Concert Report by Richard MSG at Carling Apollo Manchester, Manchester, UK July 29, 2007 Added on 07/30/2007
Another sad performance from Michael tonight at Manchester.
I was assuming that having big brother around would ground Michael a little, and had high hopes for a good set in the days leading up the gig. However, doubts set in when I read about Michael screwing up his performance at the Rock and Blues festival. Anyway, back to the Apollo..
When the lights went down and the band came on, it became obvious more-or-less straight away that Michael was considerably under the influence of one or more substances - presumably including alcohol. He was barely able to walk and, indeed, spent a fair proportion of the set on one or both knees. He wandered around the stage grinning like an idiot, as well as taking the piss out of Jari, who looked visibly annoyed at times.
As far as Michael's playing goes, suffice it to say that he made the uniquely excruciating sound that can only be made when a pissed up Michael Schenker is endeavouring, against all the odds, to play on regardless of the fact that he is off his face. It wasn't quite as bad as some of his playing during the infamous UFO Covenant tour show, but that's not saying much.
A big chunk of the audience quickly lost patience and started booing. The rest were presumably just enjoying being a part of the car-crash gig-going experience that is Michael Schenker these days. A small part of me thought 'well, I guess it's just rock 'n' roll', but a larger part was finally about to lose patience with someone I have followed for a long time. The rest of the band gave a superbly professional performance given the circumstances, but Jari couldn't resist a small dig while introducing Too Hot To Handle, by saying (while turning around and gesturing towards Michael) 'Too Hot to Handle.. don't you think?'
The whole evening was made even sadder for me by the stunning contrast between the physical shape of Michael and his brother. Rudolf is 6 or 7 years older than Michael, but actually looked about 10 years younger than him. While Michael was a shambles, Rudolf gave the consummate rock star performance.
So, the time has come to say, what the hell are the people around Michael Schenker doing even letting him near the venue in that sort of condition? I thought I saw Tyson Schenker looking on from backstage. Then, when Michael (minus guitar) strolled onto the stage without warning during the Scorps' set, while they were playing Holiday, and wandered around for a minute or so, his brother just smiled. And the rest of MSG just seem to pretend, for the most part, that nothing is happening. For the sake of Michael's health and the retention of his dwindling fanbase, someone in his entourage surely needs to have the courage to say enough is enough. If I read a news story about Michael in the future, I would rather it be a headline about a gig cancellation than an obituary.
Concert Report by Celine MSG at Carling Apollo Manchester, Manchester, UK July 29, 2007 Added on 08/03/2007
I was with a friend at the artists entrance, when the bus came, during Scorpions' soundcheck, and we were headbanging, Michael saw us and did the same, it was pretty cool, even the other people looked at us and thought we were crazy :)
but when Michael came on stage, he moved slowly, I directly saw that something was wrong, when he started to play, I felt sadness. He wanted to play like a God, as we know he's able to play, but if the brain wanted, the body didn't answer, he did the best he could, but it wasn't the guy we all knew and admire so much, and the crowd whistled him, I wanted to say fxxk off, but didn't say anything, just watched Michael in his eyes and tried to say to him, that I was proud of him, even if he played not good like the other times I saw him, it was obvious that he did the best he could, even if it was not terrific, he had the willpower to let the show must go on. And Jari, Franky, Wayne and Bodo did the best they could to support him, I saw lot of solidarity between the other guys and Michael, and I want to thank them for that. It's great.