World Play European Tour
25/5 ? 2005
By: Anders Sandvall
Pictures by: Anders Sandvall
Before this super group came to Sweden they had been on the road in the U.S. for quite a time, and before they entered the stage in Malm? they had been in both Stockholm and Gothenburg and the rest of Europe. The European tour ended the say after the Malm? show in Copenhagen Denmark at The Rock. I met all of the guys earlier during the day and they were really nice and told me that they all longed to get home to the States. Sweden was the only Scandinavian country the band visited except for Denmark.
Soul SirkUS debut album was released in April here in Europe and it have sold quite a lot actually, the first edition is sold out as well as the second and third one. That means that Soul SirkUS are the best selling bands in their label Frontiers Records history so far. In Sweden have the album climbed up to the sixth place on our hardrock chart.
There was as usual some problems at the doors and I wasn?t on the press list, something I was promised by the label so I had to go home and print out the mail from the label and show that to the bands manager and then I got in. But if that wasn?t enough I wasn?t allowed to take any pictures but after talking to the manager he gave in and promised me to take photos during the three first songs therefor the lack of pictures.
The band hadn?t got any support act and it was said the they should be on stage at 21.00 but they were 15 minutes late, and then they stood there:
Jeff Scott Soto ? lead vocals, keyboards
Marco Mendoza ? bass, b-vox
Neal Schon ? guitar, b-vox
Virgil Donati ? drums, b-vox
The showed kicked off with ?Highest Ground?, Soul SirkUS had hardly any equipment on stage, only the necessary stuff, and a big backdrop behind Virgil. Neal and Jeff worked really hard on stage and Neal ran across the stage most of the time. My expectations were really high, especially to see Neal live on stage in Europe and I think that a lot of the people in the crowd was there too see Neal it was a long time since he was here. But I was also anxious to see Jeff, he?s been a member of the Swedish band Talisman and they weren?t known to be a touring band exactly. It also seemed like the rest of the small crowd had high expectations too, unfortunately wasn?t the audience so big, it was about 300 people in a venue that takes in about 750.
The guys played for nearly 2 hours and the main focus was on promoting their debut album WORLD PLAY, 10 of the 17 songs was taken from WORLD PLAY like ?New position?, ?Another world?, ?Peephole?, ?Friends 2 lovers? and ?My sanctuary?. They also did songs from Jeff?s solo albums, songs from Talisman and covers of Hendrix old song ?Voodoo Child?, a cover where Neal took care of the vocals. They also did covers of ?Hey baby? (with Marco on vocals) by Ted Nugent and ?Purple Rain? by Prince, they also included a medley of Journey songs consisted only of Jeff and a keyboard.
Even tough Jeff can speak a little bit Swedish he kept to the English language all through the evening, he only said Thanks on Swedish, overall he didn?t do so much talking between the song. He thanked the crowd several times and he looked genuine happy to be on stage in front of the Malm? crowd, he told us that he recently got the news that the first edition of WORLD PLAY was sold out and they have had the album with them but unfortunately were the copies also sold out from the night before.
After ?Soul goes on? Jeff went off the stage and Neal took the mic and thanked everyone that could make it to the show this evening. He told us that it was fun to be in Europe and the last time he was here he thought was during the 70?s with the Santana band but he wasn?t quite sure. Neal said that Soul SirkUS are going to come back sometimes during January/February 06, he also revealed that Journey is going to come to Europe next summer to do festival gigs, something that Soul SirkUS also will be doing. I wouldn?t be surprise at all if they?re coming to play at the Sweden Rock Festival next year. The crowd screamed when he said that Journey is coming to Scandinavia ?cause Journey have never played here before.
Then it was time for Neal to handle the mic for a while in ?Voodoo Child? which worked pretty good I think. He also got the chance to show his skills on guitar ( something he did during the whole show by the way) and after that it was Virgils time. He did a not so impressive drum solo and after that came Marco with a bass solo on his six stringed bass guitar. He played the instrumental song ?Abailar to mundo? taken from the debut album, and he did a great effort to say the least, when that was over took Marco over the mic and everyone came back on stage and did the Ted Nugent song ?Hey baby?.
Then came Jeff up on the stage again and asked us if we was a bit crazy, the crowd screamed yes and Seal?s song ?Crazy? began. Originally was the cover made by Talisman, in a melodic hardrock style, but it worked just as well with Soul SirkUS. Then it was time to cool down for a while and all the guys except Jeff who took over the keyboard play went off the stage. He started off with a shorter medley which began with a song taken from Jeff?s solo album called ?If this is the end?, then followed the Talisman track ?I?ll be waiting? he didn?t have to sing almost anything by himself ?cause the audience sang it instead. After that came ?Who?s crying now?, ?Don?t stop believing? and ?Faithfully? all of them old Journey songs. It went pretty bad when Jeff wanted the audience to sing a long with the Journey songs, almost no one could sing the lyrics except for ?Faithfully? where the crowd surprisingly knew the lyric, apparently Journey aren?t so big in Malm?, which is strange because the people shouted real loud when Neal said that Journey was coming to Europe next year. After that came the band back up on stage in the second verse of the next song that was ?Purple rain? by Prince, one of Jeff?s favorite songs.
Three more songs came and the whole show ended with ?Alive?, as encores they did ?I wanna set you higher? and ?Praise? taken from Jeff?s solo album and the bands debut album. Then 2 hours had past and the show was over for this time. The sound this evening was excellent, not too loud or too discrete compared to certain band that have played at KB that have had some really rotten sound.
Sadly this evening went very fast and the band left us longing for more, the guys and the crowd looked happy and it sure was a terrific show they had invited us to. The only negative thing about this evening was the lack of people at the show, that probably depended on the high ticket price.
I know we don?t rate shows here in metal-rules but if we did I?d rate this night as a definite 5,0!.This was one of the best melodic hardrock show I have seen in a very long time, this genre can?t get much better than Soul SirkUS. Let?s hope that what Neal said is true that they are coming back to Europe next year to do this all over again, and when they do don?t you dare miss them.
Thanks to Mario de Riso at Frontiers Records for help with press pass to the show.
Also thanks to the tour manager of Soul SirkUS for help at the show.
Again, thanks to Kulturbolaget for taking big and small metal bands to Malm?, also thanks to the always so nice staff at the venue.
Friends 2 lovers
Stand up (Rock Star Movie)
Soul goes on
Voodoo Child (lead vocals by Neal)
Virgil Donati ? drum solo
Marco Mendoza ? bass solo
Hey baby (lead vocals by Marco)
Medley: If this is the end (Soto), I?ll be waiting (Talisman), Who?s crying now, Don?t stop believing, Faithfully (Journey) ? all with Jeff on keyboard
Purple Rain (cover of Prince)
I wanna set you higher (Soto)