MICHAEL SCHENKER – Fest; Live Tokyo International Forum Hall A (2017)

MICHAEL SCHENKER - Fest; Live Tokyo International Forum Hall A (2017) full

Legendary MICHAEL SCHENKER returns with his latest multi-media release of “Fest: Tokyo International Forum Hall A” via the Inakustik music label. The Michael Schenker Fest, a celebration of music from the iconic guitarist, made a handful of appearances exclusively in Japan in the fall on of 2016. The concert performance at Toyko’s International Forum on Aug. 24, 2016, was recorded for release on Blu-ray, DVD, 2-CD and digital formats.

On this special tour, Schenker focused on his solo band MSG, performing music from the catalog of albums from which the band recorded during the ‘80s.
The uniqueness of these performances was the inclusion of three of the singers who helped put a stamp on the sound of MSG in that era of Schenker’s career. Vocalists Gary Barden, Graham Bonnet and Robin McAuley, each, shared the stage, as the set list laid out the chronological order of songs from each singer’s perspective albums they recorded as a member of MSG.

Schenker also returned to the stage, once again, with original MSG band members Chris Glen (bass) and Ted McKenna (drums) and Steve Mann (guitar, keyboards), who was part of the McAuley Schenker Group.
The 5,000 fans in attendance surely weren’t disappointed as Schenker, armed with his signature Flying V guitar, rocked the sold-out venue.

All the classic MSG songs are here, and the band performs the instrumental song “Coast to Coast,” which Schenker recorded with the Scorpions on 1979’s Lovedrive album. It covers the staples of MSG’s catalog, performed with emotion and a true rocking spirit.
Veteran Gary Barden is in great form here. Bonnet’s gritty, gravely vocals have not changed much over the years. It is a bonus to hear McAuley-era songs, and his performance is really, really strong.
It would be great to hear a complete live album with McAuley, something from the past or recent recordings. The only official release is the Unplugged live album. He also sings on two UFO classics, “Shoot Shoot” and “Rock Bottom,” both superbly done.

MICHAEL SCHENKER - Fest; Live Tokyo International Forum Hall A (2017) back

Schenker, himself, is on fire. His live performance is reminiscent of Uli Jon Roth, as his confidence is noticeable. He is rock steady; his musical voice majestically rolls through his fingers to each note he strikes on the guitar, re-creating the solos and rhythms he once laid down on vinyl.
For any listener who doubts his magical touch, look no further than his extended guitar solo on “Rock Bottom.” It is a testament to his mastery of the guitar.

The Michael Schenker Fest Tokyo International Forum Hall A is killer release from the much revered guitarist, which seems completely recovered for his past’s demons and is playing better than ever.
Who said dinosaurs can’t rock? This album is blast.
Strongly Recommended

CD 1:
01 – Intro: Searching for Freedom
02 – Into the Arena
03 – Attack of the Mad Axeman (feat. Gary Barden)
04 – Victim of Illusion (feat. Gary Barden)
05 – Cry for the Nations (feat. Gary Barden)
06 – Let Sleeping Dogs Lie (feat. Gary Barden)
07 – Armed and Ready (feat. Gary Barden)
08 – Coast to Coast
09 – Assault Attack (feat. Graham Bonnet)
10 – Desert Song (feat. Graham Bonnet)
11 – Dancer (feat. Graham Bonnet)

CD 2:
01 – Captain Nemo
02 – This Is My Heart (feat. Robin McAuley)
03 – Save Yourself (feat. Robin McAuley)
04 – Love Is Not a Game (feat. Robin McAuley)
05 – Shoot Shoot (feat. Robin McAuley)
06 – Rock Bottom (feat. Robin McAuley)
07 – Doctor Doctor (feat. Barden, Bonnet & McAuley)

Michael Schenker – Lead Guitar
Ted McKenna – Drums
Steve Mann – Guitar, Keyboards
Chris Glen – Bass
The Vocalists:
Gary Barden
Graham Bonnet
Robin McAuley


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