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Sons of Apollo

Live in Houston, Texas May 2018

Review by Greg Olma

Sons of Apollo, for those of you who don’t know, are a new prog metal group featuring an all-star lineup.  Mike Portnoy and Derek Sherinian have worked together previously in Dream Theater and Portnoy has worked with Billy Sheehan in The Winery Dogs, but this new group brings all three together along with Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal and vocalist extraordinaire Jeff Scott Soto.

I hate to use the term “Super Group” because it tends to bring up perceptions of just a lot of instrumental showing off and leaving songs in a distant second in the order of priorities.  Sons of Apollo reverses that order and really focuses on the songs, melody, and music, while still showcasing their talents (which they have in spades).  For anyone who has heard their debut disc Psychotic Symphony, you know what I’m talking about, but for those of you who are new to the band, you not only need to check out the album you need to see them on tour.


Greg Olma
 
Greg Olma
 
Greg Olma

I was lucky enough to catch them this month in Houston and while I love the record, the tracks really came alive in concert.  Songs like “Alive," “Labyrinth” and “Coming Home” really stood out as having that additional “x-factor” when performed on stage.  Since this is the tour for their first record (and please don’t let this be the only record/tour), they performed the whole disc with additional material thrown in to fill out a headlining set.  A couple of Dream Theater cuts from Falling Into Infinity, namely “Just Let Me Breathe” and “Lines In The Sand," were given the “Apollo treatment."  They seemed heavier than I remember them, and with Soto on vocals, they had a slightly different sound; heavier but still recognizable.  Speaking of Jeff Scott Soto, during his solo spot, he sang a bit of Queen’s “The Prophet’s Song” and “Save Me," the latter accompanied with Thal on guitar.  The last of the covers was performed as the first encore.  Thal started with the intro to Van Halen’s “Mean Street” but then launched into “And the Cradle Will Rock...” with Soto singing the tune while in the crowd.


Greg Olma
 
Greg Olma
 
Greg Olma

As I mentioned earlier, the band is made up of all-stars, but there is no competition on stage.  Aside from a couple of solo spots, all the guys were up there performing as a band.  There was a sense of camaraderie among all the members.  Watching them have fun up on stage only made for a better concert.  It was almost a contest to see who was having more fun; the band or the crowd.  I think we won, but just barely. 


Greg Olma
 
Greg Olma
 
Greg Olma
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.
 
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