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.
For My Sunday Song #323, we are talking about bullies with the song “Bully” by Shinedown. The song was the first single off their 2012 album ‘Amaryllis’. The single was released on January 3, 2012 and #3 on the Billboard Hot Rock & Alternative Songs. It actually did break the Top 100 Charts landing at #94. The song did go Gold selling over 500,000 copies which isn’t bad. The song was written by Brent Smith, Zach Myers and Dave Bassett.
The song is about what you think it is about…Bullies!! It is definitely not condoning the actions of bullies, but instead telling people it is okay to stand-up for yourselves against bullies. Fight to survive against losing your self-respect and your dignity. Leave the bullies behind and they will become a faint memory. Brent’s father taught him to box so he would stand up to bullies…he has stated he got his butt kicked a few times, but he would stand up for himself.
The song is a pure rocker and an anthem for the underdog. Brent’s vocal deliver is more chant-like and then the chorus explodes in to a full on battle-cry to stand up for yourself. The guitar riffs are contagious and catchy as hell, there a ton of melodies. The guitar solo electrifying and then at the end of the song a chorus of kids with voices of angels join in and amplify the meaning to not back down. It is a powerful song with a powerful message.
2002 was a big year for Jeff Scott Soto. It was the year of his coming out as a solo artist. Yes, he released a solo album back in 1994, but the intent was not to tour and showcase as a solo artist. He had signed with Frontiers Records and was getting ready to release his 2nd solo album ‘Prism’, but before that Frontiers’ promotional crew were in high gear. With press releases and having Jeff involved in the 10th Anniversary of The Gods Festival. The festival consists of artists/bands from the Frontiers Records label as well as Now & Then label.
The festival occurred on June 2, 2002 and was to be released as a live album and a DVD. I only have the live album, I need to get the DVD still. The line-up was pretty impressive as it had Eric Martin, Hardline, Harem Scarem, Honeymoon Suite, Ten, Soto and several other bands. It took place at Pennington’s in Bradford, England and what I’ve read, it was a helluva show by all.
Jeff’s band that night consisted of some old familiar friends including Alex Papa on drums, Gary Schutt on bass & acoustic guitar (did an album review of his for this series) and on guitar, Howie Simon. JSS is listed as “Top Dog” and he is right. It is his show, his songs, his voice everyone came to hear. He proved that when he came out on stage, alone, dressed all in black and did “2 Your Heart” a cappella. The song is from the debut Human Clay album. Jeff proved that voice is for real. The band comes in full force as the race through the Queen cover “Let Me Entertain You” which is appropriate because Soto does just that.
Jeff Scott Soto was ready to call it quits with The Boogie Nights as doing some solo work was starting to appeal to him as it had been years since his debut solo album. He thought about signing with Z-Records, but due to the problems with his band Humanimal, that was quickly nixed. He wound up with an Italian label called Frontiers Records. The deal included re-releasing his debut solo album ‘Love Parade’ as well as new material which was already in the works and would be released in late 2002.
I am not sure the actual release date of this E.P., but I am guessing it is prior to the album. The E.P. consists of the first single from his upcoming solo album ‘Prism’ called “Holding On”. It also includes a previously unreleased track and 2 live songs plus a re-release of a song from his debut solo album ‘Love Parade’. It is a great E.P. to have.
Who would have thought that in 1991 while doing backing vocals for Stryper’s album ‘Against the Law’, that would lead to Jeff Scott Soto doing the singing vocals for a movie in 2001 called ‘Rock Star’ starring Mark Wahlberg That is what happened. The producer on the Stryper album was Tom Werman and Tom brought Jeff in for a ton of albums he worked on after Stryper’s album and when ‘Rock Star’ came up, he had Jeff come in and audition.
He originally auditioned for the singing voice of Mark Wahlberg’s character, but the producers of the movie thought his voice was too good actually. They wanted a less seasoned voice, but one that could rip in those 80’s styles so they brought in Miljenko ‘Mike’ Matijevic another Tom vocal favorite. Mike is the lead singer of the band Steelheart and man does he have some pipes as well. Jeff actually did backing vocals on Steelheart’s debut album as well.
The movie ‘Rock Star’ was inspired by what went on with Judas Priest after Rob Halford left the band. They brought in a Judas Priest Tribute band singer by the name of Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens. Mark Wahlberg’s character, Chris Cole, is a massive Steel Dragon fan and was in a tribute band called ‘Blood Pollution’. When the lead singer of Steel Dragon, Bobby Beers, quit (sung by Jeff Scott Soto), Chris Cole was hired (sung by Ike Matijevic) and then the movie chronicles the ups and downs of Chris Cole’s life as a result of this move.