» Soul SirkUS 2005 05 24  
« back

Reviewed by Thomas
Tourname: World Play Tour
City: Gothenburg, Sweden
Venue: Storan, Club Stage
Date: 24 May 2005
Soul SirkUS set length: 105 minutes


Soul SirkUS

Soul SirkUS is a relatively new band with only one album released so far, but you cannot exactly call the members in this band newcomers. However, Soul SirkUS is not that well known and a little introduction of the members seems to be in order. First there is Neal Schon on guitar with a past in Journey, Bad English and Hardline while the vocal duties is taken care of by Jeff Scott Soto from Talisman who's voice could be heard in the movie Rock Star and he also has a past with Yngwie Malmsteen and Axel Rudi Pell. And then there is Marco Mendoza that handles the bass and has played with Whitesnake and Ted Nugent as well as with Thin Lizzy and finally drummer Virgil Donati which has played in the bands Ring Of Fire and Planet X among others.

It was not that much of people in the crowd, I would estimate it to somewhere around two hundred to two hundred and fifty heads in the crowd but that did not seem to matter for Soul SirkUS, they gave a show like there would have been thousands in the crowd. It was a good start with a number of songs from their album and the band was definitely on top. The album is pretty good but when songs like My Sanctuary, New Position and Periled Divide is played live then you can really feel that they are in their right environment. They get a completely new dimension as they become much more powerful. The voice from Jeff Scott Soto was on top and to me he proved once again that he is one of the best vocalists around, even if it sounded like his voice was getting fatigued at the end of the show. The guys have a great deal of routine and it showed. A perfect delivery of the songs and a confident appearance on stage made this tight band sound very good.

Not much need of discussing the selection of songs since they have only released one album and covered most of it this evening. And to fill up their setlist they threw in some cover songs and Soul SirkUS is probably the best cover band I have ever seen if you put it like that. First out was Stand Up from the movie Rock Star that made me wonder if it hadn't been more believable if Jeff Scott Soto had acted in the movie instead, at least on stage he is convincing enough and he's got the moves to. And we also got to hear Crazy (Seal) and not least Purple Rain (Prince) with an outstanding vocal performance from Jeff Scott Soto while Marco Mendoza handled Ted Nugent's song Hey Baby and showed that he too has a good voice.

As Jeff took a break it was time for some individual efforts with the rest of the guys left on stage. Neal Schon took over the vocals and delivered a high-class version of Voodoo Child with a great amount of great guitar playing. A bit too much if you ask me but most people in the crowd seemed to be ecstatic over his skills with the strings. The song turned into a jam session and then it was Virgil Donati's turn to check that all his drums were in position. It was a good drum solo backed up by Marco and Neal still jamming but not that much out of the ordinary really. Next up was Marco Mendoza, and his bass solo was something more than the usual. Using his mouth making drumming sounds as much as using his bass, this jazzy moment with him alone on the stage was really cool. It was amazing to see these great musicians having their moments on stage and there were no doubts that they like this part of the show very much when they is living it out with their instruments. But it held on a bit long for my taste, perhaps it is because I am no musician myself and therefore not see what it is they do that is so great for so long?

One highlight of the show was Soto's medley of Journey songs on piano all by himself on stage. Compared with the other solo parts this was the one I enjoyed the most. So far it had been a good start that stroke the pace of the concert which in my opinion slowed down a bit in the middle with all the showcasing, but the ending was magnificent. The four last songs Another World, Peephole, I Wanna Set You Higher and Praise were truly amazing. The intensity and the energy from Soul SirkUS in these songs made the dynamic ending of the concert something that I will remember for a long time.

Neal Schon promised to return to Sweden again, with Soul SirkUS in the beginning of 2006 and with Journey later that same year. If I should take a wild guess, you will probably be able to see Journey at Sweden Rock Festival in 2006. Remember where you read it first, folks.

7 chalices of 10

SETLIST (might be slightly inaccurate)

Highest Ground
New Position
Friends 2 Lovers
Periled Divide
My Sanctuary
Stand Up
Soul Goes On
Voodoo Child
Virgil Donati Drum solo
Marco Mendoza Bass solo
Hey baby
Jeff Scott Soto Journey Medley
Purple Rain
Another World
I Wanna Set You Higher

Related links: