Cleveland, Ohio – I was walking up to the venue this last Saturday for the show and for some reason the crowd was outside , not just outside but down the street and past a few other buildings .I am thinking to myself what is going on here I have covered many shows at the Beachland Ballroom and I have never seen a crowd like this . I inquire to some of the others in line what is going on and they say simply two words ” Neal Morse” My curiosity got peaked as I have never seen them before and I asked , have you been to many shows and almost in unison they uttered ” are you kidding ? ” and that was lesson I soon learned .
I had about an hour wait in line to learn why people traveled far and wide to see them and why, and what I learned was simple . You don’t need constant radio airplay to have legions of rabid fans . What you need is good songwriting , excellent musicianship and memorable songs and guess what the Neal Morse Band has it in spades .
The show opened with a dark and mysterious lighting and sounds , almost like a Broadway musical and soon burst into a night of theatrics , musicianship and an very appreciative crowd .
I asked fan ” Sue” and her husband what they favorite songs that night were and they stated ” A Momentary Change “, ” Freedom Calling “, ” Vanity Fair ” and ” A Love That Never Dies “.I have to concur with them .
The band members are singer/guitarist/keyboardist Neal Morse, drummer Mike Portnoy, bassist Randy George, keyboardist Bill Hubauer and guitarist Eric Gillette
The band is in support of the latest release called THE GREAT ADVENTURE now available at your favorite outlets .
Cleveland, Ohio–The new super-group ” Sons Of Apollo ” played Cleveland’s House of Blues last week . In celebration of an awesome performance we decided to list the five reasons Sons of Apollo are not to be missed this summers concert season.
The debut album of Sons of Apollo ( The God of Music ) is a true masterpiece . The name of the band aptly suits them as well. A son of an ancient God is a demi god and the musical legacy of the band, uniquely puts them in that category. Songs such as “God of the Sun”, “Coming Home”, “Signs of the Time”, “Labyrinth”, “Alive”and “Lost in Oblivion” are true masterpieces. Usually egos of musicians of this caliber come into play in both recording and performing but not with group, true professions and the music shows it .
The title says is all . The are a musician’s musician with skill and creativity . A fretless bass is rare in a metal band let along a fretless guitar just at Ron” Bumblefoot ” Thal plays live let along a double neck guitar . If that’s not enough Billy Sheehan played a double neck bass so the audience was in awe and wonder . I got a kick out of seeing the audience just stare in wonder watching the performance . To say that the fans were into it is the understatement of the year to say the least.
The bands history of projects and bands and guest spots are like a NFL playbook going crazy. Jeff Scott Soto alone has appeared on thousands of songs with about every major artist in the metal and hard rock community .Hi take on Irons Maiden’s “Aces High” is one of my favorites as well as his work on the Rock Star soundtrack . The combined history of the rest of the band is just as intricately interwoven between bands such as ” The Winery Dogs ” , ” Dream Theater “and many more.
4-Ron”Bumblefoot ” Thal
It take a man above men to take over for Slash in ” Guns N’ Roses ” but Ron did it for eight years. His guitar work is legendary but even better then that is his attitude. When I worked in radio I had the opportunity to interview him for a while and he was gracious and down to earth. He is a fan favorite and loves hanging with the audience so walk up and tell him hello someday.