Jeff Scott Soto – ‘One Night in Madrid’ (2009) – Album Review (The Jeff Scott Soto Series)

Back in 2003, Jeff did his first ever solo tour and at the stop in Madrid, the energy from the crowd was insane and he said that if he made it back he would record the show for a live DVD and CD. It took 6 years before his next solo tour brought him back to Spain and he delivered on that promise and now we have ‘One Night in Madrid’. The tour was in support of his latest solo album ‘Beautiful Mess’ and the show as on April 18, 2009 at Sala Heineken in Madrid, Spain.

This time the band was not his usual cast of characters, but a brand new band consisting of Jorge Salan on lead guitar, Fernando Mainer on bass, Edu Cominato on drums and BJ on keyboards and acoustic guitar. Now, of course Jeff Scott Soto was their singing as it is his tour. I have the CD of the show and it is a 2CD set and includes 22 tracks including solos and the ever popular Funky Medley. Let’s go ahead and jump right in to another great show by Mr. Soto.

The show opens with a radio being changed from station to station and each stop was a classic Jeff Scott Soto song. Then a voice comes on says, “That was then…this is now!” and the show starts with the lead song from ‘Beautiful Mess’ called “21st Century” and it sounds great. Jeff really sounds on point and the band captures the essence of the song. The guitars sound fantastic, the backing vocals are all perfect and I would say this new band clicks pretty well together. And if you need further proof listen to “Colour My XTC” from his Talisman days. The bass on this one is key to make it work as Marcel was a beast on bass and Fernando holds his own on this one, really great job.

We get more of Jeff’s solo work the classic “Soul Divine’ off ‘Lost in the Translation’. A true highlight of his career. Then we go in to the 2nd track from ‘Beautiful Mess’ with “Our Song” and the crowd is clapping along. It is the softer side of Jeff and then goes more power. On the album it had an irritating electronic drum track, but here it is raw and real drums and so much better. Then it is back to the rock with “Drowning” another from the ‘Lost in the Translation’ album. The guitars on this one are badass, some great riffs and real heavy. A real barn burner with this one.

We then get a couple solos for both drum and guitar. They are short and sweet and mixed in with a funky jam session. A fun little break before they kick back in with another new song called “Mountain”. They make it even funkier live and it feels a little like going to church as well as Soto preaches from the microphone. Jeff takes it back to his ‘Prism’ album with “Eyes of Love” and Jeff even playing some guitar with his new Atomic Guitar made just for him. Pure melodic rock track and something Jeff does well. Not sure how much touch-up was done on this album, but it sounds fantastic and so does Jeff.

The final set of tracks from Disc 1 are both from the new album and in between is the band intros. First up is “Testify” and if you thought “Mountain” took you to church, “Testify” took you there and joined the preacher to preach all the goodness that is rock. It is funky rock track that real brings the goods. The last track is “Broken Man” and it slows things down and gets a little bluesy and very soulful. Another showcase for those great Soto vocals.

The second disc kicks off with yet another ‘Beautiful Mess’ track called “Hey” and what a blast this one is. It definitely brings the energy back up and Jeff straps on the guitar yet again. We get some acoustic guitar and electric, some great rhythm and the band takes all things to be bright and sunny. Such a catchy chorus and all around great tune.

After this song we get two covers in one and they bleed right from the prior song. It is two covers he did while with Talisman and two of his best with Madonna’s “Frozen” and Seal’s “Crazy”. “Frozen” was a little rough as he went a little too high with vocals at the beginning and it seemed a little iffy throughout at times. Much better on “Crazy” as the shakiness was gone. I love the Seal song and Jeff does a pretty good job of making it his song although he doesn’t stray too far from the original.

