Concert Report by Brandon MSG at The Rock Pile, Etobicoke, ON, Canada March 4, 2012 Added on 03/05/2012
Hi Ritchie, love your website- one of the few I check every day!
MSG played the Rockpile in Toronto, Canada on March 4, 2012. The Rockpile is actually in Etobicoke, a suburb of Toronto. In any case, I believe this is the first time MSG has played in Toronto since the Perfect Timing tour when they played a basement called Rock N Roll Heaven (since long gone) with guess who, Robin McCauley on vocals and Mitch Perry playing rhythm guitar (those were heady days indeed). Needless to say Michael has been missed during this time and everyone seemed appreciative that he actually came up here to the Great White North.
Firstly, the show was sold-out at a capacity of 500. The show was almost two hours and they played the hits from MSG, Scorpions and obviously UFO, which I believe drew the strongest reaction. They only played one tune from Temple of Rock. The sound was good, loud, almost too loud. Michael's guitar was crisp and clean, although Wayne Findlay was a little down in the mix. Michael and Robin smiled a lot and they seemed to be enjoying themselves. Pete Holmes was solid throughout. The only gripe I had was with Eliot Rubinson. It's awesome he has a deal with Michael and Dean guitars and I'm all for that, but I'm sure Michael can do better then this guy. He just looked goofy with his facial expressions and was a distraction all night. Ok, sure he's into the music, but practice in front of the mirror a bit, sheesh. Made me long for Rev Jones and his ponytail spiralling.
Michael was wearing a purple NY Yankees baseball cap throughout (this is Jays country, Mike!). There were also some celebs (sort of) at the show. Lips Kudlow and Robb Reiner from Anvil were there. If you recall, Michael has a bit part in the Anvil! The Story of Anvil! movie that came out a few years ago. Now, if we could only get Leif Sundin back in MSG fold, life would be grand!
As Michael likes to say, Keep on rockin'
Concert Report by Daniel MSG at Rockpile, Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada March 4, 2012 Added on 03/06/2012
First, many thanks for your excellent website - I have been a regular visitor for years and never thought that I would ever write a MSG concert report in my life! Indeed I have been following Michael since 1975 (yep, that far back - I am only 3 years younger than him) but I never had the chance to see him live until now; and yes the rumours are true - it is a GREAT show; Michael's playing is top drawer; I had a hard time believing that he was standing in front of me! I have live DVDs of his and have seen YouTube videos posted by fans over the years, but thatfs nothing compared to the visceral experience of seeing him play, especially when he is about ten feet in front of you! I have captured that amazing two-hour show on my Sony Xperia Arc phone and despite being in a bad spot for sound (right PA speakers blasting in my right ear all night...) and being gently pushed around at times by enthusiastic fans, the picture is great and the sound quality is quite good (even capturing Dwayne's keyboards and guitar sound at the other end of the stage), Robin McAuley vocals are loud and clear and Peter's drums and Elliot's bass came though as well. Beginnerfs luck I guess as it was the first time I ever "taped" a concert. That sold-out show was a high energy affair, the setlist, as already described by recent concertgoers, was a great selection of songs, almost like a mini Michael Schenker Story and with shades of Strangers in the Night (amazing sequence) at the same time... and the crowd was really into it. Hard to believe that Robin and Michael are close to 60 - they must be blessed with eternal youth! I only wish for both of them to be able to continue like this for as long as they can/want in their respective careers and hopefully MSG will come back to Toronto every time they tour North America. Now my friends in Montreal are jealous! A special mention also to the first opening act - Three Quarter Stone - they were very good, had good stage presence and even die-hard Schenker fans around me thought so as well; only after visiting their website did I realize they were from Guelph, Ontario where I have been living for the past year.
I want to commend Dwayne and Elliot for the role that they have been having in Michael's recent success. I was stunned to see the level of playing displayed by Michael - it's impressive to say the least - and how intense he is, as a lot of players of his generation haven't aged as well as far as their playing is concerned. It was also great to see him so well and smiling and how much the group was having fun on stage and how tight they are. A great selection of songs and personally, I had no issue with Elliotfs stage presence, contrary to what fellow Canadian Brandon had written. Elliot and the others were having fun onstage, the crowd was having a great time, and as they say... it's only Rock 'N Roll!! If MSG hits your town - GO SEE THEM! Go see that master musician/legend. Don't let this opportunity pass you by. I now understand what people have been saying since the beginning of this tour.
When I find the time in the next two weeks I will send video links for this show. As some of the clips are over 45 min long I will edit them and post a few choice songs.