SOTO (Live)

At The Cluny, Newcastle, U.K., September 3, 2019

SOTO (Live at The Cluny, Newcastle, U.K., September 3, 2019)
Photo: Mick Burgess

While most were salivating over the fretboard wizardry of Yngwie Malmsteen on the release of the first Rising Force album back in 1984, a few astute ears picked up on the vocals on the few non instrumentals on the disc. Jeff Scott Soto had arrived.

Over the years he has recorded dozens of albums displaying a multitude of styles and genres covering Metal, Pop, Rock, AOR, Soul and Funk switching seamlessly between them with an array of bands including Talisman, Soul Sirkus and Eyes. Soto also stepped in at a moments notice to bail Journey out of a sticky situation when Steve Augeri’s vocal problems almost forced the band off the road. His versatility and reliability in the studio made him the go to man for many an artist while on the live scene, the enormous Trans-Siberian Orchestra called upon his services for their legendary winter tours.

While his recent solo work has focussed on his more Melodic Rock side, Soto, the band, was formed to hammer his more Metallic credentials to the mast and with their third album, Origami, hot of the press, it was time to hit the road. The first song from the album, Hypermania, was the perfect opener with its punishing, driving riff over which Soto’s effortless vocals simply soared.

With a tight timeslot on stage with a strict curfew, there was no time to waste as Freakshow, Colour My XTC and Drowning straight off the bat gave a nice overview of Soto’s work over the years. Soto’s vocals were impeccable, powerful, expressive with a range few can match. On this form, there are very few that can match him.

Joined on stage by an impressive cast of musicians including guitarist BJ, whose co-lead vocals during the fantastic W.E.T medley, which included a supreme take on Watch The Fire and One Love, just showed what a classy outfit Soto are.

The shimmering vocal harmonies of Eyes Of Love contrasted with the brutal riffage of Cyber Masquerade but the clock was ticking towards the curfew meaning that a few songs were dropped but there was still time for the Talisman classic, I’ll Be Waiting, a song that just never grows old.

As the clock struck eleven, there was just enough time to squeeze in Stand Up and Shout from the Rockstar movie giving the crowd their own chance to roar the iconic scream much to Soto the band and singer’s amusement.

Review and Photos By Mick Burgess


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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