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Non-Prog Concert Reviews

UFO

Live in Portland, Oregon, September, 2011

Review by Larry Toering

UFO landed in Portland with their A-game ready, considering Phil Mogg caught a cold when he arrived the previous day. He apologized for its affect on his performance, but I wouldn't have known the difference. To me, he sounded fantastic. Once they hit the stage it was all musical fireworks, as they roared through the classics and some newer stuff. A lot of it was aggressive as they could be, and they were eating up the crowd's attention and loving the reciprocation. Usually in a venue like this I expect the doors to blown wide off, but their sound was perfectly adjusted to where there wasn't any drawback from excess volume. By the time they played Loserwe were really getting into it, and totally enjoying the energy. They went on to rock the foundations of the theater with fury, and I'm so glad we were in attendence, because they killed it.

They seemed to share the stage generously, for how small it is, but they also did have their corners individually manned as well. Paul Raymond rules his side of the stage without hogging it, but this reduced some attention to him, as he was usually just busy concentrating on playing two instruments. There is something about a band like UFO, with an iconic vibe,. It's amazing how they work the crowd, something of a treat to witness, especially in today's musical environment. These guys get the job done on everything. Even the lights were perfectly dimmed with no glare to distract from anywhere in the venue. I wasn't on his end of the stage very often, but I could tell he was commanding everyone's attention over there when the situation called for it. He was clearly having tons of fun.


Scott Prinzing
 
Scott Prinzing
   

Vinnie Moore was quite a crowd pleaser, playing a variety of his own styles, to all of the Schenker standards as if they were his own. This is never easy for any guitarist, but he managed to ignore each and every such obstacle, and just get out there and do the business, and a great job he does. I spent more time with my eyes in his corner than anywhere else on the stage, so he also managed to keep me interested the entire show.  He definitely held down the floor with the best of them. I have to say he did make an impression on everyone, and rocked us at his very best. At least I felt that way, having witnessed him previously.  This is the best show I've seen him do. He really helped drive the mood through all of the great tunes, on everything from Lights Out and Doctor Doctor, right through Love To Love and “Too Hot To Handle,” but of course not in that order.


Scott Prinzing
 
Scott Prinzing
   

Original drummer Andy Parker was in great spirits, but then they're all stars up there together. He seemed to have the crowd eating out of his hands from beginning to end, including signing autographs and shaking hands with the entire front row, it seemed. This alone was worth the price of admission, but he delivered in every area, as well. I was particularly impressed with him and his fascinating character. It was such a great feeling to look up there and know it was the great Parker holding the ship down and keeping it together. All in all, he was the highlight of the show for me, as I am usually drawn to the front man, this kept my focus off of Mogg. Perhaps that is why I didn't hear any problems at all there, even if his cold created any. Everyone seemed to be having a blast every second of the way. It was a great night out with old friends and some hard rocking, old school style, just they way we like it. Get out to see them on this tour. You won't be disappointed, as UFO still put on a great show, and their massive spirit remains intact.


Scott Prinzing
 
Scott Prinzing
   
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  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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