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Metal/Prog Metal Concert Reviews

Michael Schenker

Group - Live in Libertyville, Illinois, March 2012

Review by Greg Olma

Michael Schenker and UFO have always shared a special bond with Chicago and the Chicagoland area.  It all started with most of Strangers In The Night being recorded at Chicago’s International Amphitheatre and it has gone on in the 1980s, 90s, and now 2000s.  When Schenker comes to town, people who normally don’t go to concerts come out in droves to check out the guitar master.  I attended the first show of a two night stint at the Fuel Room in Libertyville, Illinois and Michael Schenker did not disappoint.

The performance started with the instrumental “Into The Arena” before Robin McAuley joined the band for a energetic version of “Armed And Ready.” McAuley, as you probably know, was vocalist for quite a few years back when the band was called McAuley Schenker Group.  This time around, he is the vocalist for the American tour with Doogie White playing the role in Europe.  McAuley sounded great and his vocals were really good even when challenged with Scorpions’ tunes “Lovedrive” and “Another Piece Of Meat.”


Greg Olma
 
Greg Olma
   

The concert was mostly UFO and MSG tunes but that didn’t stop them from playing “Lover’s Sinfony” off the new Temple Of Rock disc.  They also went back and played “Save Yourself” from the McAuley Schenker era.  All of that was great but the vast majority of the audience came to see the “hits” from Schenker’s back catalogue.  On this front, he didn’t let the fans down and played a healthy selection of UFO.  The usual tunes were performed like “Too Hot To Handle,” “Lights Out” and “Rock Bottom” but I was surprised that he dusted off “Natural Thing” and “Shoot Shoot” for this tour.  Those cuts are more UFO than Schenker, even though he was one of the writers.  The band also pulled out some MSG classics like “On And On,” “Let Sleeping Dogs Lie” and “Attack Of The Mad Axeman.”


Greg Olma
     

Schenker has always brought along quality players, but let’s face it, everyone is there to watch the guy playing the guitar.  Throughout the evening, he made his guitar sing while making it all look incredible easy.  His soloing was flawless and he still manages to impress even though we have heard the songs hundreds of times.  Schenker shows no signs of slowing down and seeing him concert is proof that he has many years to “tread the boards” of the world’s stages. 

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Greg Olma
     
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2012  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.
You'll find concert pics of this artist in the Music Street Journal members area.
 
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