There is probably no argument among music fans about Micheal Schenker being one the true Rock Guitar Gods of our time. His accomplishments on the guitar are legend due to his many successful recordings with The Scorpions, UFO and finally as a solo artist with The Michael Schenker Group. Recently, Michael took MSG and some of his best material back on the road for a few shows in my vicinity. Added to the luck would be my chance to see Stu Hamm playing the bass (since he is one of the greatest bassists ever). However, upon arrival I was told that this was not to be the case as Stu only records with Mike and does not tour. The members of the MSG that night were Chris Logan: Vocals, Rev Jones: Bass, Pete Holmes: drums and Wayne Findley: keyboards & guitar. I was never able to see Mike in years past so I was glad to get the chance and to bring the report to you all.
I found the venue Mulcahy's to be an outstanding place to see a show. There is a great stage that can accomodate a sizable act. The stage is also about 5 feet off ground and once can get relatively close but not have difficulty seeing from across the far side of the room. The club itself is a roomy place with the sound system being excellent, clear and not too much to endure. The lights were also in good form. The audience excitement level was also very high this evening as it was the first time Mike has toured in a number of years. It seemed to me that all of the audience were die-hard Schenker fans. I totally enjoy being at a show like that because the energy level is 100% real. I have always felt that the performer was able to tell the difference when this is the case.
While I was initially sad about Stu Hamm not being there I ended up being impressed by Rev Jones. This guy is a madman on the bass. His playing is excellent and his showmanship above par. Drummer Holmes was behind a massive double-bass Tama kit with many cymbals and held up the evening with power and finesse. I always liked seeing a big kit onstage since it reminds me of the glory days of hard rock music.
When Mike hit the stage the response was that of resounding approval. I was lucky enough to have a spot just near his amplifier and since Mike stays there most of the set this area proved to be quite the good vantage point. The scope of Mike’s MSG Material is very wide as they have numerous albums out, so it was nice to see him place a good number of classic UFO Material in the set. I have listed these numbers with an asterisk on the set list so you can see for yourself. The group was tight and the sound full with singer Chris Logan belting out the vocals without a misstep. His long blonde hair and good looks making him a great visual as well as powerhouse vocalist. He did a great job on the UFO especially. Wayne Findlay was on the far end of the stage so I could only hear him. He did not disappoint.
I was able to take a lot of pictures from my spot, so they are provided also. I wish I could have gotten more of the drummer but there was no moving in that immediate section. I also said the set played was a killer one, please take a look.
When the show was done Mike stuck around to sign his latest release 'Thank You 4'. A collection of acoustic instrumental songs. The CD was onsale at the venue, but being a short funded night I decided to pass on this $20 purchase. However, I had hoped to get my CD booklet of 'One Night At Budokan' & 'The Essential Michael Schenker Group', yet no one around me seemed to have any similar items I decided to pass on this.
I mentioned at the beginning that this was my first chance to ever see MSG. Given the fact that he does not tour all that much, it is my personal recommendation to go see him when he makes an appearance in your area. It is a night of great heavy rock and roll. You will most certainly enjoy yourself. I did.
Official Web Site: www.MichaelSchenkerHimself.com
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