This is not a side project, the band has made that clear and one way to prove that Sons of Apollo is a band is to tour and they did. But the show they decided to record wasn’t just a tour show, Nope! It was so much more. And it needed to be. They needed to capture the true essence of what this band is about and I have to say, I believe they did that and then some. They recorded the show back on September 22, 2018 at The Ancient Roman Amphitheater in Plovdiv Bulgaria and what a beautiful setting it is. Worthy of the Sons of the God Apollo. And the show couldn’t just be the band playing, Nope. It needed a little something extra so they brought in the Plovdiv Orchestra and a choir nicely named for this show as the Psychotic Symphony. This isn’t a band playing their songs with a symphony like so many bands, this is different, fresh and exciting.
You get it all packaged in a 3 CD set, that is right…3 CDs cover the whole entire show. Over 2 1/2 hours of rock & roll & prog bliss!! And if that isn’t enough, they throw in a DVD of the entire show as well. And the DVD is really where it is at in my book. Listening to the CD is great and you will enjoy the show, but when you watch it live and see these guys in action, Holy Shit!! These guys can play and they put on a master class of what musicianship really is. With Jeff Scott Soto on vocals, Mike Portnoy and drums, Derek Sherinian on Keyboards, Billy Sheehan on bass and Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal on guitar, these are some of the best in the field and they show you how it is done.
I was out for Record Store Day in September and while waiting in line to buy my RSD purchases, this was sitting at the top of the shelf staring at me. I swear I heard it calling my name…”John, buy me!”. I stopped, looked around, no one else in the store heard it, but it said it, I know it did!! Now who was I to argue. I grabbed it, give it a quick once over and when I saw that it was a bootleg of demos from the Van Halen album “Women and Children First”, SOLD!! I mean look at the cover. They took the original album cover and made it way cooler. And to match the cover, the vinyl is even red to go with the stripes. Sweet!
I took it home and couldn’t wait to hear it. Now, I just bought several record store day items and I was way more excited about this album then the RSD purchases. And after listening to it, I am still more excited. Being a bootleg, I was worried about the sound quality of the demos and let me tell you, it was fantastic. These demos have been floating around for awhile and they are normally very muddied down and a little rough. These have been cleaned up nicely. The sound is crisp and clear and though they do sound like demos, they are also pretty damn cool.
For My Sunday Song #147, Van Halen’s song “Everybody Wants Some” will get the royal treatment this week. The song is off the album “Women and Children First” and the second one I have done from that album (because it is that good). The song was never a a single, but a B-Side to the song “And the Cradle Will Rock”.
The opening of the song is the tribal drum beat by Alex with Dave making some little noises in the background and Eddie comes in with that sinister riff. The music sounds menacing and when they kick it in to full gear, it is a slammin’ rock song. Eddie’s guitar playing on the solo has him two-handing the fretboard on his guitar and really breaking new ground as usual. The driving force though is Alex with that drum beat throughout. Really killer.
Lyrically, there isn’t much there. It is a pure sex song and Dave’s talking vocal performance is the star here. His vocals sound almost like he is ad-libbing the whole thing. Just making it up as he goes along, but it works so well. The first line on the second verse is “I Seen a Lotta People Lookin’ for a Moonbeam”, but seriously, can you understand one word of what he says…except for maybe moonbeam? No, as I don’t think he knew what the hell he was saying. The song ends with Dave going “Look, I’ll pay you for it, What the fuck”, but the “fuck” is not really audible with the way they phase it out the sound.