MSG - Hollywood Palace
18th November 1996

Originally posted to AOL .. reproduced with permission

Sorry it's taken me so long to get to doing this. Real life sucks......back to the fantasty world! Well, this was a much anticipated evening, considering the abbreviated performance the time before at Ventura. I got there about 45min before the 1st band was supposed ot come on. The tickets said 7:00 for the start time. Nowadays, at least in L.A., they seem to get pretty damn close to the projected time. Well, the line started moveng a bit after 8:00 just to get into the place. While waiting, we saw the bass player and drummer cruis across the street for some Chinese, with thier beautiful blonde girlfriends in tow. We also yelled at Sneaf (sp?), the Paul Raymond replacement (guitar/keyboard utility man) as he cruised towards the bus. As the vocalist walked by us, I asked him about the abbreviated set at Ventura. All he said was "You did get alot of great Rock 'N Roll didn't you?" and all I could say was, yes. You just don't have time to get into it on the walk-bys, do you :) So, anyway, well after an hour after we were supposed ot be watching the opening actr, we got into the Palace. A friend of a friend of a friend, who knew the lighting director, said only 200 tix were sold before the show. I feel there was at least twice that many, if not more, but the place was, by no means, filled to capacity. After subjecting ourselves to the obligatory opeing act, the light went down and we were ready to go.

The first notes sounded and there was a definite crackle. as they burst into "On and On", Michael's guitar cut in and out on a regular basis. The guitar roadie had a completely paniced look as he rushed around the stage trying to figure out what was going wrong. He finally brought out the second black and white flying V and all seemed well... or was it? Would this be a repeat if the previous gig's '"short set due to technical problems"? Well, they jammed through the first 4 songs, business as usual. During the 5th song, "Natural Thing", Michael actually was smiling! The only song that is lacking vocally came next. The vocalist seemd to have his own take on "Let It Roll", apparently trying to sing a part that may, in his own mind, be a harmony or otherwise compliment Phil Moog's original vocals. It definetly didn't work in Ventura. It still didn't cut it here.

[Comment from DVL: Obviously this guy doesn't realize that I am singing the original studio version, in the original key the vocals were sung by Phil Mogg. Phil just couldn't repeat what he did on the studio version in a live performance so he shifted the key for the live albums to make it easier for him to sing.]

Other than that, so far so good. Then comes the part of the show where they debut 3 songs from the new album. They go into the first one and Micheal's guitar is gone again. As the typical backstage antics were running thier course, most of the crowd was jamming, obliviously, to the song in progress. It didn't even really seem like anything was missing with Sneaf taking the rythm guitar part and the rest of the band going on like nothing was happening. During the last solo, Micheal's sound came back and they were back into it again. I thought, for sure, after both mishaps, that this would be another short set. Then came the pivital acoustic set. This was where the 1st two songs were cut the previous gig. As the final notes of "Bijou Pleasurette" rung out, the bass player and drummer ( both on acoustic guitar) looked towards Michael for the cue. This was it...short and sweet or the full nine yards? Michael kept right on going and included Lipstick Traces and another song from "Thank You" ( Sorry, can't place it at this time) much to my dismay and delight.

The rest of the show is history..... classic Schenker at his best, playing most of the pivital songs in his Scorps, UFO and solo career . As the last notes of "Lights Out" rang out and the band left the stage , I tried not to think of what had happened a couple of nights previously in Ventura. I knew that they would come back. The "MSG" chants rang out continuously. As anticipated, the band raced back on stage and did "Doctor, Doctor" and "Rock Bottom". What a rockin' night! One of my alltime "Guitar Heroes" had gone all the way and given me the best show I'd seen in a long time. Thanks Michael. It was appreciated.


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