Live Gig Review & Photography Credit : Adrian Hextall
Looking at his biography Jeff Scott Soto (JSS) started his career back in 1984 at the age of 18 singing with Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force. Fast forward to 2014 and we see JSS celebrating a career spanning 30 years working with Yngwie, Talisman, Journey, Axel Rudi Pell, W.E.T. and of course as a tremendously successful solo artist as well. To allow us to share in this milestone, JSS has been revisiting the some of the favourite moments of that career to date.
Jeff comments on his Facebook page, “The past 10 years or so I have been concentrating on my solo career but at my shows, I still get audience members shouting out songs from my past that they want to hear…well, this is the chance for them to finally hear these songs and more!”.
Before JSS takes to the stage, we have support from Swiss import Worry Blast and Neuronspoiler
Formed only in 2010 with a passion for AC\DC and Airbourne which is ever so slightly evident in their sound, Swiss band ‘Worry Blast’ play early in the evening to a small crowd (the rest we assume are still next door in the Cro-Bar sinking beers). Their passion and thus playing style musically is very, very reminiscent of early AC\DC and current day Airbourne with lead guitarist Allan Claret wearing shorts, playing his SG guitar up high and moving around in an Angus Young style.
Vocalist Mat Petrucci adds a bit if grit with his vocals and at times has a Hetfieldesque growl thrown in as well. Special mention as well goes to drummer Lucas Collaud whose energetic performance is overshadowed only by his appalling taste in wet-look leopard print spandex trousers!
Overall they put on a good performance, the small crowd receive them politely and with broken English, they thank the crowd for listening and to JSS for taking them on tour.
Lead Guitar – Voice : Mat Petrucci
Lead Guitar / Backing : Allan Claret
Bass / Backing : Bastien Jacquérioz
Drums : Lucas Collaud
Since hearing their latest album around 6 months ago, I’ve been looking forward to seeing Neuronspoiler with their great blend of twin guitar attack and powerhouse vocals.
One thing is clear at The Borderline. The venue may have played host to some famous names and secret shows over the years but the stage does struggle to fit more than 4 people comfortably. For an energetic band like Neuronspoiler who have a desire to bounce around and put on a show they find themselves vying for stage space several times tonight.
Lead singer JR has a great set of pipes on him that remind me of a Bruce Dickinson \ Geoff Tate mix. As such, tracks from ‘Emergence’ (check out the great artwork on the cover!) such as Lost Brother and Through Hell We March translate well to the live arena.
By now the crowd has swelled considerably and so has the appreciation for the bands. Songs are greeted with loud applause and cheers and there are clearly a lot of traditional metal fans here as this is the path the band is clearly following.
They get a decent length set and are well worth checking out should they perform as headliners in your local area.
Lost Brother / Through Hell We March / Take the Stage / Irreverent / Exempt from Privilege
The Outcry / Never Back Down
JR – Vocals
Dave del Cid – Guitar
Paul Sundt – Guitar
Erick Tekilla – Bass
Tim Barclay – Drums
JEFF SCOTT SOTO
As the lights dim and JSS and band take to the stage, the Borderline has finally filled to capacity and looking at the t-shirts on display tonight it’s a real mix of rock, metal and AOR fans that have come to see one of the greatest voices in music tonight.
Celebrating 30 years and wishing to cover that period in a 90 minute set is never going to be easy and please everyone but JSS is determined to try. Despite recent legal wrangling with Malmsteen’s management company and almost changing the set as a result (see here for more details) it’s great to see him leave everything in and the setlist remains intact.
There’s clearly camaraderie between all 5 members of the band and they are a very tight unit capable of switching things around at very short notice to entertain the crowd – more on that later.
Every aspect of JSS’s career is covered and early on we are even treated to a couple of numbers from current melodic rock supergroup W.E.T. Tracks that we’ve not heard Jeff sing for years are, as promised, brought out tonight and it’s great to hear someone of his pedigree sing Axel Rudi Pell material again so many years after it was put down in the studio.
For those of us, like me, hoping for a mass of Talisman material, we are not disappointed and a 20 minute medley includes some of the classics from that period as well as a couple of curve balls such as Seal’s ‘Crazy’ and Madonna’s ‘Frozen’ being thrown in for good measure.
As the band finish the Malmsteen material that was almost dropped, we then get a great game of random song choices driven by the t-shirts spotted on members of the audience. Thus the ‘switching it all around’ commences. Impromptu versions of ‘The Trooper’ and ‘Youth Gone Wild’ with David Z providing the vocals on the latter are played. Doing this really engages the crowd with cries of ‘pick me’ etc.. being shouted out.
British singer Nathan James joins the band on stage for a blistering cover of Queen’s ‘The Show Must Go On’ with him and Jeff really performing a vocal battle reminiscent of ‘The Voice” during the chorus. ‘Stand Up’ from the movie ‘Rock Star’ finishes the set and the band depart to a brief a cappella version of Steel Panther’s ‘Community Property’.
Take U Down
Learn to Live Again / One Love (W.E.T. cover)
Believe in Me
Look Inside Your Heart
Fool Fool / Warrior (Axel Rudi Pell cover)
Eyes of Love
Risk (Jorge Salán cover)
Break Your Chains / Day By Day / Give Me a Sign / Colour My XTC / Dangerous / Just Between Us / Mysterious (This Time It’s Serious) / Frozen / Crazy (Talisman medley incl. Madonna … more)
I’ll Be Waiting (Talisman song)
Short Guitar Solo segue (Jorge Salán)
I Am a Viking / I’ll See The Light, Tonight (Yngwie J. Malmsteen cover)
Livin’ the Life (Steel Dragon song)
The Trooper (Iron Maiden cover) (Impromptu)
Youth Gone Wild (Skid Row cover) (Impromptu)
The Show Must Go On (Queen cover) (with Nathan James)
Stand Up (Steel Dragon song)
Community Property (Steel Panther cover) (A cappella, first verse)
TOUR LINE UP:
Jeff Scott Soto (vocals)
Jorge Salan (guitar)
David Z (bass)
Edu Cominato (drums)