Today its down-right moldy. And based on the dull performance, the band is equally sick of it. Almost every song was half a beat too slow and dragged when compared to the studio performance. But finally they finished and then the band came to life. The later half of the show always includes a few new songs and selections from the other TSO albums. Here the band kicked it into gear and each song was tight and energetic. Of course, the extra lights and pyro always helps.

So overall a good night but it points out a big flaw in their current model. They need to ditch playing the entire first album and either switch to telling the story from one of the other albums or just play a variety from all the albums. At this point, the story has lost any remaining charm and I doubt most of the audience even follows along. O'Neill would like to think the first album is a classic that must be retold every Christmas like It's A Wonderful Life or A Christmas Carol. But its never going to achieve that status and at this point is putting the band and the audience to sleep.
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