Concert Report by R.B. Araki MSG at Shibuya-AX, Tokyo, Japan February 26, 2007 Added on 03/09/2007
It's no exaggeration to say that this MSG show at Shibuya-AX, Tokyo was the best gig I have ever seen. Among other things, the sound mix was perfect. On and after the fifth song (Love Trade), I was watching from the rearmost row on the ground floor and I could hear each member's sound super clearly in great balance. I experienced a live performance with such a good sound for the first time in my life. No doubt! I suppose Michael was feeling comfortable with the sound coming out of his amplifiers. He sometimes says in interviews that the better the sound on stage is, the better he can play. This night was just like that. Maybe he played more killer and complete solos on the previous night, but I felt his lead solos on this night were coming out of him more spontaneously in such excellent sound condition. Some of the solos sounded new to me. Anyway, sound quality and mix of both Michael's riff and lead were astonishing.
Again, Michael played the Flame model during the encore. On this night, he played it on Only You Can Rock Me too as a string was broken during On and On.
On the previous shows at Nakano Sunplaza, Jari's voice was often drowned by the bigger sound of other equipment. But, on this show, the terrific qualities of his power, tone and range were apparently delivered to the audience. Jari was quick-witted enough to start interaction with the audience when the band could not start playing due to the technical glitch.
The unity of MSG's rhythm section (Bodo, Franky and Wayne) became even stronger than the night before. And, the unity between the band and the fired-up audience was also amazing. I am sure all the bandmates felt it and their performance became even more heated-up like a synergy effect. While I was taking pictures from between the stage and the audience during the first three songs, I felt tremendous heat which made me sweat.
Wayne's guitar sound could be heard very clearly all through the show. I could enjoy his heavy riffs as he did on the Slavior album to my heart's content. (By the way, congratulations on the release of the Slavior new album!!) Wayne gave us a wonderful surprise. He played the Dean black & white Schenker model on Doctor Doctor and Rock Bottom.
When I was watching Bodo's fantastic drum fills and Franky playing side by side and face to face with Michael, I nearly forgot that they just joined the band (in case of Bodo, he rejoined the band though). They were so naturally fitted in.
Some technical problem occurred just after they started Attack of the Mad Axeman and Michael's guitar became silent. They stopped the song. According to the members of MSG, Michael's Marshall blew up and he was forced to change the amp. Unfortunately after they re-started the tune, the sound mix became a little worse. If there had been no such technical problem, it would have been a super miracle show. Michael's concentration was never distracted by those gear troubles. On the contrary, he had breadth of mind to interact with the audience to fill the interval while the problem was being fixed. I believe this reflected his healthy mental condition.
I am one hundred million percent sure that everyone was satisfied with this show very much.
I Thank Wayne, Jari, Bodo, Franky, Kai and other people concerned for the great show and for your warm welcome!! And I highly praise Michael for his superb playing on the last two shows. He has proved that he is still "the God" regardless of whether he likes to be called so or not. And the last but definitely not the least, I thank Zak Coporation for inviting MSG to Japan and making every effort for these successful shows.
Michael Schenker Group
Michael Schenker (guitar)
Wayne Findlay (guitar, keyboards)
Jari Tiura (vocals)
Bodo Schopf (drums)
Frank Rummler (bass)