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SONS OF APOLLO In Orlando, FL With Photos!

By Alex Yarborough, Orlando Contributor
Sunday, February 18, 2018 @ 9:54 AM

With Guest SIFTING At The Plaza Live, February 11

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All Photos By Alex Yarborough

Florida metal fans were the first to witness a full concert performed by new supergroup SONS OF APOLLO, on tour promoting their 2017 debut album Psychotic Symphony. The band features the talent of giants Jeff Scott Soto (vocals), Billy Sheehan (bass), Mike Portnoy (drums), Derek Sherinian (keyboards) and Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal (guitar). These musicians are all virtuosos, and at the top of their game. To be able to witness this band was a real treat. After several warm up shows on the Monsters Of Rock Cruise, the band was finally able to kick ass on solid ground, and play a full set at Orlando’s best venue, The Plaza Live.

First to the stage was Los Angeles’ SIFTING, a four-piece that performed a thrash/prog hybrid that went over well with the audience. This band has tons of energy and talent, and the set was over too quickly it seemed. I’m sure we’ll hear from them again very soon!

SONS OF APOLLO took the stage to the strains of VAN HALEN’s “Intruder” (the intro to “(Oh) Pretty Woman” from Diver Down) and blasted straight into the Psychotic Symphony opening track “God Of The Sun”. The energy was palpable at this point, as this band really clicks live! There was a spark coming from the band. The next song was the powerful “Signs Of The Time”. You can view video of the song’s performance below. Next, the instrumental “Figaro’s Whore” which serves as the intro to “Divine Addiction” was played. The band then conjured up some DREAM THEATER, (Portnoy and Sherinian are ex-members), playing two songs from 1997’s Falling Into Infinity: “Just Let Me Breathe” and later to close the set, “Lines In The Sand”. “Labyrinth” and “Lost In Oblivion” were full of twists and turns, as on the album. Every song from Psychotic Symphony was played in this show, with much enthusiasm and skill. It was cool to see Sheehan’s double necked bass, and Bumblefoot’s double necked guitar, both of which were played the entire show.

The band threw in a few surprises other than the DREAM THEATER songs. There was a keyboard solo by Sherinian, a bass solo by Sheehan, and a cover of the Pink Panther theme by Bumblefoot. The man’s skills on the guitar should not be questioned… he really is a fun guitarist to watch. Any band featuring Jeff Scott Soto prowling the stage is going to be a real feast, and Jeff performed a vocal solo to prove that point. “Alive” was given a QUEEN-flavored intro highlighting “The Prophet’s Song” (from A Night At The Opera) and “Save Me” (from The Game). Jeff was part of the QUEEN EXTRAVAGANZA touring package in the past. QUEEN is his favorite band, and it shows.

Speaking of Jeff Scott Soto, the man is a supremely talented musician– an expert at his craft, really. His name should be a household word at this point. Mike Portnoy introduced him as one of his favorite vocalists of all time, and I’d agree with that sentiment. I’ve seen Jeff perform in the last year alone with three different acts: His solo band, SOTO in a small club, with TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA in a packed arena, and now with SONS OF APOLLO in a medium-sized theater. All performances were passionate and despite Jeff’s success, he remains a class act, humble and approachable.

The encore featured a brilliant cover of VAN HALEN’s “And The Cradle Will Rock…” and ended with the SOA instant classic “Coming Home”. The VAN HALEN sandwich was complete with “Happy Trails” being played over the PA as the band took its bows. This was an incredible performance by this relatively new band comprised of rock veterans. I feel lucky to have seen them, and I look forward to my next opportunity to see them perform.

Check out some more photos from the show!
All Photos By Alex Yarborough

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