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Michael Schenker - Live Tokyo International Forum Hall A

Michael Schenker
Live Tokyo International Forum Hall A
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 13 February 2017, 9:46 AM

MICHAEL SCHENKER is a staple in the name of world famous guitarists and musicians. He debuted with THE SCORPIONS on their debut album at the age of 17. He later joined UFO as their lead guitarist until 1978. He later formed THE MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP and returned to UFO for some time. One of the most unmistakable things about him as a guitarist is the mid-range tone he is known for. “Live Tokyo International Forum Hall A” is a two disc collection of a total of eighteen songs.

One of the things you can immediately notice is the energy he brings to the stage and the obvious adoration and enthusiasm from the crowd. Following two instrumentals, Gary Barden assumed vocals on the track “Attack Of The Mad Axeman,” from his solo group days. His tender vocals combine with sweet melodies and that Classic Metal sound as it flows into the big massive riff of “Victim Of Illusion.” “Armed And Ready” was originally a bonus track from his solo days with MSG but was always a fan favorite and the choice to add it to the live set was a good one, because it is an easily-digested and high energy track. “Coast To Coast” was a SCORPIONS song from the “Lovedrive” album, and has that Classic sound from the late 1970’s when they were really starting to hit their stride. That dragging, mid-tempo riff is part mean and part nasty, and the guitar harmonies shine easily over top of that heavy sound. “Desert Song” has always been one of my favorites and was performed with the necessary grit to bring it to life on stage.

“Captain Nemo” is obviously a fan favorite judging by the elated cheers of the crowd. That dancing guitar riff and spacey background keyboards make for one fine instrumental. “This Is My Heart” is that indelible power ballad type of track that overloads emotion on the stage and allows the crowd to breathe ad take it all in without too much bombast. Schenker really riles up the crowd then with a guitar solo-led “Save Yourself,” followed shortly thereafter by the track “Shoot, Shoot.” Once again the feel-good riff and harmony in the chorus provides the basis for a great live song, and one you can sing along with.

“Doctor, Doctor” closes the concert. This tender, bluesy song makes for a memorable ending to an epic concert. Being that many of the songs were from yesteryear, it’s the kind of experience that you would not call “nostalgic” per se, but also giving younger fans the chance to hear songs that they would have been too young to hear when they were first played live. Tokyo loves Metal, no question about that, and SCHENKER delivers as fine a performance as he ever has here on this two-disc set.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Memorability: 10
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Disc One:

1. Intro: Searching For Freedom
2. Into The Arena
3. Attack Of The Mad Axeman
4. Victim Of Illusion
5. Cry For The Nations
6. Let Sleeping Dogs Lie
7. Armed And Ready
8. Coast To Coast
9. Assault Attack
10. Desert Song
11. Dancer

Disc Two:

1. Captain Nemo
2. This Is My Heart
3. Save Yourself
4. Love Is Not A Game
5. Shoot Shoot
6. Rock Bottom
7. Doctor Doctor
Michael Schenker – Lead Guitar
Ted McKenna – Drums
Steve Mann – Guitar, Keyboards
Chris Glen – Bass
Gary Barden – Vocals
Graham Bonnet – Vocals
Robin McAuley – Vocals
Record Label: In-Akustik


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