Thursday, November 24, 2016

SOTO / Martyr's Asylum / Ghost of War @ Baltimore Soundstage 2/16/2016

I went to see Jeff Scott Soto's band SOTO ($16) up in Baltimore Soundstage. I saw Ariel, Juan, James, Lisa, Renea, Raul + su mujer, Ronnie, Zac, Gary, Dickey, and Bobbie. I was pretty excited to see Jeff Scott Soto, as I had not seen him live before- I was not sure what mix of material he would be playing, as I know he's got his solo, his band, and a variety of other bands he's been in (ex: Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force, W.E.T., Solo, Journey, Talisman, etc.).

View from the Back

Overall, it was a pretty weak turnout, even if it was a Tuesday. I recall counting around 50 people there. I thought I saw a local band leaving as I was arriving. This sucks, because I'm not sure if they'll stop here again. But why not tour with one or two more national bands, to increase the draw? I know not everyone can make every show, and sometimes school nights are hard, but was this show advertized?

I am a merch Viking

various flyers

Merchandise was slim, $5 fotos, @25 shirts, $60 backpacks(!!), and $20 CDs.

Juan Colon shreddin with Ronnie Peterson wailing
Unusually peaceful GHOST OF WAR

Locals Ghost of War played a couple new songs. I think this was the first show of new Puerto Rican guitarist Juan Colon (who did very well!). "Your Own Disease" was extremely heavy and I thought that was their best song. My notes indicate that some of the lyrics of "I Don't Believe In Love" were missed/forgotten. But they did such a great job that it didn't ruin it for me. Vocalist Ronnie still kills it every time! I enjoyed their set, but I didn't see all of it.

Martyr's Asylum

Hard rock band Marytyr's Asylum from Florida was direct support for SOTO. I'd never heard of them before this, and didn't hate their set. I thought they were decent, and I recall them being heavier than anticipated, but I don't really recall anything that made me want to go get a CD or get there early to see them specifically. Not that they were bad, they just didn't have any songs that pulled me in. They had one song that referenced Superman an Aquaman

man bun
man bun II

Jeff Scott Soto, who i didn't realize was Puerto Rican, and his band got to the stage shortly after and player for about 1.5 hours! He come on with a man bun (ugh) and mentioned that he the Pittsburgh fans got a rough show because he was sick. Thankfully, he had rested up enough to sounds pretty solid this evening. I thought I saw an iPad for lyrics on the ground, but I could have been mistaken


Unleash the hair Fury

Jeff had a pretty great sense of humour through the sickness and the low turnout. He joked about many things, including this evening was "SOTO-palooza," with the most opening bands! He was wondering what the people were here to hear, after there were those shouts for various songs, Journey? "Oh I won't sing that shit anymore...but HE does," Scott said, and pointed to the bassist, who started playing the intro on bass to "Don't Stop Believing." He was in very good spirits, and I thought if he sounded this good sick, how great is his at 100%?

Guitarist Jorge Salan was pretty solid
Some song notes, as I was not entirely familiar with all of Soto's catalog: "I'll be Waiting" sounds like Y&T's "Contagious," "XTC" sounds like Red Hot Chili Peppers (unfortunately), but much better.
He had some James Hetfield style "YEAH"s. He threw in some odd choices for cover snippets (see setlist below), like Madonna and Seal. I don't know why not just throw in a rocker or two. My favourite songs were the Yngwie and Steel Dragon (!!) covers, which sounded excellent. I thought the Soto stuff was good, but I only had heard maybe 15% of it before, so it was a bit of an uphill fight on that. Spanish guitarist Jorge Salan was killin it. I think the other guitarist and drummer were from Brazil! Looking back on this, there was a lot of representing this evening.


I am a Viking/ I'll See the Light Tonight \m/

STAND UP & SHOUT (Steel Dragon, not Dio)

Overall, Soto and his band were very good if not great performers. The tour lineup could have been stronger, for a better draw, but what can you do? I still had a very good time, and would definitely see him and recommend him to friends (although it's a hard sell for a lower tier (but high talent) act like him in Baltimore on a school night).

Next show: Led Zeppelin 2

Ghost of War (~9 - 9:25)

  • The Day I felt Nothing (new song)
  • Beautiful Lies
  • Your Own Disease (new song)
  • I Don't Believe in Love (Queensryche cover)

Martyr's Asylum (9:39- 10:10)

  • ? no escape
  • Minister of Sin
  • ?
  • ? (where is your Superman/ Aquaman)
  • Demon's Tongue

SOTO (10:30- 11:58)

  • Freak Show
  • Wrath
  • 21st Century
  • Break
  • Final Say
  • The Fall
  • Cyber Masquerade
  • Inside the Vertigo
  • Weight of the World
  • Sucker Punch
  • Don't Stop Believing (Journey bass tease only)
  • Soul Divine
  • Risk (instrumental)
  • Break Your Chains / Day By Day / Give Me a Sign / Colour My XTC / Dangerous / Just Between Us / Mysterious (This Time It's Serious) / Frozen (Madonna cover) / Crazy (Seal cover) / I'll Be Waiting / Billie Jean Bass (Michael Jackson) interlude / I'll Be Waiting end
  • I am a Viking/ I'll See the Light Tonight (Yngwie Malmsteen cover)
  • Stand up and Shout (Steel Dragon cover)
Updated 12/2/2016-added cut. 12/6/2016- backdated

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