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.
2) 21st Century
3) Colour My XTC
4) Soul Divine
5) Our Song
7) Edu Drum Solo
8) Funky Jam
9) Jorge Guitar Solo
11) Eyes of Love
13) Band Introductions
14) Broken Man
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