Sons Of Apollo
Direct support from Tony MacAlpine
The Roxy – Hollywood, CA – 1/25/20
Tony MacAlpine was a perfect choice as opening act for the Sons… The multi-talented multi-instrumentalist, shredded out an amazing set that captured the attention of fans and newbies alike. I’m not going to pretend I know Tony’s material back to front, but I was fixed on his presence and enthralled by his ridiculous fretwork which at times was combined with his keyboard playing.
He traded off solos with his guitarist, Emil Werstler, who proved a worthy adversary around the fretboard during their “duels”. Drummer, Aquiles Priester and bassist Mark Michell were incredible in driving the backbone through out Tony’s instrumental set.
Sons Of Apollo
As I called them in the my first review, The Avengers of Rock, The Sons of Apollo have once again assembled. They wasted no time in putting together a follow up to their highly successful debut album, “Psychotic Symphony” and lucky enough, these Rock Superstars have all found time away from all of their other projects to bring the masses a great tour to kick off 2020, or… “MMXX“.
The 3rd date on the MMXX Tour saw the SOA hit The Roxy in Hollywood, CA. Their first Sold Out date of the year and a homecoming of sorts for most of the members, saw The Roxy transformed into the type of atmosphere you would have seen at it’s heyday in the late 70’s and 80’s… packed, sweaty, and a crowd that were ready to worship at the feet of some of the genre’s finest musicians.
And make no mistake, this band contains a pedigree that most established bands dream of… From Soup to Nuts, Jeff Scott Soto (vocals), Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (guitar), Billy Sheehan (bass), Mike Portnoy (drums) and Derek Sherinian (keyboards) are 5 of the finest talents to ever grace any stage, never mind at the same time.
If you’re a fan of their two albums you’re going to be very happy… the only songs not played were “Divine Addiction” and “Opus Maximus” from their debut. So you get almost all of “Psychotic Symphony” and the entire tracklist from “MMXX“. SOA don’t shy away from their epic tracks either… We got all 7+ mins of set opener “Goodby Divinity“, The full 8+ of “King Of Delusion“, “God Of The Sun” (11+), “Labyrinth” (9+) and the true opus, the 16+ minute MMXX closer, “New World Today“.
Each member has copious opportunities to showcase their excellence… Especially Billy who once again proved why 4 strings are just not enough for this bass beast during his solo. I caught Mike counting along to a few of the new songs, keeping his timing and getting ready for the various tempo changes and fills. Not one faulter, Mike! You’ve got this drumming thing down! Ha!
Bumblefoot, looking suave and adorned in his slick black fedora and his signature Vigier Double Neck guitar. Always amazing watching the precision and timing between Bumble and Billy together as they rollercoaster you through every song.
As always, Jeff Scott Soto delivered vocal perfection while creating a focal point with his larger than life stage presence. Derek Sherinian was tucked away in the back, but had a few moments that spotlighted his amazing talent on “Figaro’s Whore” as well as “King Of Delusion“.
During “Wither To Black” the band ripped into a snippet of Rush’s “Tom Sawyer” with Bumblefoot doing an amazing Geddy Lee impression on vocals. We were also treated to a killer, shredalicious version of Deep Purple’s, “Burn” that saw Tony MacAlpine return to the stage to add an extra set of strings to this thrill ride of a song. Bumblefoot also took on the Glen Hughes vocals for his part of the track, again, with amazing perfection.
Why should you go see a Sons of Apollo show? If you know the band and their music, then you don’t need to ask, but if you’re not familiar with them…Well, when Zakk Wylde, fellow Winery Dog, Richie Kotzen, Eric Singer, Rob Blasko, Dug Pinnick among others show up for a show, you can probably bet that you’re going to be seeing something special.
On another note, Jeff Scott Soto happened to be wearing one of his Kobe Bryant Jerseys on stage Saturday night before we all heard the the horrible news that broke on Sunday morning. Jeff posted this note on his Facebook after hearing about the tragedy…
Link to Full Sons of Apollo Gallery: Here
Sons Of Apollo