Review: Michael Schenker Fest, House of Blues, Las Vegas (27 March 2018)

Reviewer: Peter Scallan

The last time I saw Michael Schenker was when he supported Black Country Communion at the O2 Academy in Glasgow some years ago. Tonight’s venue is rather more salubrious at the House of Blues in the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas! Touring to support the new Michael Schenker Fest release with a plethora of vocalists, including the addition of Doogie White. There was no support listed on the evening and we were soon to find out why!

The set opened with Mr Schenker himself introducing the sensational rhythm section of Ted Mc Kenna, Chris Glen and Steve Mann before kicking off with ‘Into the Arena‘. What was clear right from the off is that Michael Schenker and his band were on fire. The first vocalist of the evening was introduced, Mr. Gary Barden. His mini set kicked off with ‘Let Sleeping Dogs Lie‘. From personal experience this is a difficult song to sing and Mr Barden acquitted himself pretty well. We were then treated to ‘Cry For The Nations‘ and ‘Attack of the Mad Axeman‘ before the first Schenker Fest song of the evening, ‘Messing Around’. Gary’s mini-set closed with ‘Armed and Ready‘. And what a great opening to the set it was too!

The next part of the set was opened up with the Scorpions instrumental ‘Coast to Coast‘ before Graham Bonnet was introduced and duly launched into one of my favourite MSG tracks the ‘Desert Song’. This was quickly followed by ‘Dancer‘, also from ‘Assault Attack‘ where Graham was joined on backing vocals by Gary Barden and Robin McAuley. Next up was ‘Night Moods‘ from the Schenker Fest album and Barden and Mc Auley continued with the backing vocals. We were then treated to ‘Searching For A Reason‘ and ‘Assault Attack‘ bringing Bonnet’s mini-set to a close.

The next part of the show was introduced by another instrumental in the form of ‘Captain Nemo‘ from the ‘Built to Destroy‘ album. Again this instrumental only to served to demonstrate just how good Schenker and the band were. We were then introduced to Robin McAuley properly. I always loved McAuley’s voice from the Grand Prix days and as they launched into ‘Bad Boys‘ it was clear he has lost none of his power, range and tone. He continued in that vein with ‘Save Yourself‘. However, he excelled himself with the outstanding ‘Anytime‘ which had the backing vocals of Messrs Barden, Bonnet and White. The opening song from the Schenker Fest album was next with the band rattling though ‘Heart and Soul‘ joined by the other singers on backing vocals again. The singers hung around for ‘Love Is Not A Game‘ from the ‘Save Yourself‘ album.

Next up was the section featuring Doogie White mostly running through ‘Temple of Rock‘ material starting with the instrumental ‘Searching for Freedom‘ before White joined them for ‘Live and Let Live‘. This was quickly followed by ‘Lords of the Lost and the Lonely‘ and then the excellent ‘Take Me To The Church‘ from the new album and the ‘backing vocalists’ returned. Next up was ‘Before The Devil Knows your Dead‘. I must admit I have never been a fan of the Temple of Rock albums but tonight these songs really rocked and Mr White put in a sterling vocal performance. The rest of the singers joined White for ‘Warriors‘ from the Schenker Fest album. The final song of the set was introduced by Michael talking about UFO’s ‘Strangers In The Night‘ live album and then launching into ‘Rock Bottom‘. Lasting about 18 mins the song again served to highlight just how superb Schenker and the band were with the vocals rotating. The encore started with ‘Doctor, Doctor‘ and Bonnet singing and then rotating round the other vocalists. We were then also treated to ‘Shoot, Shoot‘ sung by McAuley, ‘Natural Thing‘ sung by White and finally ‘Lights Out‘ with the vocalists rotating.

The set lasted approximately 160 mins but seemed to flash by in an instant. The set in effect consisted of five mini-sets broken by clever use of instrumentals and narrative from the Boss of Bass and Michael Schenker. In addition, the vocalists backed each other coming and off stage at appropriate times. This created a real camaraderie on stage. Throw in the fact that it was a killer setlist drawing right across Schenker’s career and some killer vocal performances, this provided a very special show indeed. With the British dates having just been announced, if you are one of the many Schenker aficionados’, you would be a fool to miss it based on this spectacular performance.

 

Celebrated rock guitarist Michael Schenker will start touring “Michael Schenker Fest” in less than a month. The tour includes dates in London O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire (Nov 2), Sheffield O2 Academy (Nov 3), Manchester O2 Ritz (Nov 4) and Hull City Hall (Nov 5).