Then we get to a highlight of the show, the Piano Medley. They strip things down to a piano and Jeff’s vocals and cover some of his best ballads including “If This is The End”, “Holding On”, “Nobody Said it Was Easy”, “4U” and of course, “Just Between Us” which covers his work with Talisman and Eyes. Some great stuff vocally here and the crowd responded in kind. After the medley they go in to the 7th song from the new album (I like the album better live, just saying), but I am still not a fan of “Gin & Tonic Sky” and coming off the medley of his classic ballads, there is a reason why. It doesn’t hold a candle to those.

Then we get what is called the JSS/Jorge Workshop which is basically Jorge slaying on the guitar and I am guessing Jeff playing around as well…but Jorge…damn!! Jeff does some vocal melodies that Jorge knocks out of the park. One of those things that is probably more fun to watch than listen to, but it wasn’t bad. They then go in to a standard for Soto which is “I’ll Be Waiting” from his Talisman days. It usually ends (or close to it) his shows. It is so freaking good and he handles it like it was nothing. The crowd helps sing the chorus as they always do as he can’t play without this one being sung…the audience will make sure that doesn’t happen. A fun way to end the show.

But it isn’t the end as we always have encores and Jeff doesn’t disappoint. He pulls out another crowd favorite, the song from “Rock of Ages”…“Stand Up”. It is a heavy, kick ass song that Jeff really digs deep and gives it his all. It is a total blast and Jeff makes it really killer song live. But that isn’t the end because as he now does to end his shows (thanks to his time with Boogie Knights), it is the Funky Medley. I won’t go in to all the songs, but he covers different decades, different artist and even pokes fun at New Kids on the Block. It is yet another crowd favorite and a Soto show isn’t the same without it!

The funny thing is that I am really lukewarm about the album for which they were touring, ‘Beautiful Mess’. The fact that there were 7 songs from that album in the show, I was worried, but DAMN!! This was such a good live show. The songs from the album sound better live, the new band was one of his best ever and Jeff sounded amazing (mostly…”Frozen” the exception). Regardless, it is an awesome show and I really did love the setlist. My Overall Score is a 5.0 out of 5.0 Stars. I might have to go change some scores on the other live albums as this might’ve outdone them…maybe.

UP NEXT: TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA – ‘NIGHT CASTLE’ (2009)

THE JEFF SCOTT SOTO SERIES:

