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Non-Prog DVD/Video Reviews

Michael Schenker

Live in Tokyo 1997 DVD

Review by Greg Olma

Michael Schenker is regarded as one of the best guitarists in the world. He has influenced many respected players including current UFO guitarist Vinnie Moore. This DVD celebrates his career from the beginning to his then current album, Written In the Sand. It was filmed in Tokyo in 1997 when Michael was touring for The Michael Schenker Story. Those of you who tried to purchase this concert through his website but couldn't get them, here is your chance. The transfer from video to DVD is flawless with good menus and easy navigation throughout. I f you have never seen this concert, be aware that this is not some multi-camera shoot. This was filmed with one camera from the mixing desk. Since this was a smaller venue, the mixing desk is not that far away. You still get decent close ups and plenty of nice wide angle shots. The song selection is really what makes this DVD special. It truly is an all encompassing concert with songs from Lonesome Crow all the way to Written In the Sand. The band is tight with David Van Landing putting in a great performance. He had a difficult job of trying to sound like Klaus Meine, Graham Bonnet, and Phil Mogg, but he pulled it off admirably. Michael's performance throughout the entire show is spot on. It's performances like this one that justifies his "guitar god" status.

The bonus material is another concert that you could have ordered from Michael Schenker records. It was recorded on The Unforgiven World Tour, also filmed in Japan. The back cover lists this show as "bootlegged" and they were not kidding. It is also a one camera shoot but the quality is much worse. This really does have a bootleg feel to it. I did enjoy this show but mainly for the song "Three Fish Dancing" (labeled "3 Fish Dancing" on this DVD) off of Adventures Of the Imagination. I don't believe that US audiences ever got to see this song performed live so that alone makes it great viewing. There is also a recent interview with Michael tacked on the end. You can tell he is shy because he looks uncomfortable during this segment. It's not the greatest bonus material, but definitely worth checking out more than once. I recommend this DVD to all MSG fans but keep in mind; these are not full production videos. There is just so little visual material from Michael Schenker that any DVD out there is worth getting.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2006 Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

You'll find concert pics of this artist in the Music Street Journal members area.
 
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