Simon Phillips is a true "Drummers Drummer"; especially when considering his stellar career in which he has played with some of the greatest in Rock! At the age of 16 Phillips landed his first professional gig in the stage production of Jesus Christ Super Star. When he was 19, Phillips was in the super prog group: 801. The following year he toured with Jack Bruce, at age 23 he toured in Jeff Beck's band. Afterwards he toured with Pete Townsend and The Who. He also did studio sessions with Roxy Music, Gary Moore, Mike Oldfield as well as his 8 plus years in Toto! However it seems Phillips found his creative groove in his Protocol project which was in full force at Yoshi's in Oakland on November 22, 2022!
Protocol V features a very talent ensemble featuring Ernest Tibbs on bass guitar, Otmaro Ruiz on keyboards, Jacob Scesney on saxophone and Alex Sill on guitar. Phillips and his ensemble performed their album Protocol V in its entirety. They opened their set with "Jagannath". The melodic and moving "Nyanga" was a real crowd pleaser featuring great keyboards from Otmaro Ruiz! A highlight of their set was "Undeviginti" (which is Nineteen in Latin) and featured a complex 19 over 16 time signature featuring solos from all especially a soprano sax solo by Jacob Scesney. a fusion lovers nirvana!
The sold out crowd at Yoshi's were completely spellbound during "The Long Way Home" which was followed by a masterful drum solo by Phillips! The crowd barely had to time to catch their breath following Phillips solo when the band broke into their closing tune "Manganese" which left the audience of 320 clapping and cheering for more... but to no avail.
This show at Yoshi's was the next to last show for Protocol V in 2022; hopefully there will be a possible Protocol VI in the coming new year.