UCR Interview: Jeff Scott Soto of Sons of Apollo

Interview By: Kevin Rolfe

Sons of Apollo are a supergroup consisting of members of Dream Theater, Guns N Roses, Mr. Big, and Journey. Sons of Apollo will be in Salt Lake City on January 28, 2020 at The Commonwealth Room. I had the opportunity to speak with lead singer Jeff Scott Soto recently leading up to their tour promoting their latest release MMXX. Jeff has been associated with Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Queen Extravaganza, and most notably Journey. I’ve been impressed with Jeff’s versatility and ability to continue to work in an industry that is ready to kick you to the street on your first setback. I really enjoyed visiting with him. Here’s our conversation.

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Madeon October November 5, 2019, The Complex

By: Alex Wardell

Photo Credit: Alex Wardell

I remember the first time I saw Madeon’s “Pop Culture, Live Mash-up” on YouTube; reminiscing with fondness at the wonder this musician awoke inside me. Nine years later, Hugo has produced his own album, a number of EP’s, as well as, collaborations with many monolithic artists within the EDM industry; and now drops his latest, during a quite extensive North American tour. ‘Good Faith Live,’ I anticipate to be transcendent as Madeon’s performance at The Complex, last Tuesday. Hugo Pierre Leclercq has a timeless style and ever adapting production techniques. He is one of the few EDM artists which I still find myself impressed with as I get older and my preferences in music change. This is very important to me because of the nuance sometimes involved with new artists and varying styles within EDM genres concerning what’s relevant; the difference between what is currently popular and which artists are truly talented musicians and producers. Very rarely do I find an artist, who possesses the encompassing skill set, capable of attracting a new audience, while also keeping their fan base interested and excited. Madeon seems to do this in an almost effortless manner. The anticipation which had been digging beneath my skin for over a month now, yet as I gazed on the stage instantly dissolved amidst the dancing lights and rhythmic hum.

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Cat Power October 26, 2019, The Union

By: Local SLC musical artists: Valerie Rose Sterrett and Annie McAllister

Photo Credit: Julien Bourgeois

Cradling two microphones in her right hand as if she were holding a pair of birds, Chan Marshall, known as Cat Power, pours her powerfully enchanting voice into them, the audience staring into her shadow as if she were casting a spell. The atmosphere was very intimate as the audience swayed and nodded their heads in agreement with her music. You could see her fans feeling it, some smiling with their eyes looking up to her in awe, while others danced freely with eyes closed and arms gliding. The Union is a spacious venue, but it held what felt like a purposefully modest audience in chairs that reached a little more than halfway back into the space. Toward the middle of the concert, she waved for us to leave our chairs and come closer.

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Chelsea Wolfe October 21, 2019, Metro Music Hall

By: Alex Wardell

Photo Credit: Alex Wardell

I was transported Monday evening and I am still not quite sure if I have yet returned. I am slightly terrified as I write this…full disclosure, I did not know that much about Chelsea Wolfe when I was asked to cover this performance. So I put the headphones on, tuned in and let Ms. Wolfe take me away, not dissimilar to what happened Monday night when I arrived at a completely, packed to the back, Metro Music Hall. After binging her music all afternoon, I was ready for an evening of Gothic rock.

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Brian Wilson September 19, 2019, Sandy Amphitheater

By: David Bokovoy

Photo courtesy of the Sandy Amphitheater

It wasn’t really a concert, at least not in the traditional sense.  September 19th at the Sandy Amphitheater was more of a musical celebration devoted to Brian Wilson while he primarily sat and soaked in the experience.   It certainly wasn’t for everybody.  Those who went expecting to experience the Mike Love incarnation of the Beach Boys sporting Bahama shirts while playing their pop classics like, “Be True to Your School” may have left disappointed.  Yet from the moment Brian Wilson scuffled onto the stage with the support of his walker and took his seat at the piano where he played a few notes and struggled to sing along to his amazing band, those who went to celebrate the harmonies and instrumental creativity Brian has given the world through his extraordinary gifts were given a special treat, a moment never to be forgotten.

Photo Courtesy of the Sandy Amphitheater

True, the show opened up with a few classics such as, “California Girls,” “I Get Around,” and “Help Me, Rhonda,” but a bulk of the concert was devoted to some of the lesser known songs from the Beach Boys late 60’s material that at the time of their original release failed to gain widespread appreciation by an American audience.   The band performed “Darlin’” from the 1967 album Wild Honey before turning to four straight songs from the 1968 album Friends.

Despite Brian’s physical difficulties, performing these live renditions truly showcased his incredible brilliance.  Hearing the music live leaves little doubt as to why Wilson is rightfully considered one of the greatest musical geniuses of the modern era.

Photo Courtesy of the Sandy Amphitheater

This was the Brian Wilson “Something Great From 68 Tour,” yet the band treated Sandy to a rare performance of “Salt Lake City,” which was obviously, given the setting, a fun experience.  Unfortunately, some of those expecting a Mike Love type Beach Boys concert left early while the band explored the lesser known music primarily from the 1971 album Surf’s Up, including, “Feel Flows,” “Long Promised Road,” “Till I Die,” “Lookin’ at Tomorrow,” and of course, the album’s title track.    These songs were clearly not the Beach Boys’ material some came to experience, but for devoted fans, the setlist truly showcased some of Brian’s finest material.

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TOTO September 24, 2019, Eccles Theater

By: Kevin Rolfe

Photo Credit: Kevin Rolfe @utahconcertreview

Toto brought their 40 Trips Around the Sun Tour to the Eccles Theater in downtown Salt Lake City on September 24, 2019. I felt like I was running late so I ran into the theater. However, when I got inside the Delta Performance Hall I could see the crew still working on the instruments so I knew I had more time.  As I made my way down the aisle to the front of the stage I could see and feel the excitement among the people. 

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