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11 Jun 2012
Shepherds Bush Empire
It is fair to say that Michael Schenker is regarded as a guitar god, having played in UFO the Scorpions and of course MSG, as well as various other side projects. Having last seen Michael Schenker supporting The Scorpions at the Hammersmith Apollo in 2007, Michael’s performance was questionable to say the least. In 2007 Michael was obviously going through a tricky period and this was highlighted through a poor performance, where everybody was thankful when The Scorpions came on and took over the reins, delivering a blinding set.
Tonight’s show was in support of Michael’s new album “Temple of Rock”, and the “Lovedrive” reunion, as original Scorpions members Herman Rarebell and Francis Buchholz featured in the MSG line-up. Doogie White (Tank, Rainbow, Malmsteen), who guests on Michael’s latest album, was enlisted on vocal duties for tonight’s performance at the Shepherds Bush Empire.
As tonight’s gig was on a Saturday night, this added to the party feel and the audience was ready and waiting to see Michael at his best. Michael entered the stage to “Into the Arena” and burst onto the stage full of energy and enthusiasm. This was clearly a different Michael to the one I saw back in 2007, and boy did it show.
Playing a host of Scorpions classics everything from “Lovedrive” and “Rock you like a Hurricane” to “Blackout” to name but a few of my personal favourites, it was great to see Michael back in the driving seat and doing what his does best. He still has a unique sound of his own, especially when it comes to his guitar solos.
We were also treated to a blistering version of “Before the Devil Knows you’re Dead”, which in my opinion is one of the best tracks from the new album “Temple of Rock”. Along with the classic songs, the real crowd pleasers of the night were the UFO covers “Rock Bottom” and “Doctor Doctor” whipping the crowd into a frenzy.
The set was well paced with something for every Schenker fan from all the different era’s (and bands). It was great to hear songs like “Another piece of Meat” and “Armed and Ready” being blasted out by a great live band, my personal favourite was a cracking version of “Light Out”, which had everyone singing along.
Michael and his band defiantly entertained and left the crowd wanting more.
Long live Rock N Roll and Michael Schenker.
Review by Sophie Kaye
Photos with thanks to Stephen Fourie