 

Tickets for the concerts at O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire London, O2 Academy Sheffield and O2 Ritz Manchester are on sale from Ticketmaster and Ticketweb.  Tickets for the Hull City Hall concert are on sale from the Hull City box office booking link – hullboxoffice.com.

UK rock band Departed will be support Michael Schenker on all UK dates.

Michael Schenker‘s endeavor to unite rock fans together at his concerts has enraptured his audiences and so it is fitting that his most recent concept of ‘Michael Schenker Fest’ doesn’t disappoint. The project reunites the original Michael/McAuley Schenker Group vocalists – Gary Barden, Graham Bonnet and Robin McAuley, plus MSG musicians Steve Mann (guitar, keys), Chris Glen (bass) and Ted McKenna (drums).

Says Schenker, “It’s a miracle that after all these years, a tour like this will take place with the original band members of M.S.G. Being able to go back to those days and celebrate the music is an exciting experience for us, as well as for old and new fans. To being able to re-experience, and for the new audience to get a feel of what it was like, is incredibly enjoyable.

Michael Schenker Fest’ – November 2017 UK Tour Dates

O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London            Thursday 2 November

O2 Academy Sheffield                                    Friday 3 November

O2 Ritz, Manchester                                       Saturday 4 November

Hull City Hall, Hull                                          Sunday 5 November

Photo Credit: © Emili Muraki

Official Website

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In recent memory, Michael Schenker’s endeavor to unite rock fans together at his concerts has enraptured his audiences and so it is fitting that his most recent concept of ‘Michael Schenker Fest’ does not disappoint one bit. The project reunites the original Michael/McAuley Schenker Group vocalists – Gary Barden, Graham Bonnet and Robin McAuley, plus MSG musicians Steve Mann (guitar, keys), Chris Glen (bass) and Ted McKenna (drums).

Since the first Michael Schenker Fest concert at Sweden Rock in June 2016 the project has gained serious momentum. Performing at a SOLD-OUT Tokyo show in August 2016 they recorded a live DVD, which has gathered critical acclaim worldwide.

Today, Schenker is proud to announce that he will be touring Michael Schenker Fest throughout Europe in October / November 2017, including four UK concerts taking in O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London (Thursday 2nd November), O2 Academy Sheffield (Friday 3rd November), O2 Ritz, Manchester (Saturday 4th November) and Hull City Hall (Sunday 5th November).

Says Schenker, “It’s a miracle that after all these years, a tour like this will take place with the original band members of “M.S.G.”. Being able to go back to those days and celebrate the music is an exciting experience for us, as well as for old and new fans. To being able to re-experience, and for the new audience to get a feel of what it was like, is incredibly enjoyable.

Continues Schenker, “It’s an amazing feeling to have all of my M.S.G. Family from the ’80’s performing together and especially with Graham Bonnet, who I never got to play any concerts after our Assault Attack album that was originally released in 1982.  Fortunately, being able to have the participation of original M.S.G. members including Gary Barden, Chris Glen (bass) and Ted McKenna (drums) being part of it, and to perform with Robin McAuley and Steve Mann (guitar, keyboards) again as well, is pretty awesome.

The Band
Michael Schenker – Lead Guitar
Ted McKenna – Drums
Steve Mann – Guitar, Keyboards
Chris Glen – Bass

The Vocalists:
Gary Barden
Graham Bonnet
Robin McAuley

Schenker reflects on the concert that was performed in Tokyo in August 2016. “It was just one enjoyable event from beginning to end,” says Schenker. “Seeing those happy, excited fans right from the beginning before the show even started, was incredible. It was like Budokan all over again.

“It’s wonderful how we all got on with each other. It felt incredibly natural, as if it was always like this. Right from the start of rehearsal, the chemistry was great. No problems, just pure fun.  We plan to continue this when we perform the UK concerts in November 2017.”

