29th November 2001
Opening act: '12 Liquid Ounces' What can I saw? WOW! Only a 2 piece band w/ drummer and Chapman Stick player. The Chapman Stick player was phenominal!!! For those clueless on a what a Chapman Stick is ... it is like a cross between a guitar and a stand up bass. The Stick player was covering the bass lines on the stick as well as going into rythm/solos at the same time! It was unreal watching this guy go nuts w/ versions of 'Freeway Jam' by Jeff Beck and 'Cliffs of Dover' by Eric Johnson. Soloing was right-on ... incredible considering the Chapman Stick is basically a 'tapping' instrument. Played about 6 or 7 songs. Kept everyone content enough until Herr Schenker came onstage.
MSG portion: The band was very tight. Drummer was a young 'kid' who had it going on ... very impressive. The Reverend Jones on bass was remiscent of FLEA (Red Hot Chili Peppers) ... very animated and showmanlike. Wayne on keyboards/rythm was smiling away and looking like he was living his dream. Lead Singer (Chris Logan?) was adequate ... probably woulda' been much better impact if the vocals mix in the PA was louder (Mike's solos coulda been louder as well).
Michael's solos were pretty much perfect if u compare it to the recorded solos on the albums ... note for note. The only 'flaw' I could notice (if u expected perfection) was a few ad-libbed runs in a very small portion of the solo to 'Attack of the Mad Axeman'. Otherwise a very focused Michael who played most of the solos w/ eyes closed ... as if he could visualize and hear in his head what he was going to play ... definitely 'IN THE ZONE'.
Overall the show was about the right length. PA mix coulda been better. Band looked like it was having FUN and Michael was smiling, making eye contact w/ the crowd and in good spirits. A welcomed sight.
The middle set w/ PLOT was kinda comical. I read the other reviews from earlier dates on the tour here in Chicagoland ... I have to concur. Pete Way(-sted) was a little under the influence again to say the least. He was animated and looked like he was having fun. Funniest thing was when he first came onstage, Michael looked over at the Rev and smiled and started shaking his head like 'oh boy, here we go again'. Songs from the PLOT were average, Pete ain't the best singer in the world but hell he tried. Pete jumped around a few times and I was surprised he didn't fall over and knock down Michael or something. Anyways, Pete is living the rock'n'roll star life and was playing the showmanship part for sure. Who knows, I might buy the CD.
After the show, met the guys from the band (except Michael and the singer). Nice group of guys. Friendly and willing to chat and joke around.
Best part of the show was getting them to sign my '81 Hamer Vector 'Schenker' V. One of the tour dudes took my Flying V (and another dude's V) backstage to get Herr Schenker's autograph to top it off. Success for me and a very good show.
I hope Mike and crew have a fun and successful tours w/ no personnel problems. Hopefully things will patch up w/ UFO too for next year ... will be nice to hear UFO back together.
Brian Arflack (Seymour Vee)