Concert Report by R.B.Araki Michael Schenker at Nakano Sunplaza, Tokyo, Japan March 12, 2014 Added on 03/17/2014
Where the Wild Winds Blow
Another Piece of Meat
Armed and Ready
Into The Arena
Attack of the Mad Axeman
Rock My Nights Away
Coast to Coast
Before the Devil Knows You're Dead
Lord of the Lost and Lonely
Only You Can Rock Me
Let It Roll
Too Hot To Handle
Rock You Like A Hurricane
Rock Bottom - Encore -
Michael Schenker - Lead Guitar
Herman Rarebell - Drums
Francis Buchholz - Bass
Doogie White - Vocals
Wayne Findlay - Guitar/Keyboards
On this day, the venue door was supposed to open at 18:30 and the show to start at 19:00. There was a long line of crowd inside and outside of the entrance. However, it would be impossible for over 2,000 people to enter into the hall in 30 minutes. People are still moving towards their seats after seven o'clock. Then, suddenly the lights went out and the show started before many of the crowd had yet to prepare themselves emotionally. I am not sure, but maybe because of this or because there are seats, the audience was at first a little quiet.
The 2-hour set ran almost non-stop. As the band toured Europe and did many concerts last year with this line-up, a sense of unity has already been established between them. Michael was in excellent form. He started the show with the Dean Kaleidoscope V guitar, and changed the axes several times. He played all the guitars he brought, which are Kaleidoscope, Yin Yang, Chrome, Strangers in the Night and Retro. I sensed slight difference of the tone of each guitar. Each one has an amazingly sweet tone! He smiled and interacted with the crowd a lot.
I had never seen Doogie's performance before. He is truly a great live singer. Not only he has a powerful voice, but also he is a very expressive showman. It was really fun to watch his facial expression and body movement. All through the show, he acted as if he was communicating with each one of the audience. On songs like Assault Attack and Shoot Shoot, he interacted with the audience in his own unique way. He guided the crowd to shout at specific points of the songs under his command. On this night, Tokyo fans had yet to get accustomed to it, though. Doogie dedicated 'Before the Devil Knows You're Dead' to Ronnie James Dio.
There were huge columns like those for the Parthenon on both side of the stage. Doogie said they are the foundations for the temple of rock which they are going to build for the years to come. I sincerely hope they will create more and more music as well as continue to tour the world.
My personal highlight on this show was Lord of the Lost and Lonely, which was my favorite tune from the latest album. They did not play that song on the previous tours. It kept ringing in my head during work on the next day.
Compared with the previous U.S. tour, they played more Scorpions materials because there were two ex-Scorpions great musicians, i.e., Herman and Francis. Their performance was just right and stable, and they both seemed to enjoy themselves. During Rock You Like a Hurricane, Uncle Herman grabbed the mic and sang to the crowd "Here I am" while he kept stomping on the bass drum pedal. Then, the audience sang back "Rock You Like a Hurricane". We repeated that about ten times. Francis was always smiling and giving off an aura of 'nice guy' both on and off stage.
Our one and only Wayne got a new guitar 'Trident'. What a cool guitar!! Everybody loves him and his performance. He played killer guitar solos on Blackout and Hurricane. He also played acoustic guitar on Holiday. I cannot imagine MSG, Temple of Rock or whatever without him. Their new stage banner has the image of Dean V and his Trident, which proves that he is a crucial member of the band.
The audience seemed a little shy at first, but as the show progressed, they heated up and sang out loud the chorus together. Later I found my voice went hoarse.
Just after the show, 50 lucky fans who could get the Yen 20,000 tickets had an opportunity to meet and greet with the band members. The fans took pictures of bandmates and had their items signed by each member. It took about an hour till they were finished with taking group photos with the 50th fan. They must be very tired after the 2-hour non-stop show. What a treat!! Taro Schenker was working hard to organize the event.
I was really glad that the show was awesome and moreover it was great that I found there still are a great number of dedicated fans in Japan. Some of them came to me at the venue and we had nice chats.