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Michael Schenker

Group - Live in Rosemont, Illinois August 2010

Review by Greg Olma

It’s been a quite a while since Michael Schenker and his band of metal merchants played a support slot here in the Chicago-land area but I guess filling in the “special guest” slot on the Scorpions farewell tour was too good to pass up.  Since the band was given an hour on stage, they didn’t waste any time in getting the crowd going.  They started their set with two classics from the first record “Armed And Ready” and “Cry For The Nations” and from the first note, the audience was with them.  It’s fair to say that they were going to have an easy time winning the people over but that didn’t stop them from putting on a great show. 

Gary Barden, who has been back for a couple of years now, sounded great.  I always felt his voice has that same soulful-ness that Phil Mogg’s voice does and it fits Schenker’s playing perfectly.  Stepping forward to album number two, MSG performed another dose of fan favorites in “Let Sleeping Dogs Lie” and “Ready To Rock.”  At this point, it was easy to see why Schenker is held in such high regard as a guitarist.  His playing is fluid and dynamic, yet all the while being extremely melodic.  All of those trademarks were present when the band launched into his signature instrumental “Into The Arena.”  Helping the “mad axeman” with laying the foundation for his fret board assault were Rev Jones on bass and the legendary Carmine Appice on drums.  To round things out, Wayne Findlay lent his guitar and keyboard talents, making this one of the tightest bands Schenker has worked with.


Greg Olma
 
Greg Olma
   

It would not be a MSG show if Schenker didn’t pay homage to his former life as guitarist in UFO.  They played “Lights Out,” which surprised me because with limited time on stage, there was plenty of MSG material to choose from (not that I was complaining).  “On And On” was next before the guys finished off the show with a two more UFO tunes.  “Doctor Doctor” and Rock Bottom” were certainly crowd pleasers while the latter was shortened a bit to fit into the allotted time slot.  I’ve been to a number of Schenker shows and this one has to rank up there at the top as one of the best performance-wise.  I hope the band come though again but next time as headliners.

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Greg Olma
 
Greg Olma
   
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.
You'll find concert pics of this artist in the Music Street Journal members area.
 
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