Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Live At Firefest V 2008’  
THE BAND:
Howie Simon – lead guitar/vocals
Gary Schutt – bass/vocals
David Dzialak – drums/vocals
Jeff Scott Soto – Everything Else!


SET LIST:
CD I:
1.) “21st Century”
2.) “Colour My XTC” (prelude)
3.) “Soul Divine”
4.) “Our Song”
5.) “Drowning”
6.) Dave’s drum solo
7.) guitar jams
8.) “Mountain”
9.) “Eyes Of Love”
10.) “Testify”
11.) “Broken Man”
CD II:
1.) “Hey”
2.) “Crazy”
3.) piano melody (“If This Is The End”, “holding On”, “Nobody Said It Was Easy”, “4U’)
4.) “Gin And Tonic Sky”
5.) “I’ll Be Waiting”
6.) funky melody



     Puerto Rican descendant Jeff Scott Soto was born in Brooklyn, New York on November 4th, 1965. While Jeff was cutting his teeth on artists such from Queen and Journey to bands of Motown such as The Jackson 5 his peers were listening to bands such as Kiss.
     In late 1984, Jeff answered an open call for audition tapes by former Alcatrazz guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen. Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force featuring Jeff on vocals was released 1984. This release just featured his vocals on the songs “Now Your Ships Are Burned” & “As Above, So Below”. It was not until Malmsteen’s second solo release titled ‘Marching Out’, released August ’85 and the track “I’ll See The Light Tonight” when Jeff began paving his road to becoming one of the top premier vocalist of our generation. After leaving Rising Force Jeff bounced around from project to project the most surprising being the 1988 Kryst The Conqueror (pronounced Christ The Conqueror) which also included Jerry Only and Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein of The Misfits.
     In 1990 Jeff collaborated with his former Rising Force band mate, bassist Marcel Jacob and formed the European metal band called Talisman. Though Talisman did not tour extensively for this freshman release the band will in the end be one of Jeff’s greatest accomplishments. In 1992 Jeff found time to once again use an alias and sing the lead vocals for the project called Skrapp Mettle. 
    1992 brought Jeff together with German songwriter, guitarist Axel Rudi Pell for ‘Eternal Prisoner’. Released in 1992 ‘Eternal Prisoner’ will be the first of four studio releases the two will collaborate on. ‘Between The Walls’ (6/20/1994), ‘Black Moon Pyramid’ (11/30/1996), ‘Magic’ (1997), plus one live CD titled, ‘Made In Germany’ (1995). Throughout the nineties, though Jeff mainly split his time between the Axel Rudi Pell band & Talisman. Jeff not only found the time to recorded lead vocals for Takara releases titled, ‘Eternal Faith’ (1993), ‘Taste Of Heaven’ (1995), and ‘Blind In Paradise’ (1998). But also took the time to record the vocals on the soundtrack for the cartoon ‘Biker Mice From Mars’ (1993).
    Since 1983’s ‘Threshold’ Jeff had been involved in several projects with many credits to his name both as a lead & back-up vocalist. 2003 was going to be all about Soto. The first thing for Jeff was the release of his second solo CD titled, ‘Prism’ (2002). ‘Prism’ featured a who’s who of musicians from Jeff’s career including a duet with legendary lead vocalist Glenn Hughes on the track, “I Want To Take You Higher”.
   Soto began 2004 with the writing and recording of his third solo album titled, ‘Lost In Translation’. In addition, he performed at the January, 2004 NAMM show with Journey guitarist Neal Schon. This performance blossomed into a new project called Soul SirkUS. Jeff released ‘Lost In Translation’ which also featured Journey guitarist and Soul SirkUS guitarist, Neal Schon.     Soul Sirkus became Jeff’s main focus for 2005. Following the release of the band’s debut CD titled, ‘World Play’, Soul SirkUS spent all of April and May on tour, criss-crossing the United States and Europe. Jeff returned to Europe and South America for a solo tour in the fall of 2005, before returning home to begin work on his fourth solo release.  
     In July 2006, having just kicked off a major co-headlining tour with Def Leppard, Journey suddenly found themselves without a lead vocalist. Within a week and without the benefit of a rehearsal, Jeff found himself face to face with 20,000 screaming Journey fans. By the time the tour was over. It was official Jeff Scott Soto was the new lead vocalist for Journey.
     Just one month after announcing Jeff was the official vocalist of the band, they were announcing his departure. Jeff wasted no time after his announcement and released ‘Beautiful Mess’ in 2009.
     ‘Live At Firefest 2008’ marks Jeff Scott Soto’s 5th live solo album.  The CD was recorded live at Rock City, Nottingham, UK October 25th 2008.  This double CD contains 11 tracks on the first one and 6 on the second.  I will get to the downsides first.  There are only two bad points on the release.  The first is the guitar & drum solos.  Don’t get me wrong I completely understand the point; it gives the other members a break. However, I would rather the whole band take a break and there be short intermissions then hear a bunch of over the top solos (sorry however at my age I’ve seen it all).  The second downside is I would have love for Jeff to have encored with “Stand Up & Shout”.  Not that it not being on here takes away from the release it’s just one hell of an encore song!   Over the years there is one thing you can guarantee on.  That is Soto’s Performance!  This is one double live CD worth owning!!!!