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Michael Schenker

Michael Schenker Group – Live in Portland, Oregon, November 2012

Review by Larry Toering

While MSG has hit Portland frequently, this time they were in a larger venue. That was clearly better suited to their sound. Again, Pete Holmes is touring this leg of the ongoing Temple Of Rock tour. The group has had several vocalists during the tour and a couple changes of drummers, as well. In fact, the lineups have varied along the route, meaning that different regions have seen different MSGs.  It all becomes rather like a circus of musical chairs. No matter the lineup, though, each drummer and singer is exceptionally talented, making the real winner the audience. This all might confuse an outsider looking in, but it's very important to describe what's really going on with these shows. I’d have to say that I enjoyed David Van Landing as much as I’ve enjoyed any singer with MSG. He handled the UFO material particularly well, as tracks like “Love To Love” proved.

Each person in the band performed at the top of his game, particularly with MSG bass player Elliot Rubinstein making remarkable strides in the group. Longest running MSG member Wayne Findlay seems to be forever locked into things. Elements like that are what keep the MSG moniker intact no matter who's along for the ride. It was great to see them put on a show in a venue with much more room, concerning both the stage and the floor capacity. It was more like seeing Michael Schenker the way he is meant to be enjoyed, rather than from a Sardine can. To sum up the entire night of fabulous energy, I have to say I have not seen Mr. Holmes hit the skins that hard in many years and I've seen him at least over 20 times. He was absolutely on fire! A great time was had by all, and the Hawthorne was perfect for it.

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Larry Toering
Larry Toering
Larry Toering
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2012  Volume 6 at
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