Page 1 - MSG

Based on UK leg of tour including: May 16th Manchester Apollo, May 17th Birmingham NEC, May 19th Wembly Arena, May 20th Croydon Fairfield Halls, May 21st Cardiff International Arena.

All photos on this page (c) 1998 Dave Wood.

This first page is dedicated to summarising the performances of MSG.... see later pages for the other acts and the jam!


Overall all the gigs I attended were exceptional, and certainly were better than anything I could have hoped for. This is not just me being biased... the whole band gave 110% every night, there were no 'band politics' going on behind the scenes, and (apart from the tour bus bed arrangements) there was always a good but professional atmosphere. While all the band were most definately on a roll, Michael was just outstanding, but then with such great support behind him it's hardly surprising. And so onto the set list and players:

Set List

Band Members

Michael Schenker

What can be said about the man that hasn't already been said? After some luck-lustre performances on the UFO tour earlier in the year I must admit to having been a little unsure of what to expect, but I needn't have worried! Apart from a couple of minor glitches (a fluff in Into The Arena one night because of a misunderstanding with the band about when to come in, and a brilliantly saved error in one nights Lost Horizon solo) his playing was note-for-note, and absolutely superb (and no, I'm not just being biased).

Throughout the 5 dates I went to Michael seemed happy and relaxed throughout: dare I say he seemed a different person to the man touring with UFO. There were some times when I can honestly say I could not believe my eyes and ears. Nothing more I can add. Fantastic!

David Van Landing

Like many others (I've had enough emails on the subject), listening to David sing UFO songs on 'Story of Michael Schenker' took a bit of getting used to: it's not often you hear anyone else but Moggy sing them, but apart from that I knew that he would deliver the goods on tour. You need to see this guy live though to really appreciate just how powerful and adaptable a voice he's got. From the more mellow 'Searching for Peace of Mind' to the high notes of 'Armed and Ready' David made few, if any, blunders. As a front man, he could have done with a more enthusiastic crowd, and less strict security staff... not all British concerts have everyone sitting down for the whole set, honest! For a crowd that were on the whole there to see Satch, I thought he did extremely well, and always managed to win the crowd over eventually.

Gary Barden

Every night when Gary came on stage for Lost Horizons the response was outstanding. It was great to realise just how many people still remembered those early MSG albums and held Mr. Barden in high regard. The years have been kind on his voice (although of course he hasn't been totally out of the business recording an album with Praying Mantis recently) even if he does now struggle with some of the high notes he used to reach so effortlessly a few years ago(!). Listening to Horizons and Mad Axeman, you could have been transported back to the early 80's... they were magic moments indeed! You could even almost see a glint in Michael's eye as he (often) looked over the stage towards his old partner. Performances each night varied, but never disappointed. For the final song of the set (Armed and Ready) Gary was joined on stage with David to share vocal duties, much in the same way as David and Lief Sundin do for 'Too Hot' on 'Story of MS', and it proved to be a fitting climax every night.

Jeff Kollman

The newest member of the band, on bass, although it was impossible to tell. These gigs were not about Michael Schenker on guitar, they were very much about the whole band producing a tight and professional performance every night (Jeff has of course played with Shane and Barry Sparks (previous MSG bassist) on their 'Cosmosquad' project). As David said during the shows, Jeff is also 'an accomplished guitar player', which says a lot when you hear his bass solo during Into The Arena, which always drew a good response from the crowds. The only hitch during the 5 nights was a technical one during one of the acoustic set... thinking that his guitar wasn't getting through to the speakers he decided to lay back in his chair and just pretend to play.. until he realised that in fact the sound WAS getting through to the speakers! Not sure what Mr. Schenker thought of that one, and it may have looked a little arrogant to those who didn't realise what was going on! Other than that, top marks!

Seth Bernstien

Keyboards and rhythm guitar. I've always had the greatest of respects for musicians who are so proficient in more than one technically different instrument, and to have to swap between the two all the time must be a nightmare. This is the same guy as on the 'Story' CD, better known as 'Sneef' for apparantly no reason i particular, and yet again (this is getting monotonous) a flawless performance was given every night!

Those of you at the Croydon gig may however have noticed that his 'head-banging' was decidedly half-hearted.... due to a bit of over-exuberance the previous night causing a stiff neck! The rock-n-roll life eh?

Shane Gaalaas

Last but not least, the beat behind the band. This guy is one phenomenal drummer, he can even make a stool sound good with a couple of sticks! The picture above was during the acoustic set when he swaps guitar for the tubs, but for the remainder of the set he's at the back beating merry hell out of the drumkit. If you need convincing dig out 'Story' or 'Written in the Sand'. Highlight for me was always the strong funky rhythm of 'Written....', but as I have already said the shows really were about a team performance, and Shane was no exception. I always think it's a shame though that so often the audience will take the drummer for granted and not really listen to what's going on.... remember this next gig you go to, especially if it's MSG!

Acoustic Numbers

Two of the numbers were 'acoustic' with Michael still on his V, David on percussion (man of many talents!), Shane and Jeff on acoustic guitar and Seth on rhythm. Two numbers were Bijou and Positive Forward (at one of the concerts a response to the crowds apathy was 'well if you lot are going to stay sitting down, then we may as well join you'!). This section worked well, although personally (and I heard similar views echoed by others) I'd have liked to have seen a third song added to make it a little longer (seemed a bit too brief after all the effort of changing around).. but then you can only do so much in an hour!


Back to UFO home page