Thursday 2nd November
O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London
O2 Priority Pre-Sale (12 noon on Friday 17th March 2017):
https://tickets.o2priority.co.uk/listings/michael-schenker-fest/44677
On general sale from 10am on Monday 20th March 2017:
www.ticketweb.co.uk/event/IEH0211M

Friday 3rd November
O2 Academy Sheffield
O2 Priority (12 noon on Friday 17th March 2017):
https://tickets.o2priority.co.uk/listings/michael-schenker-fest/44676
On general sale from 10am on Monday 20th March 2017: www.ticketmaster.co.uk/event/1F005270B87B778E

Saturday 4th November
O2 Ritz, Manchester
O2 Priority Pre-Sale (12 noon on Friday 17th March 2017):
https://tickets.o2priority.co.uk/listings/michael-schenker-fest/44675
On general sale from 10am on Monday 20th March 2017:
www.ticketmaster.co.uk/event/1F005270DEE6A248

Sunday 5th November
Hull City Hall, Hull
On general sale from 12 noon on Friday 17th March 2017:
www.hullboxoffice.com/events//michael-schenker-fest-featuring-original-msg-vocalists-gary-barden-graham-bonnet-and-robin-mcauley

M.S.G. – Discography:

The Michael Schenker Group (1980) Ft. Gary Barden (vocals)
M.S.G. (1981) Ft. Gary Barden (vocals)
Live At The Budokan (1982) Ft. Gary Barden (vocals)
Assault Attack (1982) Ft. Graham Bonnet (vocals)
Built To Destroy (1983) Ft. Gary Barden (vocals)
Written In The Sand (1996) Ft. Leif Sundin (vocals)
The Unforgiven (1999) Ft. Kelly Keeling (vocals)
Be Aware Of Scorpions (2001) Ft. Chris Logan (vocals)
Arachnophobic (2003) Ft. Chris Logan (vocals)
Tales Of Rock ‘N’ Roll (2006) Ft. Jari Tiura (vocals)
In The Midst Of Beauty (2008) Ft. Gary Barden (vocals)
Live In Tokyo – The 30th Anniversary Concert (2010) Ft. Gary Barden (vocals)

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Review: Michael Schenker Fest “Live” Tokyo

in-akustik (March 2017)

Reviewer: Dan Mann

Unbelievably it’s 35 years since ‘One Night At Budokan‘ was released, and here we have Michael Schenker return to Japan, this time at The Tokyo International Forum Hall, accompanied by three vocalists who’ve made appearances on a plethora of MSG releases. The vocalists in question are of course Gary Barden, Robin McAuley and Graham Bonnet.

Photo by Emili Muraki©

It will be released on 2CD, 2CD+DVD, Vinyl, DVD, Blu-ray and Digital download. If you limit yourself to just the audio formats, you’ll be missing out on some excellently produced concert footage.

I personally have preferred watching the footage as you get a far better feel of the concert as well as better sound quality. The 2 CD’s have a total of 18 tracks running at just over an hour and a half, fifteen and a half minutes of which is Michael letting lose on an extended ‘Rock Bottom‘!

Photo by Emili Muraki©

This release is without doubt a ‘must buy’ for Michael Schenker fans, as it covers his long and illustrious musical career. If he never released another thing, Michael Schenker Fest “Live” Tokyo, would be a fitting tribute to the Flying V legend.

 

michael_schenker_fest

On Friday 24th March 2017, rock guitarist legend Michael Schenker and in-akustik will release Michael Schenker Fest ‘Live’ Tokyo – a stunning new live recording and filmed concert released on 2CD, 2CD+DVD Combo, LP, DVD, Blu-ray, and Digital.

Filmed and recorded Tokyo International Forum on August 24, 2016, this historic concert features guest appearances from some of the greatest rock vocalists who have worked with Schenker including M.S.G.’s Gary Barden and Graham Bonnet, and Robin McAuley of the McAuley Schenker Group. 5000 fans witnessed an anthology moment of quintessential hard rock music of the highest calibre.

Says Schenker, “It’s a miracle that after all these years, something like this took place with the original band members of M.S.G. Being able to go back to those days and celebrate the music is an exciting experience for us, as well as for old and new fans. To being able to re-experience, and for the new audience to get a feel of what it was like, is incredibly enjoyable.

Continues Schenker, “It’s an amazing feeling to have all of my M.S.G. Family from the ’80’s performing together and especially with Graham Bonnet, who I never got to play any concerts after our Assault Attack album that was originally released in 1982. Fortunately, being able to have the participation of original M.S.G. members such as Gary Barden, Chris Glen (bass) and Ted McKenna (drums) being part of it, and somehow, to perform with Robin McAuley and Steve Mann (guitar, keyboards) again as well, is pretty awesome.

