Concert Report
Michael Schenker Group
at Nakano Sunplaza
March 19th, 1997

by R.B. Araki
Updated on 03/29/1997

Since my wedding ceremony was held at Nakano Sunplaza two years ago, I personally have a special memory on this concert place. The concert lasted three hours and they played 30 songs!!! You can easily guess it made all the Japanese audience satisfied. I had seen Michael's concert four times before. But, this 5th concert was the best. Also, it was the greatest concert I've ever seen in terms of length of the concert, high quality performance of Michael, selection of the songs, and everything!

In this Japanese tour, Michael recorded a live album. It is slated to be released on May 10, 1997. Its title will be "The Michael Schenker Story Live." As can be seen from the following set-list, it will cover the entire history of Michael. Actually, the first 14 songs of the set-list completely follow the chronicle of Michael's studio albums (which I did not notice during the concert). Among all studio albums Michael has released in his 25-year professional career, there is no album, from which Michael did not choose to play any song at this concert. The new album will certainly be "the very best." As is shown on next table, he picked up five songs from the Michael Schenker Group album for this show. Does this mean this is still his favorite album?

Set List of MSG Concert on March 19th, 1997
Song TitleSource Album
1.In Search Of Peace Of MindLonesome Crow
2.Doctor DoctorPhenomenon
3.Let It RollForce It
4.Natural ThingNo Heavy Petting
5.Lights OutLights Out
6.Only You Can Rock MeObsessions
7.Another Piece of MeatLove Drive
8.Into The ArenaThe Michael Schenker Group
9.Are You Ready To RockMSG
10.Assault AttackAssault Attack
11.Captain NemoBuilt To Destroy
12.No Time For LosersPerfect Timing
13.Save YourselfSave Yourself
14.All The Way From MemphisContraband
15.Push To The LimitWalk On Water
16.Written In The Sand*+Written In The Sand
17.Back To Life *+Written In The Sand
18.Love Never Dies *+Written In The Sand
19.EssenceWritten In The Sand
Encore No.1
20.Never Ending Nightmare **M.S.G.
21.Bijou Pleasurette **The Michael Schenker Group
22.Positive Forward**Thank You
23.Lost HorizonsThe Michael Schenker Group
24.Too Hot To HandleLights Out
25.Attack Of The Mad AxemanMSG
Encore No.2
26.Love To LoveLights Out
27.On And OnMSG
28.Armed And ReadyThe Michael Schenker Group
Encore No.3
29.Feels Like A Good ThingThe Michael Schenker Group
30.Rock BottomPhenomonon
* Vocal by Leif Sundin
(Then, who is the guy singing all other songs?
That's David Van Landing. Thanks, Dave, for your information!)
** Acoustic set
+ Michael wearing "6+9" sunglasses.

Albums from which Michael selected more than one songs for the concert
Album TitleNo. of Selection
1.The Michael Schenker Group
5 songs
2.Written In The Sand
4 songs
3.Lights Out
3 songs
3 songs
2 songs

In this concert, Michael's guitar sound could be so clearly heard. In case of heavy metal bands, sometimes the sound is so loud and dirty that the audience cannot recognize what the bands are actually playing. However, Michael's sound was incredibly recognizable. The tone of his guitar was also cool. It seems he used Crybaby for some parts (to my knowledge, he has quitted using it for the past few years although it used to be his trademark). But, it seems to me that the Crybaby did not work well during the show. However, his tone for the other parts was perfect although he sometimes checked his foot controllers or pedals (maybe because the concert was live recorded and he was so serious about sound check).

Since the last concert tour of UFO in Japan, Michael has mainly used a white Flying V (which, as far as I know, is a property of his guitar technician). However, for this concert, he used his own black & white Flying V with block inlay for the songs No.1 to No.11 in the above set-list, and another black & white one with dot inlay for the songs No.12 and thereafter.

With regard to his lead play, he has never declined. On the contrary, he has become better as he gets older. To me, his lead play in 'Save Yourself' was the coolest. Every improvisation play he created was making my hair at back stand.

Anyway, I am looking forward to the new album. Maybe you could hear me screaming in the album.

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