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New Music Review: MICHAEL SCHENKER “Fest Live” (Double CD and DVD)

Intro: Searching For Freedom
Into The Arena (Barden)
Attack Of The Mad Axeman (Barden)
Victim Of Illusion (Barden)
Cry For The Nations (Barden)
Let Sleeping Dogs Lie (Barden)
Armed And Ready (Barden)
Coast to Coast
Assault Attack (Bonnet)
Desert Song (Bonnet)
Dancer (Bonnet, with Barden & McAuley on BVs)
Captain Nemo
This Is My Heart (McAuley)
Save Yourself (McAuley)
Love Is Not A Game (McAuley)
Shoot Shoot (McAuley)
Rock Bottom (McAuley)
Doctor Doctor (Barden, Bonnet, McAuley)

The Band:
Michael Schenker – Lead Guitar
Ted McKenna – Drums
Steve Mann – Guitar, Keyboards
Chris Glen – Bass

The Vocalists:
Gary Barden
Graham Bonnet
Robin McAuley

Review-When I first heard the news about The Scorpions wanting to do a farewell tour. I was hoping that they made amends with Michael to do it proper. As a child, “ Lovedrive” was my first Scorpions album. I think I can go on record to say I played that album so much that it got scratched to hell and may have been warped. That love of that record, made me search out his band UFO. I got my hands on “ Lights Out” and it just changed my life. When people talk about guitar gods, I feel that after the Jimmy Page, Tony Iommi and Eddie Van Halen love is over, that people should look at Michael. German musicians have always had this passion about their style of rock becoming instant classics. I can admit on this review, that live albums do not excite me. Bootlegs used to excite me, if I was at the show. I am one of those people that have to be there in person to experience that moment. I think Kiss-”Alive” and UFO-”Strangers in the Night” could be my top two. My number three is a bootleg that I got to buy on cassette when Jefferson Airplane toured Germany and Grace was so drunk and went in her own world. (Yes, all above Led Zeppelin, who I can say I am one of the biggest fans on this planet) What I have in front of me and on my television is the dvd of Michael Schenker. I did do a cheat and listen to the double cd before watching it. Tokyo had the honor of seeing a MSG show with three vocalists of the history of the band.

We also get Chris Glen , Steve Mann and Ted McKenna. The biggest negative off the top is that Cozy Powell is no longer with us. He would have loved this journey back to the almost full Budakan line up from 1982. “Into the Arena” from the first MSG album opens the cd. It whets the appetite for what is upcoming. We then get “ Attack of the Mad Axeman” with Gary Borden on vocalists. Gary shines in the vocal delivery, he cannot hit the high notes like he once did, but he does not disappoint. I say that, but then we get him in full force for songs like “ Victim of Illusion” and “ Cry for the Nations” that he comes across like it is the 1980’s again and he is a hungry young man. The playing on this cd and even the live show is spot on and delivers. We get some Scorpions love with “ Coast to Coast”. As a whole, I really loved the dvd more than I did the cd. Not so much for the songs or the performance. But, to see the visual of this show is awe inspiring. I can nitpick as a fan and want him to have this song or that solo. I just wish the brothers would make amends and we can get a proper Scorpions tour and final album. As far as MSG, if you are a fan of the man and his past, you will dig this album and dvd. I will say the picture on dvd is clear and crisp. The sound is just incredible. There were so many moments on this concert, that I had goosebumps and felt like I just heard Schenker for the first time. In closing, this is one of the experiences that in life make you a music fan. Just for the passion that pours out the speakers or the television set. When you sit there with anticipation and know you are going to have fun. After-all, that is what music is all about.

DVD-8.5 out of 10
CD-8 out of 10

Michael Schenker as a guitar god- 10 out of 10

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