Jeff Scott Soto
4th April 2013 – Limelight 2, Belfast
Jeff Scott Soto would open his ‘Damage Control’ European tour in the Limelight Belfast. Soto has spent a lifetime in the business and over the last three decades has been front man for bands such as Journey, Talisman and W.E.T. Over time he also enjoyed a successful solo career with ‘Damage Control’ being his fifth solo studio album. His set would include a mix of his wide repertoire.
Support for the night would come from Rapunzel a young act with a lead singer who looks like a baby Axl Rose, and the fantastic Million Dollar Reload who stepped in at last minute after Worldsend had to pull out. They did a great job in warming the crowd up for the main act and after Million Dollar Reload finished their set I made a mental note to check them out later.
The time had come for the man the crowd had been waiting for….. And from the moment Soto set foot on that stage he didn’t disappoint. With his rock star presence it felt like the Limelight transformed to an arena and Soto gave an arena sized performance. Opening his set with some of his solo work the line up began with ‘Take you Down’, ‘21st Century’ and ‘Damage Control’. Following this Soto moved onto a W.E.T cover ‘One Love’. There was plenty of banter with the crowd and mentions of his Irish twin Davy who despite being born on the same day looks decades older. Soto took a moment to wish band member Jorge Salan a happy birthday and bassist Davy Z surprised us all when he began playing Michael Jackson’s ‘Billie Jean’.
Then it was back to business again as Soto continued his set with ‘Soul Divine’, ‘Tears That I Cry’ and ‘Eyes of Love’ before performing ‘Risk’ a song by birthday boy and band member Jorge Salan. The last part of the set began with the Talisman song ‘Break Your Chains’ before Soto surprised all with a medley of Madonna’s ‘Frozen’ and Seal’s ‘Crazy’ highlighting his amazing vocal talents. Next up was another Talisman song followed with ‘I’ll Be Waiting’ before Soto made Ozzy Osbourne’s ‘Shot in the Dark’ his own. The time was nearing for Soto to say goodnight to Belfast but after his encore of ‘Give a Little More’ and ‘Stand Up’. It was a fantastic show but it left me with one question 30 years in the business? With a performance like that I would love to know what is Mr Soto’s secret.