It's just not December in San Antonio until Trans-Siberian Orchestra is setting off fireworks and igniting fretboards with headbanging, fleet-fingered adaptations of Christmas tunes.
If that rocks your boat, here's some good news: the band is playing not once but twice this Friday.
If TSO's bombastic take on the Yule doesn't sound appealing, don't worry. Laser-obsessed electronica duo Ghostland Observatory is scheduled to play that same night. Plus, a pair of heavy metal cover bands — both featuring members of well-traveled acts — will headline a New Year's Eve show at Fitzgerald's.
Friday, Dec. 30
Anyone who predicted years ago that a mix of Christmas stories and prog-metal would make Trans-Siberian Orchestra a top-grossing act would likely have been accused of drinking too much spiked eggnog. But here we are. Sure, TSO is making its annual Alamo City stop a few days after the actual holiday, but 'tis always the season for guitar shredding, fireworks and spectacle. If you grew up here in the '80s loving arena rock, we'd say this is the show for you. But chances are, you already know. $49.50 and up, 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., AT&T Center, 1 AT&T Center Parkway, (210) 440-5000, attcenter.com. — Mike McMahan
Aside from opening for the band Jurassic 5 in 2014 and performing a few shows at Austin's SXSW in 2016, electro-rock duo Ghostland Observatory spent roughly a decade and a half on extended hiatus. Then, in 2018, Ghostland returned with its fourth studio album, See You Later Simulator, and has been touring regularly ever since. In recent years, the Austin-based act has gained recognition for its inventive use of lasers and mirrors during live performances. Its latest release is 2021's Vultures. $40, 8 p.m., Paper Tiger, 2410 N. St. Mary's St., papertigersatx.com. — Marco Aquino
Saturday, Dec. 31
TOZ, James Rivera's Metal Asylum
Instead of jamming out to a local cover band on New Year's Eve, SA rockers this year have the option of jamming out to a cover band from Minnesota that includes former members of Megadeth. Although headliner TOZ's origins date to the 1980s, the act regrouped earlier this year featuring original members David Ellefson and Greg Handevidt, both Megadeth alumni. Their focus? Covering familiar hard rock and metal tunes. James Rivera's Metal Asylum — fronted by the singer for local favorites Helstar — along with several other Texas ensembles will serve up covers for those craving hard and heavy classics. $25, 7 p.m., Fitzgerald's Bar & Live Music Venue, 437 McCarty Road #101, (210) 607-7007, fitzrockssa.com. — Brianna Espinoza