Concert Photos by Simon Wimpenny Michael Schenker & Friends at Academy, Manchester, U.K. February 9, 2008 Added on 02/10/2008
Concert Review by Paul Michael Schenker & Friends at Academy, Manchester, U.K. February 9, 2008 Added on 02/10/2008
We arrived at the Academy having never been before so not really knowing what to expect but it turned out to be the ideal venue for the evening. The support act was a musician called John Gomm who played about 5 acoustic numbers with some very clever guitar work and had a great rapport with the crowd. It then seemed like an eternity until Michael and the band entered the stage and immediately launched into a blistering version of 'Assault Attack' followed by 'Ready to Rock'. It was obvious from the start that Michael was on song and his playing was note perfect and precise with the sound from his Dean Flying V really reminiscent of his Gibson days - if you closed your eyes you can't tell the difference.
The band were very tight and powered through a combination of old UFO numbers such as 'Let It Roll', 'Only You Can Rock Me' and my personal favourite 'Too Hot to Handle', with ease and these were interspersed with MSG Classics like 'I Want More' and 'Armed and Ready'. I really enjoyed the thunderous version of 'On and On' and before you knew it Michael was playing the intro to 'Mad Axeman' before the band departed from the main set; re-appearing to give us an encore of 'Doctor Doctor' and Rock Bottom'.
The show for me highlighted that Michael has not lost any of his precocious talent and is really trying to build some bridges with the fans whom he has let down before (particularly in Manchester as I was there on that sad night with UFO many years ago). I spotted him crossing the road outside the venue immediately after the gig so it didn't look like he hung around afterwards as has been reported with some of the other UK concerts but nobody who was there last night could really use that as a cause for complaint after being treated to his masterful playing for over an hour.
Michael is back to his best and I really hope that he can continue as he is today as it's once again a pleasure to watch and listen to him playing. Roll on the Spring and a full MSG tour!!