  1. Panther – ‘Panther’ (1986) – recorded in 1984
  2. Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force – ‘Rising Force’ (1984)
  3. Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force – ‘Marching Out’ (1985)
  4. Kuni – ‘Lookin’ For Action’ (1988)
  5. Kryst the Conqueror – ‘Deliver Us From Evil’ (1989) / ‘Soldiers of Light: The Complete Recordings (2019)
  6. Eyes – ‘Eyes’ (1990)
  7. Eyes – “Nobody Said It Was Easy” (1990) – 7″ Single – Bonus Edition
  8. Talisman – ‘Talisman’ (1990)
  9. Talisman – “I’ll Be Waiting” (1990) – 7″ Single – Bonus Edition
  10. Skrapp Mettle – ‘Sensitive’ (1991)
  11. Axel Rudi Pell – ‘Eternal Prisoner’ (1992)
  12. Bakteria – ‘Deficate! Suffocate! Mutilate! Masturbate!’ (1992 / 2009)
  13. Eyes – ‘Windows of the Soul’ (1993)
  14. Talisman – ‘Genesis’ (1993)
  15. Axel Rudi Pell – ‘The Ballads’ (1993)
  16. Biker Mice From Mars – ‘Biker Mice From Mars (Soundtrack)’ (1993)
  17. Takara – ‘Eternal Faith’ (1993)
  18. Talisman – ‘5 Out Of 5 (Live in Japan)’ (1994)
  19. Talisman – ‘Humanimal’ (1994)
  20. Axel Rudi Pell – ‘Between the Walls’ (1994)
  21. Gary Schutt – ‘Sentimetal’ (1994)
  22. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Love Parade’ (1994)
  23. Axel Rudi Pell – ‘Made in Germany (Live)’ (1995)
  24. Takara – ‘Taste of Heaven’ (1995)
  25. Talisman – ‘Life’ (1995)
  26. Axel Rudi Pell – ‘Black Moon Pyramid’ (1996)
  27. Human Clay – ‘Human Clay’ (1996)
  28. Talisman – ‘Best of’ (1996)
  29. Axel Rudi Pell – ‘Magic’ (1997)
  30. Human Clay – ‘U4IA’ (1997)
  31. Boogie Knights – ‘Welcome to the Jungle Boogie’ (1997)
  32. Takara – ‘Blind in Paradise’ (1998)
  33. Talisman – ‘Truth’ (1998)
  34. ‘Rock Star: Music from the Motion Picture (Soundtrack)’ – Various Artists (2001)
  35. Humanimal – ‘Humanimal’ (2002)
  36. Humanimal – Find My Way Home: Limited Edition E.P. (2002)
  37. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Holding On E.P.’ (2002)
  38. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Prism’ (2002)
  39. Talisman – ‘Live at Sweden Rock Festival’ (2002)
  40. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘JSS Live at the Gods 2002’ (2003)
  41. Talisman – ‘Cats & Dogs’ (2003)
  42. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Believe in Me E.P.’ (2004
  43. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Lost in the Translation’ (2004)
  44. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Live at the Queen Convention 2003’ (2004)
  45. Soul SirkUS – ‘World Play’ (2004/2005)
  46. Talisman – ‘Five Men Live’ (2005)
  47. Talisman – ‘World’s Best Kept Secret DVD (2005)
  48. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Essential Ballads’ (2006)
  49. Journey – ‘Live from Atlanta (Bootleg)’ (2006)
  50. Talisman – ‘7’ (2006)
  51. Talisman – The Albums Ranked Worst to First
  52. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘B-Sides’ (2006)
  53. Redlist – ‘Ignorance’ (2007)
  54. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Beautiful Mess’ (2009)
  55. Jeff Scott Soto – “21st Century” / “Gin & Tonic Sky” CD Single (2009) – Bonus Edition
  56. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘One Night in Madrid’ (2009)
  57. Trans-Siberian Orchestra – ‘Night Castle’ (2009)
  58. W.E.T. – ‘W.E.T.’ (2009)
  59. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Live at Firefest 2008’ (2010)
  60. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Damage Control’ (2012)
  61. W.E.T. – ‘Rise’ (2013)
  62. W.E.T. – ‘One Live in Stockholm’ (2014)
  63. Jeff Scott Soto – The Authorized Biography (2014)
  64. SOTO – ‘Inside the Vertigo’ (2015)
  65. Joel Hoekstra’s 13 – Dying to Live (2015)
  66. SOTO – ‘Divak’ (2016)
  67. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Retribution’ (2017)
  68. Sons of Apollo – ‘Psychotic Symphony’ (2017)
  69. W.E.T. – ‘Earthrage’ (2018)
  70. SOTO – ‘Origami’ (2019)
  71. Sons of Apollo – ‘Live With the Plovdiv Psychotic Symphony’ (2019)
  72. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Wide Awake (In My Dreamland)’ (2020)
  73. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Live and Loud in Milan 2019’ (2020)
  74. Sons of Apollo – ‘MMXX’ (2020)
  75. SOTO – ‘Revision’ (2020)
  76. W.E.T. – ‘Retransmission’ (2021)
  77. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘The Duets Collection, Vol. 1’ (2021)
  78. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Complicated’ (2022)
  79. Ellefson/Soto – ‘Vacation in the Underground’ (2022)
  80. Jeff Scott Soto / Jason Bieler – Live In Concert (2022) – Bonus Edition

5 thoughts on “Jeff Scott Soto – ‘One Night in Madrid’ (2009) – Album Review (The Jeff Scott Soto Series)

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