Every word that has been used to describe Sons Of Apollo's talent and abilities really rang true last week in Boston at the Paradise Rock Club. Here, I was witness for the first time (as a collective) the talents of Mike Portnoy (drums), Derek Sherinian (keyboards), Billy Sheehan (bass), Ron 'Bumblefoot' Thal (guitar) and Jeff Scott Soto (vocals) on stage. Following their 15 song set (not counting solos and stories), I have NO WORDS to describe what I saw and heard, but i'll try.
First off, Sons Of Apollo are all the best at their craft. Judging by all the musicians in the audience, this isn't a statement lost on anyone or insulting to any other bands out there. Following in the tradition of RUSH, UK and Marillion, the band display their immense talents on every song; progressive yet easily listenable and enjoyable. Epic songs like New World Today and Labyrinth are filled with so much skill and technical brilliance, but for the audience, they are just awesome songs!
At their core, Sons Of Apollo are a hard rock band and on stage, the 'heavy' is provided by the thunderous double neck bass attack of Billy Sheehan. On stage you not only see and hear him, but you feel him... all night for 90 minutes. Sheehan provided the path and rhythms for everyone else to follow along to.
For me, the biggest treat was watching and hearing vocalist Jeff Scott Soto make his presence known. Not only is he an incredible singer (he has to be with these guys), but he controls the stage and has an incredible sense of humor that humanizes the band's amazing presentation. There was a moment in particular when a drunk fan just walked on stage and sat down. In the climate we live in, and with the tragic incident involving Dimebag Darrell on the concert stage, there was a bit of fear in the audience and on stage, but Soto (and Bumblefoot) made a smirk that put myself and others around us at ease.
The set list was as perfect (see below) as they could make it considering there is a time limit to the time a band can play without getting tired and bored. The show was finished with an amazing encore of my gateway hard rock song, Deep Purple's Burn, with the band joined by opener and legendary, Tony MacAlpine. Watching Tony and Ron trade riffs and solos... no words can describe.
With the tour over (for now), keep an eye out for more shows. If you have never seen Sons Of Apollo live. you need to. I just feel bad for the next concert I go to, because this one was one that will be very hard to top.
Fall To Ascend
Signs Of The Time
Wither To Black
Lost in Oblivion
King of Delusion
New World Today
God Of The Sun
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The Power Chords Podcast is a twice-monthly podcast celebrating rock and metal music of the '70s, '80s, '90s and beyond. The show is co-hosted by Matt Herring and Brian LeTendre.