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Michael Schenker

Group - Live In Tokyo: 30th Anniversary Japan Tour

Review by Gary Hill

This show was recorded in 2010 and featured a reunion of the 1980 lineup of the Michael Schenker Group. It’s a strong show and recorded quite well here. The lineup, in addition to Schenker is Gary Barden, Wayne Findlay, Neil Murray and Simon Phillips. It’s a great addition to any Schenker fan’s collection.

Track by Track Review
Disc 1
Welcome Howl

This is a fairly short introductory guitar solo.

Feels Like A Good Thing
A bit raw and definitely high energy, this is a real rocker.
Cry For The Nations

A little meatier, at times this feels a bit like Rainbow, but with a harder edge. The guitar solo section seems a bit less song driven than that band’s output generally was, though. There is a killer soaring guitar solo late in the track.

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie
This is the strongest cut to this point. It’s a real screamer and has a lot of substance in terms of the song structure, vocal arrangement and more. The guitar soloing is, of course, exceptional.
Armed And Ready
The riff that drives this one is classic. It’s another killer rocker and the audience sings along. This one feels quite a bit like UFO.
Victim Of Illusion
There’s a meaner texture to this, with the track feeling more metal. It’s another screamer that’s quite tasty.
Are You Ready To Rock
Another that’s more metallic, at times this reminds me a bit of Judas Priest. The vocals, though, are more in keeping with NWOBHM. There’s an audience sing-along section on this.
I Want You
The most metallic track to this point on the album, this one is quite mean.
A Night To Remember
This is less metallic and more of a hard rock tune. It’s cool, and a bit like UFO or Scorpions. It might not be the powerhouse that some of the other music here is, but it’s a nice bit of variety.
Into The Arena
An instrumental, this is certainly a guitar showcase and it includes some decidedly neo-classical music in the mix.
Disc 2
Lost Horizons
Starting with a guitar solo, this moves out into a slow  moving, hard rocking jam that’s built on one of the coolest riffs of the whole set. It calls to mind a harder rocking Deep Purple a lot of the time. This is one of the highlights of the set.
Rock My Nights Away
This is one of the most dynamic and intriguing cuts on show. Parts are almost progressive rock like, while others call to mind Iron Maiden. All in all, it’s a killer tune that is both a bit of variety and a highlight.
On And On
It just keeps getting better. This is another diverse track. It’s dramatic and powerful and also wanders towards prog rock at times. The audience sings along at points here.
Attack Of The Mad Axeman
In some ways, this really feels like an early Scorpions or UFO song. There’s a bit of a psychedelic edge and it moves through some intriguing territory. It’s another standout.
Ride On My Way
This number is more of a straight ahead rocker.
Rock Bottom
A classic UFO number, Schenker and company deliver this one in style. The vocals aren’t as strong as on the UFO versions, though. Still, when it’s this good, that only matters so much. The extended jam mid-track is just plain amazing. There’s a little bit of an audience sing along later in the track.
Dance Lady Gypsy
This is much more of a rock and roll number. It’s mellower than a lot of the other material and perhaps not at the same level as some of the other music. Of course, when you nestle a song between “Rock Bottom” and “Doctor Doctor” it’s hard for it to stand up.
Doctor, Doctor
Another classic UFO song, this one also works quite well here. It’s a great way to end the set in style.
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