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Soto, Jeff Scott: One Night in Madrid (2CD/DVD)

For many Jeff Scott Soto fans, especially those in America, the DVD version of One Night In Madrid might be the closest they'll come to seeing the man perform live. After his all-too-brief stint in Journey, Soto went back to touring lands in which the natives adore him. Unfortunately, the United States doesn't quite fall into that category. I've been a Soto fan for years, consistently arguing that he could be the ultimate rock star. (If you caught him in his glory when he toured with Journey, you know how much new life he breathed into that outfit, and last year's self-titled debut from W.E.T. was one of the best melodic-hard rock albums I've heard in years!)

On One Night in Madrid available as a two-CD set and a single DVD (each sold separately) Soto proves his mettle with a 92-minute set captured on April 18, 2009, in the city in which he played the first gig of his first world tour six years earlier. With an all-South American band that sounds like its been playing together for years, Soto takes fans on a thrilling journey through all phases of his solo career (plus a few Talisman classics and an astonishing number of covers tunes by everyone from Queen and Seal to the Village People and Vanilla Ice).

Things get started on the well-shot DVD with a colorful, acid-washed video montage of Soto and his music over the years before segueing into "21st Century," the first cut on Soto's latest, funkified album, Beautiful Mess. From there, Soto and his band rip through a flurry of songs before the band takes a break and the star of the show settles in behind the keyboard. In a five-song "Piano Medley," Soto shows off his softer side with some of his most memorable songs, stopping intermittently for singer and audience to adore one another. But his funky side resurfaces throughout the show, culminating in a whopping 15-song "Funky Medley" encore that is as unexpected as it is entertaining. The well-paced show concludes (pre-encore) with Talisman's biggest single, "I'll Be Waiting" and it stands as a fitting tribute to the band's original bassist Marcel Jacob, who died less than six months after this concert was recorded.

A video tribute featuring vintage footage of Jacob and Soto highlights the DVD's bonus features, which also include eight (probably) seldom-seen promo videos and more than an hour's worth of tedious footage dubbed "Goofballs" in which Soto and his band act like juveniles. I dare you to sit though all six "Goofballs" episodes; they are the only blemish on an otherwise decent DVD package.

If you had to choose between the CD or DVD formats, I would opt for the video. Soto is a showman, and his band plays with contagious enthusiasm. Besides, if you're a hardcore fan, you likely already have the studio versions of these songs in your Jeff Scott Soto CD collection. Plus, it's not everyday that you get to see a rock stud like Soto in action.

Track Listing:
Disc 1:
1) Intro
2) 21st Century
3) Colour My XTC
4) Soul Divine
5) Our Song
6) Drowning
7) Edu Drum Solo
8) Funky Jam
9) Jorge Guitar Solo
10) Mountain
11) Eyes of Love
12) Testify
13) Band Introductions
14) Broken Man

Disc 2:
1) Hey
2) Frozen/Crazy
3) Piano Medley: If This Is the End/Holding On/Nobody Said It Was Easy/4 U/Just Between Us
4) Gin & Tonic Sky
5) JSS/Jorge Workshop
6) I'll Be Waiting
7) Encore: Stand Up
8) Funky Medley: We Will Rock You/I Love Rock & Roll/Play The Funky Music/Jungle Boogie/The Roof Is On Fire/Brick House/Shake Your Booty/King Fu Fighting/Yo Baby Yo/Macho Man/The Right Stuff/Ice Ice Baby/Stayin' Alive/Another One Bites the Dust/Walk This Way

DVD Track Listing:
Same (but on one disc), plus promo videos, "Goofballs" videos and Marcel Jacob Tribute

Added: May 29th 2010
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Official Jeff Scott Soto Web Site
Hits: 1841
Language: english

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Soto, Jeff Scott: One Night in Madrid (2CD/DVD)
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-08-30 18:07:34
My Score:

I have to come clean and admit that I was one of the dissenting voices who was confounded by the funky almost pop like approach of Jeff Scott Soto's most recent studio effort Beautiful Mess. So considering that with a new line up in place and no less than seven of the songs from that album making an appearance on One Night In Madrid, it would be dishonest of me to suggest that I wasn't a little apprehensive about sitting through one hour and forty minutes of JSS live, especially with the closing number being titled "Funky Medley". However after only three songs of the well shot and produced DVD, not only was I thoroughly enjoying what I was watching, I was also completely reappraising JSS's recent output.

The track listing is actually a great cross section of Soto's career with tracks from most of his solo outings as well as a couple of Talisman songs and the now standard cover of Seal's "Crazy" and "Stand Up" from the Rock Star movie soundtrack. The biggest revelations were twofold, firstly was that all the music lifted from Beautiful Mess contains far more bight and urgency on stage and become fantastic crowd pleasing tracks. Secondly is the stunning fret work of guitarist Jorge Salan who blazes through all the songs with a deft touch and subtlety often lacking in this genre. However when he is required to step things up and take control of the songs, boy does he deliver! Soto himself is on top of his game and whilst the small stage doesn't allow him to be quite the usual ball of energy that he can be live, his enthusiasm is infectious and vocally he is a strong as ever.

The intimate setting for the show and the excellent camera work and direction give the feel of the DVD having a (probably) bigger budget than it really did and with a superbly paced set and wonderful performances from not just Soto and Salan but the whole band, One Night In Madrid is a hugely enjoyable visual and aural experience and one which fittingly moulds all the aspects of JSS's career. Whether it's the sombre, yet beautiful "Gin & Tonic Sky", the funky kick of "21st Century", or Talisman tracks "Colour My XTC" and "Frozen", the full gamut of Soto's versatility is completely convincing and his range of styles are a joy. Other standouts come in the shape of the uncompromising "Hey" and "Crazy", which JSS has made his own, however, in truth you can dip in and out of this DVD at any stage and be totally engrossed. The "Funky Melody" that so worried me before I slipped the disc in the DVD player also turns out to be a triumph with everything from "Play That Funky Music" and "Stayin' Alive" to "Another One Bites The Dust" and "Brick House" being linked together entertainingly and humorously and it's worth watching for the enthusiastic, if somewhat confused looks in the audience!

Extras wise there are a good selection of video clips and "goofballs", which add to the value of the package as well as a touching tribute to Jeff's ex band mate Marcel Jacob which is a welcome addition.

Jeff Scott Soto's career has taken many twists and turns, however One Night In Madrid captures the attitude and joy that he brings to all his music and thanks to that and some excellent performances is a DVD that I will watch again and again.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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