UFO at Hannover, Capitol, 2nd November 2000

I just came home from the UFO-gig in Hannover (2000-11-02), it passed by so quickly, too quickly I would say.

This evening was opened by "Moon Doc", the group of former Accept guitarist Herman Frank who lives in Hannover for several years now. There was an Accept-Medley somewhere in the set but the sound was bad and the only track I recognised was "Balls To The Wall" (Herman was playing a white Flying V during the Accept-Medley). They played about 35 minutes.

Second on stage was Glenn Hughes who I saw on the Thin Lizzy/MSG/Glenn Hughes tour last year. This time he had a few more minutes to remember his past (one Black Sabbath track and several Deep Purple tunes with "Burn" as clear highlight; "Stormbringer" wasn't played this time). All in all the sound was better than with "Moon Doc" but far from good. Glenn's voice was all right but there was a strange feeling on stage and that paralysed the audience as well. With the exception of "Burn" (encore) we can forget about the show. Glenn apologised for being "stoned" in the eighties and not playing concerts.

After about 25 minutes of waiting some strange opening theme was played. Finally it ran into the intro of "Love Is Forever" which obviously was played from tape/sample. The sound was much better than with the opening acts but not as good as I remember it from past UFO-tours in Germany. I was surprised by this beginning of the concert. Three tracks from Covenant! I didn't expect that. I personally wanted them to play even more tracks from Covenant than they did but my absolute highlights "Midnight Train" and "Unraveled" were played and I was satisfied. "Mother Mary" was the first classical track. Hmmm. You can read the set-list yourself, can't you? Sound improved during "Self Made Man"; from then I could always clearly hear Michael's guitar - which was in about 8 meters distance to my position in the audience. Reactions by the audience were somehow poor during the tracks. Only very few dancing and jamming. But surprisingly after each track everybody raised their hand to clap and cry for more! To me this is a strange thing.

The solo of "This Kids" was the first outstanding performance of Michael of the evening and was only topped by "Rock Bottom" later on. There were a few minor misunderstandings within the band and some notes were forgotten. "Midnight Train" wasn't as catchy as on the CD. At first I thought, Michael's guitar would have lost it's connection to the amplifier (what happened to Pete three times) because I couldn't hear any of the fills which are played above the base riff on the CD. But he just didn't play them! "Midnight Train" definitely lost compared to the CD-version. The other new tracks were fine anyway. In general there were quite some differences compared to the studio-recordings (also holds for the classical tracks); maybe this is because of the new drummer and rhythm guitarist/keyboarder.

As usual the audience enjoyed most "Too Hot To Handle" and "Only You Can Rock Me". But they went completely crazy during "Rock Bottom", the best track and best performance of the evening. Michael changed some parts of the solo from what he played during the last tour but the basic concept did not change. The first part is played with only few distortion and a lot of muted notes. High distortion high speed rules in the end. Maybe it would have been better to play these three favourites earlier in the set. And I would have loved them to rush into "Lights Out" directly after "Rock Bottom" - but they left the stage to come back after two minutes cooling down with "Cherry". Hmmm. The only "exotic" track of the evening and an obvious one. That was disappointing.

I missed the first solo of "Lights Out" - but that is a different story.

All in all I was satisfied. Phil and Pete were exact doubles of themselves. Michael was ok but a bit lazy during most of the solos. Only in "This Kids" and "Rock Bottom" he showed all his abilities. More or less it was what we could expect. We must keep in mind that we here in this group are the few mad who love to hear "Try Me", "Oh My", ... live instead of "Mother Mary" and "Too Hot To Handle". All the others really come to the show to hear Strangers. Sad but true. Did I tell you about "OFU", the excellent UFO-Cover-band from Hannover before? Go to http://www.ofufo.de to see and hear more - that is what we would love to hear from Ufo.

Don't misunderstand me. It was a great evening. It is my personality to describe things by their bad aspects - everything unmentioned was the greatest thing in the world!!!!

Michael didn't sell his MS2000-CD as you could have read in the Ufo-News before, but he obviously produced another instrumental CD "The Odd Trio" with ten tracks which is a funny project because the cover states "Michael", "Harry" and "Kathy" playing guitar, bass and drums. But actually all three are the Meister himself. I am hearing the CD right now. Some tracks have acoustic guitar in it, some are electric. Nothing clearly "classical" so far but as with Covenant I prefer to listen a few more times before I come to a definite conclusion. Wow! The riff of "Rockin' and Lovin'", wow! Easy but wow!

I don't know yet what to think of Michael fake tattoos. Some Japanese Kanji, ...


Love Is Forever
Miss The Lights
Mother Mary
Self Made Man
Out In The Street
This Kids
Pushed To The Limit
Love To Love
Too Hot To Handle
Midnight Train (not 100% sure about the position)
Only You Can Rock Me
Doctor Doctor
Rock Bottom
Shoot Shoot
Lights Out

Today is Hamburg, tommorow Plauen (wherever this is...), Berlin on Monday...

Christoph Gerlach

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