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Soul Sirkus - B.B. King's @ NYC (4.7.05)


A new band comprised of some old names from some familiar rock groups played a classic rock show at BB King's on April 7. The band Soul Sirkus is made up of gutarist Neal Schon (Journey), singer Jeff Scott Soto (Yngwie Malmsteen), drummer Virgil Donati (Steve Vai) and bassist Marco Mendoza (Whitesnake, Thin Lizzy) . The quartet have recorded a new cd and have hit the road. This is actually a reincarnation of the project Planet Us which was supposed to be made up af Schon, Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony. But of course the Van Hagar reunion sidetracked things just a bit. The much anticipated stop in New York was well received as these veteran showman hit the stage with as much bravado as they are used to when playing with their original bands. The mix brings out some Zeppelin style jamming as all four musicians are just stellar players that it would be really tough to criticize anything these guys brought to the table that night. The chemistry between the band was absolutely right on and the new songs were great live.

Some of the songs had a fusion type feel to them and all eyes were on Neal Schon's finger tips for most of the show. Schon of course did not disapoint in delivering the goods as usual. His guitar playing is some of the best around and you didn't really care if you heard any Journey that night because the new stuff sounded great plain and simple. After introducing the crowd to some of their newest tunes "Highest Ground" and "Alive" to name a couple the old pros treated the crowd to some covers by Jimmy Hendrix. After a quick breather Jeff Scott Soto sat behind a keyboard and wailed out some familiar Journey tunes that put goosebumps on everybodies neck not becuase he sounded like Steve Perry but because nobody expected it it to sound so incredible. This was of course one of the many highlights along with the cool exchanges between Marco Mendoza and Neal Schon on stage. The band will
continue to tour the states through the end of April and then they are headed to Europe.

For more info go to

--Scott Miller

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