Tracklisting:

  1. Intro: Searching For Freedom
  2. Into The Arena
  3. Attack Of The Mad Axeman Gary Barden
  4. Victim Of Illusion Gary Barden
  5. Cry For The Nations Gary Barden
  6. Let Sleeping Dogs Lie Gary Barden
  7. Armed And Ready Gary Barden
  8. Coast To Coast
  9. Assault Attack Graham Bonnet
  10. Desert Song Graham Bonnet
  11. Dancer Graham Bonnet
  12. Captain Nemo
  13. This Is My Heart Robin McAuley
  14. Save Yourself Robin McAuley
  15. Love Is Not A Game Robin McAuley
  16. Shoot Shoot Robin McAuley
  17. Rock Bottom Robin McAuley
  18. Doctor Doctor Gary Barden, Graham Bonnet, Robin McAuley

The Band
Michael Schenker – Lead Guitar
Ted McKenna – Drums
Steve Mann – Guitar, Keyboards
Chris Glen – Bass

The Vocalists
Gary Barden
Graham Bonnet
Robin McAuley

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Coldspell

Swedish hard rockers ColdSpell are confirmed to support Michael Schenker’s Temple of Rock for the Nordic leg of their Spirit on a Mission World tour dates. Michael Schenker is a true legend and to many the greatest guitar player around, winning awards, getting rave reviews for his albums and when touring the world.

ColdSpell is a rising star on the international stages. This summer they were one of the headliners at Scotland’s premier festival, Wildfire. And was warming up a US audience as runner‐up to Judas Priest at Rock Fest in Wisconsin.

Micke Larsson, guitarist and founder of ColdSpell, says ”Michael Schenker’s guitar playing was a great inspiration growing up and listening to UFO. The ’79 live album Strangers In The Night got spin after spin on the turntable, two got so many scratches so I am now on my third copy. It is great honour to share stage with Michael Schenker for these shows.”

Michael Schenker - Coldspell

Gig dates February 2016

February 3 Amager Bio, Copenhagen (DK)
February 4 Debaser Medis, Stockholm (SE)
February 5 KB, Malmoe (SE)
February 6 Union Scene, Drammen (NO)

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Martin J. Andersen - Six String Renegade

Blindstone frontman / guitarist Martin J. Anderson has just released a brand new solo album, ‘Six String Renegade’ via Grooveyard Records.

The album contains  10 tracks,including a cover of Frank Marino’s ‘Strange Dreams’

Martin’s influences include aforementioned Frank Marino, Robin Trower, Jimi Hendrix, Michael Schenker & Pat Travers.

Tracklist:

  1. The Fire Burns Wihin
  2. Six String Renegade
  3. Dirty Little Angel
  4. Strange Dreams
  5. Never Ending Climb
  6. The Trooper
  7. Freak Flag Flying
  8. Funky State Of Mind
  9. Stranger
  10. Anthem For Humanity

For more info and mp3 samples, please visit: Grooveyard Records

 

Spirit on a Mission

Michael Schenker has released a new video for ‘Live & Let Live’ from his new album Spirit On A Mission.

‘Spirit On A Mission’ will be released in the UK on Monday 23rd March.  Released by in-akustik, the album of all-new material features Schenker’s Temple of Rock band – ex-Scorpions Herman Rarebell (drums) and Francis Buchholz (bass), ex-Rainbow’s Doogie White (vocals) and Wayne Findlay (guitar, keyboards).

The new album features twelve 12 classic rock guitar-driven songs that highlight Schenker’s distinctive and dynamic guitar playing, valiantly underpinned by the ferocious rhythm section of Rarebell and Buchholz, the same rhythm section that originally performed together on the Scorpions’ 1979 album Lovedrive.

Michael Schenker. Photo Credit: © Laurence Harvey
Michael Schenker. Photo Credit: © Laurence Harvey

SPIRIT ON A MISSION – TRACKLISTING

  1. LIVE AND LET LIVE
  2. COMMUNION*
  3. VIGILANTE MAN
  4. ROCK CITY
  5. SAVIOUR MACHINE*
  6. SOMETHING OF THE NIGHT
  7. ALL OUR YESTERDAYS
  8. BULLETPROOF*
  9. LET THE DEVIL SCREAM*
  10. GOOD TIMES
  11. RESTLESS HEART
  12. WICKED*

Bonus Track on Deluxe Edition + Vinyl Edition:
Searching For Freedom (Instrumental)

All songs produced by Michael Schenker and Michael Voss

Engineer: Michal Voss

All songs are written by:

Music – Michael Schenker

Lyrics – Doogie White

Except* Music and Lyrics by

Michael Schenker, Doogie White, Wayne Findlay

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