Concert Report by Steven MSG at The Majestic Ventura Theater, Ventura, CA, U.S.A. July 18, 2009 Added on 07/20/2009
Thanks for having such a cool site for tha' Mad Axeman....
It was a nice surprise to see MSG at the Ventura Theatre. I had seen the Key Club and the Canyon club gigs (which were beyond awesome) and this one was on that same level. The set list was pretty much the same (no Doctor, Doctor encore). And yes, there is something even more magical and even surreal about Schenker's playing this time around. We were standing right in front of Michael's amps and so we pretty much got the pure "un-miked" Schenker tone. Michael just blew the roof of the place last nite..unbelievable! He played his scripted solos with fire and conviction and the improvised stuff was like.....how the f*&$ does he do that! The owner of Dean Guitars was on bass...and a really good bassist but I really missed Rev Jones. Absolutely loved seeing Gary Barden up there with Michael. Pete and Wayne were great as well. WOW! is all I can say....this MSG tour was probably the best concert I have ever seen.
Concert Report by James MSG at The Majestic Ventura Theater, Ventura, CA, U.S.A. July 18, 2009 Added on 07/20/2009
I went to the add-on Ventura show last night and was treated to Mr. Schenker at the best I have ever seen him. Most of the past reviews of the shows explained what I seen last night concerning this tour, so I wanted to write about what I seen in "Rock Bottom" and few excerpts from other songs. "Rock Bottom" has become a "Monster". It is a composite image of all that Michael does well. It has grown, much in the same way as "Dazed and Confused" for Jimmy Page and "Little Wing" for Stevie Ray Vaughn, into an amalgamation of all the emotions, feel, technical abilities, soul, tone, dynamics, melody, voice, vibrato, string skipping, muted techniques, sweep picking, improvisation, and pure tricks that you can only associate with Michael Schenker. What other modern players have shown in a display of arrogant technical and theoretical ability, Michael has displayed the same musical applications in a way that only fits the composition. He was purely in a "zone" all night. I could almost mention "Into the Arena" and "Lost Horizons" as legitimate contenders with "Rock Bottom", but "Rock Bottom" is the oldest and most played Schenker canon. It seemed that the band and Mr. Schenker wanted to conclude the North American leg of the tour and were obviously tired, but they gave us the goods anyway. The experience and practice that goes with a huge tour that included Europe definitely shows. The place was not sold out and hopefully it was attributed to the Add-on status of the show, but I was very happy since I got to stand right up front without anyone pushing and screaming trying to get my place. We should never let an opportunity to see this man performing slip by. I can not think of any rock guitarist that has such a prolific catalog of truly great and memorable songs. Above all, he is still able to perform at an extraordinary level. As a player, I rank him as high as the one and only Les Paul. I only hope that he continues this trend into healthy living and I am treated with many more years of this one and only performer. Most other iconic guitarists have fallen to drugs, self indulgence, self righteousness, and/or mediocrity. He still relates to his fans and the dedication to his craft is there. At one point in the show and I mentioned it in a review of the "Guitar Gods" show, he used his mic stand as a slide and it showed how he still approaches his instrument in a "childlike" playful manor. He is continually striving to produce good and new ideas and sometimes brings back memorable old concepts, but everything is used sparingly and unpretentiously. I hope that the economy and interest in this style of playing does not end and I will wait for yet another tour. Oh yea!!! I love the Barden/Schenker acoustic project!!! I can not wait to see where Schenker's music goes next.