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LIVE: SONS OF APOLLO – February 1, 2020

| 7 February 2020 | Reply

Venue: The Music Factory

City: Battle Creek, MI

Date: February 1, 2020

Review and Photographs by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur (

This was an evening of firsts.  It was the first time I ventured out to The Music Factory in Battle Creek, MI; it was the first time I actually purchased a Meet & Greet (not including the gift of a KISS M&G in 2014 from my wife); it was the first time I witnessed a show from Sons Of Apollo; and it was the first time I was able to photograph one of my favorite vocalists of all time – Jeff Scott Soto.  The band kicked the set off with a killer one-two punch of tracks from their latest – MMXX, which was released last month (January 17, 2020) when they started the night off with “Goodbye Divinity” and “Fall to Ascend.”  The guys were on fire in a packed Music Factory in Battle Creek.  The crowd filled the venue from front to back and side to side, selling the place out, which was remarked about by Soto and the guys during the set.  As a fan of the individual musicians and the collective band, I was pleased with each song played from their two discs, which were both well represented in the set.  Leaning on the debut release, “Signs of the Time ” was the first song to be showcased from that disc and the guys nailed it.  With amazing riffs and solos emanating from guitarist Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal’s double necked guitar, “Wither to Black” and “Asphyxiation” from the new disc seemed to take on lives of their own on the stage and carrying through the sound system.  Drummer Mike Portnoy dazzled with his killer time keeping from song to song and could be seen smiling throughout the show from behind his kit.  The tandem of “Labyrinth” and “Lost in Oblivion” graced the set and helped get the crowd ready for what the band was ready to dedicate and perform.  Anyone familiar with JSS is also aware of the HUGE loss of David Z.  The band dedicated an amazing rendition of “Desolate July” to David and the recently deceased Kobe Bryant.  As songs were worked through, the crowd seemed to get its second wind as the band broke into “Alive” and you could feel and hear the audiences energy and we all sang in unison through the verses and chorus.  We were treated to solos from bassist Billy Sheehan and his double-necked bass as well as a keyboard piece from Derek Sherinian that saw him take a place center stage.  Other songs dotted the evenings musical landscape and helped close out an exciting evening for the packed venue and this reviewer.  A high point for me was when the band tossed an excerpt of Rush’s “Tom Sawyer” into the mix earlier in the set.  While the evening was great and full of great music, I can only hope this tour will wrap around one more time and find the band gracing a stage in Detroit some time soon.

Setlist: Goodbye Divinity – Fall to Ascend – Signs of the Time – Wither to Black – Asphyxiation – Labyrinth – Lost in Oblivion – Desolate July – King of Delusion – Alive – New World Today – Figaro’s Whore – God of the Sun – Burn – Coming Home

Band Lineup: Jeff Scott Soto (vocals) – Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (guitar) – Mike Portnoy (drums) – Billy Sheehan (bass) – Derek Sherinian (keyboards)







Category: Live Reviews, Photo Galleries

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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