Concert Report by Cutler MSG at Jaxx, Springfield, VA, U.S.A. March 7, 2012 Added on 03/08/2012
The virtuosity that Michael put on display is awe inspiring. His vibrato is so pure and emotive. His tone is so clean and articulate that his notes sit into the mix perfectly and sing. I believe no other guitar player is close to this guy. High gain amplifiers are making his style a lost art, while they allow guitar playing to be easier, emotion and musicality are sacrificed.
The setlist was similar to other postings, but Attack was left out of the encore. The William Shatner intro to Temple of Rock led to Into the Arena, which began with power and precision. The new album is killer by the way. Robin came in for Armed and Ready and was impressive! He is a truly professional vocalist and frontman. The vocals were clear and soaring, a great compliment to the Mad Axeman. The bass shook the whole room. Elliot must have a way to instantly tune down his E string. Sometimes the vibration of the bass would come through the floor and shake your bones; combined with the kick drum the bottom of this mix was thunderous. Did I say it was loud! The drum sound was great and you could not only hear every hit but also feel the timbre of the drums. Pete Holmes inserted double bass flourishes and improvised tom fills that really accentuated the songs changes. He really shined in my favorite number of the night, Love to Love. The slow tempo really takes a talented and experienced drummer to keep that song cohesive. It was a perfect rendition. When Michael switches to the neck pickup for the clean open chords the song opened up for the vocals and keyboards, spine tingling, what a great composition. What can you say about Wayne? He displays power, accuracy and musicality with showmanship that is sonically and visually engaging, a true professional.
The Scorpions songs translated so much better live than what I expected from watching youtube clips of the tour, Robin was amazing on these tunes. The catalog of UFO songs played was a 'best of'. Natural Thing, Shoot Shoot, Too Hot and Let it Roll were that perfect combination of power, melody and dynamics that made UFO one of the all-time great bands. The performance of these songs was superlative. The paint job on the guitar Michael uses on the mid-set UFO tunes is so cool. The Dean guitars sound perfect...they are a transparent vehicle for Michael's expression.
The Rock Bottom solo had added improvisation, a masterwork! Michael has added nuances over the years which bring some jazz phrases to sections that fit so well.
It's a privilege to experience virtuosic musicianship performed at such a high level. Well worth the 4 hour drive, hotel and day off work!
Thanks so much for you website, you're a gem! And best wishes for the continued healing and well being of your great island nation.
Virginia Beach, VA
Concert Report by Jeff MSG at Jaxx, Springfield, VA, U.S.A. March 7, 2012 Added on 03/11/2012