Michael Schenker Sage Gateshead 25 Jan 2016

Michael Schenker Sage Gateshead 25 Jan 2016schenker
It was a Friday night over 40 years ago, probably 1974. A group of us were standing on the dancefloor marveling at the young guitarist who was strutting his stuff a few feet in front of us. The band was UFO, who had just released their third album Phenomenon, and their new member was German guitar wizard Michael Schenker. Schenker was every inch the young and perfect rock god; long blonde hair, skinny jeans, a scoop neck t-shirt covered in stars (I think; my memory plays tricks). And he could squeeze some tryly amazing sounds out of his Gibson Flying V. The stand-out track was Doctor Doctor. Amazing. We all went home and practised some more on our guitars.
Roll on 40 something years. It’s been a long time since I last saw Michael Schenker; probably in the 1980s when he fronted his own MSG. Today his band is Michael Schenker’s Temple of Rock and the members are ex-Scorpions Herman Rarebell (drums) and Francis Buchholz (bass), ex-Rainbow’s Doogie White (vocals) and Wayne Findlay (guitar & keyboards).
schenker tixI make my way to the front and stand (probably too) close to the PA stack. Schenker and the guys take to the stage and launch straight into a blistering rockin’ Doctor Doctor. Schenker looks great: skinny, fit, and he’s walking the stage with a wild glint in his eye and a massive grin across his face. His playing is amazing; still the guitar hero who blew me away all those years ago. The band rocks and is LOUD; Doogie White does a fine job singing those classic UFO and Scorpions tracks. The new songs sound pretty good too.
Legend.
Setlist: Doctor Doctor; Live and Let Live; Lights Out; Where the Wild Winds Blow; Natural Thing; Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead; Victim of Illusion; Lovedrive; Coast to Coast; Vigilante Man; Saviour Machine; Too Hot to Handle; Good Times; Rock You Like a Hurricane; Rock Bottom
Encore: Attack of the Mad Axeman; Communion; Blackout
Postscript. By the time I drove home I couldn’t hear a thing. Just a dull ringing in my hears. Now when I was young it was great fun if my ears buzzed for days after a gig. This time it sort of scared me. My hearing isn’t that great anyway, and I was thinking “What if it doesn’t come back?” Well luckily it has. Lesson learned: when you are an old guy like me you take the earplugs they offer you at the door.
Schenker is still a legend.

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Hockey on January 31, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    Great review Peter, Schenker is on top form these days and with one of his best bands. I went to see both the Holmfirth and Manchester gigs last week with my School chum Andy, notching up 20 gigs by him since 1977. They were both fantastic gigs and after the Manchester show we met Herman and got him to sign his autobiography. happy days!, cheers, Michael.

    Reply

  2. With weird symmetry Peter, I was there, probably standing alongside you on that Friday night in 1974. Then this very same week in 2016, as a much older looking but not that older feeling man, I found myself watching a band playing Doctor Doctor and Rock Bottom and remembering with amazing clarity those days back then. In my case though, I was watching ‘House of X’ the band made up of ex UFO and Schenker band members at Butlins Skegness. Highly recommended. Cheers, Ron

    Reply

    • Posted by vintagerock on February 1, 2016 at 11:28 am

      Cheers Ron Happy days and happy memories. I’ve heard of House of X; must try and catch them Best wishes Peter

      Reply

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