Concert Report by Ed MSG at Nakano Sunplaza, Tokyo, Japan August 28, 2008 Added on 09/02/2008
Ok, here is my review.
August 28, Thursday night, Michael Schenker Group in concert, featuring Gary Barden on vocals, Chris Glenn on bass, Ted Mckenna on drums, the amazing Wayne Findley on guitars, keyboards and of course Mr. Michael Schenker in the flesh.
I am not going to give a review of each song, but the highlights for me were "Cry for the Nations" " On and On" "Rock my Nights Away" and the new material from "In the Midst of Beauty". There were others that got my blood pumping also, like "Attack of the Mad Axeman", however I did notice and I could be wrong, but Gary's voice is not as strong as it use to be. He seemed to have trouble hitting the high notes, but then we all are a little older. Chris Glenn was pretty much stationary throughout the whole show, but Wayne was outstanding and Michael was "The Mad Axeman". Ted was equally brilliant on the drums. I just want them to drop the UFO songs as encores, do something MSG. I am so tired of Doctor, Doctor.
Overall, it was great to see the "old guys back again", but hey! I am old now too. And if this is what it takes to get Michael to put out excellent music, and complete a show, I am all for it. Keep the man sober and in control and we will listen for years. I would like to see a little more energy on stage.
By the way the train ride back was not so good, I got stuck in Kokubunji for 45 minutes and Tachikawa for 30 minutes because of "Kaminari"(thunder). Finally got home at 1:00 am soaked. The best part was finally having a little time with Ritchie, again. "Thanks for everything".
Concert Report by R.B.Araki MSG at Nakano Sunplaza, Tokyo, Japan August 28, 2008 Added on 10/07/2008
More than one month has passed since the last MSG's Japan tour. I have been too busy to write my review. I am trying to remember how it went...
MSG came back to the same venue in Tokyo after 18 months but with a different lineup this time. Not many people expected that the golden lineup of MSG in the 80's would play in Japan again. Gary, Chris and Ted came back to Japan to play with MSG after more than 20-year break. Many of the audience looked around 40 years of age and seemed to come to the venue after work. They must have grown up with MSG in the 80's.
Unlike the previous tours, Michael played on the right-hand side of the stage seen from the audience. It seemed to me that he was in the best form for the last seven or eight years. He looked healthy and slim, which made him look quite cool. His fingernails are manicured black and white alternatively. The tone of Dean's Black & White Flying V was warmer and thicker than ever before. I sometimes felt like being melted by the beautiful tone. He was focused and played lots of brilliant solos. He played the Schenker Brotoer V only on Doctor Doctor. It also sounded very very good, especially on the intro.
As Ed mentioned in his review, Gary had trouble hitting the high notes and for some parts changed some vocal melodies down. But Japanese fans love Gary. He was received by the Japanese audience enthusiastically. As he sang the old MSG materials with the same vocal fills as he did on 'One Night At Budokan' and 'Rock Will Never Die' live albums, the audience got all the more excited.
Chris and Ted (who replaced Chris Slade for their tour of Japan and Korea) had not played with MSG for a long time, but they have been playing together in SAHB. So, they played in good coordination. In intervals, they talked each other to check song progression or something. Chris who became twice as big didn't move much on the stage, but he looked composed and smiled a lot. I wanted to hear his 'famous' bass solo for Into The Arena more. It was cut very short as Michael started his lead play during his bass solo.
Wayne, who is the youngest but has been with MSG longer than anybody, shredded sharp and heavy riffs. He played some impressive keyboards as well for the intro of On and On and Doctor Doctor. As far as judging from audience's cheerings, Wayne's fan base in Japan has definitely expanded.
One of the highlights for me of the night was Michael's new solo play. There was a solo section after Into The Arena. He played some amazing and fast licks, and then he did some tricky solos. He didn't use a pick but held something like a magnet (which I could not see behind his palm). I don't know how he played. Really cool and innovative!!
The other highlight for me was "Rock My Nights Away". I think this song is best fit for Gary. Since the tour was credited as the Schenker/Barden MSG, I believe this song represented it.
In all, the show without doubt satisfied all the fans there.
MSG Japan Tour 2008 Lineup
- Michael Schenker: Guitar
- Gary Barden: Vocal
- Chris Glen: Bass
- Ted McKenna: Drums
- Wayne Findlay: Guitar/Keyboards
Ride On My Way
Cry for the Nations
Let Sleeping Dogs Lie
Armed and Ready
Ready to Rock
I Want You
A Night to Remember
Into the Arena
Rock My Nights Away
On and On
Attack of the Mad Axeman