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:
- In Search Of Peace Of Mind
- Assault Attack
- Into The Arena
- Another Piece Of Meat
- Let It Roll
- Captain Nemo
- Written In The Sand
- Lost Horizons
- Attack Of The Mad Axeman
- Bijou Pleasurette
- Positive Forward
- Armed And Ready
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.
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.
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.
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!
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?
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!
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