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Sons Of Apollo – World Tour Review

Sons Of Apollo World Tour – Manchester Academy 2 (Oct 10, 2018)

By Adam McCann

Set List:
God Of The Sun
Signs Of The Time
Divine Addiction
Just Let Me Breathe
Labyrinth
Billy Sheehan Bass Solo
Lost In Oblivion
The Prophet’s Song
Save Me
Alive
The Pink Panther Theme
Opus Maximus
Derek Sherinian Keyboard Solo
Lines In The Sand
Ron Thal Guitar Solo
And The Cradle Will Rock…
Coming Home

 

 

When the latest project from Mike Portnoy Sons of Apollo released their fantastic debut album ‘Psychotic Symphony’ in 2017, the world held their breath with expectations for another Portnoy project to fizzle out into the ether. Sons of Apollo featured an excellent stellar cast which included Mr. Big and Winery Dogs bassist and bandmate of Portnoy, the sublime Billy Sheehan, one time Dream Theater keyboardist and current tinkler for Black Country Communion Derek Sherinian, virtuoso solo guitarist Ron Thal, commonly known as Bumblefoot and versatile frontman Jeff Scott Soto, yet, contrary to originally thought that this band would explode in a clash of egos, Sons of Apollo seem more balanced than any band of this ilk. The only downside to ‘Psychotic Symphony’ is that with a line-up of this standard, outside commitments were bound to be an issue, leading to speculation that a tour may not occur. However, Sons of Apollo surprised everyone when a tour was announced and tonight, they close their UK tour with a final show at the Academy 2 in Manchester.

Joining Sons of Apollo on the UK leg of their tour are the interesting instrumental progressive metal band Schiermann. For those who chose to enter the venue early, they were in for a guitar masterclass as Schiermann created a technical musos wet dream. Many other concerts would have trouble holding the audience’s attention for this length of time, but Schiermann was here supporting progressive metal royalty and their technical riffs, extra stringed guitars and djent tinged riffs lead many of the audience from scratching their head at the name Schiermann, to reaching into their pocket, pulling out their phone and recording the name for later digestion. If there was any tour for Schiermann to go down well, then it was this one and tonight, the band impressed tenfold with their 45-minute set.

Following Schiermann, it was time for Sons of Apollo to take to the stage. Taking their cue from Van Halen’s ‘Intruder’ from ‘Diver Down’, the band launch into the opening track from ‘Psychotic Symphony’ the utterly fantastic ‘God Of The Sun’ as Jeff Scott Soto makes his appearance looking like an assassin from the ‘Assassin’s Creed’ series. From the off, Sons of Apollo mean business playing the entirety of their debut album interspersed with tracks not only from various members careers such as ‘Lines In The Sand’ and ‘Just Let Me Breathe’ from Dream Theater’s ‘Falling Into Infinity’ album, but also tracks which inspired the band with tracks from both Van Halen and Queen. Tonight, Van Halen would rear their head numerous times, not only would Sons of Apollo cover ‘And The Cradle Will Rock…’ during their encore, but Derek Sherinian would include both ‘Eruption’ and ‘Spanish Fly’ into his solo spot whilst Ron Thal would incorporate ‘Mean Street’ into his guitar solo.

One thing is certain tonight and that is the band look as if they are on top of the world and enjoying themselves. Soto proves that he is an underrated frontman, never once letting up interacting with both the audience and his band members whilst the human metronome Mike Portnoy was smiles all around, the man has not looked this happy in years and who can blame him, tonight Sons of Apollo are on fire. Yes, tonight there are a lot of instrumental showcases to fill time, but with a band of musicians of this calibre, each note is delivered in a virtuoso style, but never one of an elitist nature as the band easily manage to keep the attention of the audience.

Sons of Apollo certainly surprised the heavy metal world with a tour, hopefully the stars will align for a new album sometime in 2019/2020, but as for the band, happy trails to you, until we meet again!

 

MHF Magazine/Adam McCann

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