SONS OF APOLLO

Prog - - Take A Bow - JERRY EWING

VENUE IS­LING­TON ASSEM­BLY HALL, LON­DON

DATE 28/09/2018

It’s in­ter­est­ing to note Sons Of Apollo’s in­tro and outro mu­sic tonight, which is Van Halen’s In­truder and Happy Trails. The band even throw in a bois­ter­ous cover of And The Cra­dle Will Rock dur­ing their en­cores, while key­board player Derek Sherinian in­cor­po­rates a piece from Span­ish Fly into his solo spot and gui­tarist Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal toys with Mean Streets.

While it’s hardly sur­pris­ing that a bunch of US mu­si­cians of a cer­tain age are still in thrall to the mighty Van Halen, much of the drive be­hind Sons Of Apollo’s jug­ger­naut blend of prog and heavy rock seems to be de­rived from Deep Pur­ple more than any­thing else.

You won­der what any dyed-in-the-wool prog­ger would make of it all, un­til you re­mem­ber that there are prob­a­bly few in at­ten­dance, as many would have al­ready been put off by Mike Port­noy’s prog metal days in Dream The­ater, the CVs of the mu­si­cians in the band (who have played with the likes of Guns N’ Roses, Mr Big and Jour­ney) or sim­ply be­cause they’ve heard that Sons Of Apollo like to rock. But the Assem­bly Hall is packed with a good-na­tured crowd who are happy to rock out with Port­noy and his pals.

And rock out Sons Of Apollo most cer­tainly do, mix­ing the bulk of their self-ti­tled de­but with Dream The­ater’s Just Let Me Breathe and Lines In The Sand, the onus through­out be­ing very much on hav­ing a good time.

And, boy, do the band look like they’re en­joy­ing them­selves. Shapes are thrown, hair is tossed around, grins abound as the Sons Of Apollo party rides into town. Sure, when you’re deal­ing with mu­si­cians of this cal­i­bre you get the ex­pected so­los, but they’re well enough paced and placed within the set to as­suage the bore­dom some of us might feel see­ing Billy Shee­han strut his four-stringed stuff while his band­mates de­part the stage.

The star of the show, how­ever, is singer Jeff Scott Soto. Hav­ing pre­vi­ously toured with the likes of Tal­is­man, Jour­ney and, er, Yng­wie Malm­steen, Soto’s bet­ter known to melodic rock fans, but he can re­ally wrap his vo­cal round a prog-meets-heavy-rock tune like God Of The Sun or Labyrinth. And his solo spot, tack­ling Queen’s ma­jes­tic The Prophet’s Song, is the stand­out mo­ment of the night, with the au­di­ence join­ing in for the rous­ing ren­di­tion of Save Me that fol­lows.

Like many of the projects Port­noy’s thrown him­self into since he left Dream The­ater, prog is only part of the equa­tion. Sons Of Apollo sound like how Deep Pur­ple might have if they had they gone a bit prog back in the day. That might not be to ev­ery­one’s taste, but man is it great fun to watch.

“SHAPES ARE THROWN, HAIR

IS TOSSED AROUND, GRINS ABOUND AS THE SONS OF APOLLO PARTY RIDES INTO TOWN.”

ABOVE: JEFF SCOTT SOHO ROCKS OUT. TWO HEADS ARE BET­TERTHAN ONE: GUI­TARIST BUMBLEFOOT (LEFT) AND BAS­SIST BILLY SHEE­HAN.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.