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.
Queen did not tour for the previous album, ‘The Miracle’, mainly because Freddie Mercury was sick. He had been diagnosed with AIDS in 1987 and his health had been deteriorating rather quickly. Now, they told the media they were trying to get away from the whole album-tour-album-tour type of schedule. Instead of touring they immediately started working on the next album which sadly enough would be the last album released before Freddie’s death in November 1991. The album is ‘Innuendo’ and it was the last great hurrah for a band that had done it all.
They started recording all the way back in March 1989 prior to ‘The Miracle’ even being released, but they wouldn’t finish the album until November 1990. Freddie’s health was not good and so he would come in and record whenever he was physically able. They had hoped to get the album out by Christmas 1990, but missed the deadline due to the health problems. We did finally see the album come out on February 4, 1991 and although the album only went to #30 in the States, the UK saw Queen get yet another #1 album. And like the previous album, the band were unable to Tour this album either.
The pictures of Freddie around this time and the shots of him in the music videos definitely had the public wondering what was wrong with Freddie and rumors were rampant. On November 23, 1991, Freddie issued a statement about his health and admitted he was diagnosed with AIDS, then not 24 hours later, Freddie died from bronchial pneumonia which was brought on as a result of his disease. Freddie’s death on November 24, 1991 shed a bright spotlight on the AIDS crisis and at the same time for us Kiss fans, overshadowed the death of our beloved Kiss drummer Eric Carr who died on the same day. As a rock fan of both bands, this was a sad day for me and I am sure for a lot of people around the world. Queen as we knew was no more. It left Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon with a big hole to fill and an unknown future.
A few weeks back I stumbled across this documentary on Netflix. It was called ‘The Show Must Go On: The Queen + Adam Lambert Story’. It was about how the band carried on after the death of Freddie Mercury and how the band came upon finding Adam Lambert. The nice thing about the documentary is it is quick at around 85 minutes, but that is really too short as this is Queen. They have so much history, to cram in, but they don’t need to as the focus is really Queen with Adam Lambert.
They do go in to a little backstory about Freddie and they go in to his death and how things felt over at that point, then they started a come back with the Freddie Mercury Tribute show that saw so many great singers perform. They go in to Paul Rodgers and his stint with the band and then finally they spend their time on Adam Lambert and how he came to be known, hello…American Idol!! and his time with the band.
Now, I saw Queen last year about this time with Adam Lambert and it was one of the best shows I have seen in a long time. Adam is flamboyant and he has one helluva a vocal range and is probably one of the only ones that could pull off the Queen catalog with any validity. And he did just that. Go check out my Queen Concert Review if you have time.
On a dark stormy night in August, Queen + Adam Lambert came riding in to town for the very last show of their Rhapsody Tour. Yes, Charlotte, NC was able to bid farewell to this legend of a band who has seen a massive resurgence thanks in large part to the movie ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and in small part due to the current singer Adam Lambert.
There is no exciting story to tell leading up to the show except the Rain Gods were nice to my daughter and I by not raining on us. We got in to the Spectrum Center and about 5 minutes later the skies opened up. People were coming in dripping wet, but no one cared because everyone was there to have a good time and listening to everyone’s favorite band, Queen.
When we finally arrive to our seats after a long line at the merch table and a long line at the bathroom and a short line at the refreshment stand to grab a couple of $5 waters (each), we were greeted to this…
A giant crown wrapping the stage. It looked so real and like it was made out of metal. Impressive. Even more impressive was the fact it was a giant TV screen. The graphics, detail, clarity, hell everything about it was impressive. It looked 3D without the glasses…amazing.
I am a little behind on reviews, so excuse the lateness of this one. I almost passed it over due to the lateness, but I felt this one needed to be done. Nita Strauss’ ‘Controlled Chaos’ is nothing short of spectacular so I had to talk about it.
Instrumental albums are hard for me to write-up as I am not a guitarist (although learning) or a musician. I mean how many times and how many ways can I say the guitar work is sensational. Well, I will say it at least a few times. Nita’s guitar work is sensational…she is a beast…she is one of the most exciting guitarists out there today. Plus, you know she is one of the best if Alice Cooper has her in his band. I saw them tour last year and she was quite phenomenal!
And another way I can tell you it is great is the fact I actually bought a physical CD. I normally stream new music and buy used vinyl and special edition box sets. New releases only get bought, if they are beyond exceptional and well, this is just that. So, I showed my support by actually spending my hard in dollars on her album. People should do way more of that.