It's not the music director, either.
O'Neill tells them that everyone on that stage goes through the bottleneck of the guy who mixes the house sound for TSO.
"If Dave Whitman is having a bad night, we're dead."
Most of them, he said, have no idea who Dave Wittman is, but they know his work.
"The first album Dave worked on was Led Zeppelin's 'Houses of the Holy.'"
Whitman also mixed Billy Idol's hit, 'Rebel Yell,' recorded the demo record that got KISS its record deal and served as the house engineer at Electric Ladyland, Jimi Hendrix's recording studio.
"Dave has forgotten more cool rock 'n' roll things than I know."
TSO also has a first-rate crew, run by Elliot Salzeman.
Unlike other acts of similar size, O'Neill said TSO doesn't leapfrog its shows, meaning when the band is performing in one city, it doesn't have another crew setting up for the next show the next night someplace else.
"Good generals think strategy," O'Neill said. "Great generals think logistics."
Salzeman, he said, has rehearsed his road crew to work faster and more efficiently than other operations, which makes what TSO does possible without having to raise ticket prices.
Everyone with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra pushes themselves to do better. In fact, it's a running theme with them, he said: attempting the impossible.
And this year, they've lined up a particularly difficult task.
A couple of days after Christmas, TSO was supposed to have two days off before the New Year, but it picked up a show at the Brandenberg Gate in Berlin on New Year's Eve.
Instead of the time off, on Dec. 30, the band will come off the stage late that evening and hop an 11-hour flight to Germany.
"Everyone will sleep on the plane," O'Neill said.
The tricky part will be the time.
"I've done this with other bands before - Joan Jett, Aerosmith," he said. "But it's always play Europe, and then fly to America. The clock is on your side."
This time, it won't be. It will be seven hours later when the band arrives, which is barely enough time for soundcheck before the band has to go on stage to perform.
A lot can go wrong, but the pay-off is huge. The estimated crowd for that night will be more than a million people. It's a once-in-a-lifetime gig.
"And a great way to kick off the new year."
Reach Bill Lynch at ly...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5195.