Concert Report
by Tonny Van Noggeren

- MSG -
at Detroit, USA
May 29th, 1999

Added on 05/31/1999

I saw the MSG / Vinnie Moore show last night at the 7th House in Pontiac Michigan. It's a shame that Michael is playing gigs in such small venues these days and not even selling them out.

Vinnie Moore & band hit the stage at 9:30 and gave us 7 tunes in about 35 minutes. The crowd seemed quite receptive to his set and from comments I heard Vinnie picked up a lot of new fans last night. Perhaps the most impressive thing about this opening set was the tightness of the rhythm section - Barry Sparks and Shane Gaalaas seem to lock into each other and rock out.

The Michael Schenker Group (i.e. the Vinnie Moore Band without VM and with a singer [whose name I didn't catch]) took the stage without their namesake just before 10:30. Once they were in position Mikey joined them on stage (same trenchcoat and shades as other shows) and the set began.

The set list was:

                    Armed & Ready
                    Only You Can Rock Me
                    Natural Thing
                    Pushed To The Limit
                    Written In The Sand
                    Captain Nemo
                    Into the Arena
                    short guitar solo leading into...
                    Pilot of Your Soul
                    The Mess I've Made
                    Fat City N.O.
                    On And On
                    Attack of The Mad Axeman
                    Another Piece of Meat
                    Too Hot To Handle
                    Lights Out

Unfortunately we were one of those gigs where Michael chose not to perform his encore. It couldn't have been for lack of crowd response - the crowd last night were very appreciative and enthusiastic. Within 2 minutes of the band leaving the stage the lights were up and the ads for "The Michael Schenker Story Live" had resumed over the p.a. system. The set was completed in approximately 70 minutes. I was impressed at how many great songs they squeezed into such a relatively short set. Most bands won't give you that many tunes in 2+ hours.

Here's a few miscellaneous observations of mine from the show:


These advertisements were played before Vinnie's set, between sets and after MSG's set. I felt this was a case of preaching to the converted. Most die hard Schenker fans have already bought this double disc either as an expensive import (that was me 2 years ago!) or through Michael's merchandise sales. I question the effectiveness of this type of advertising. Perhaps Michael should ask the Scorps if they will play the ads before their gigs??

NEW SINGER (sorry, I didn't catch his name)

I've only ever seen Michael with Robin singing (twice) but I've heard Van Linding and Sundin on MSSL (product being advertised above!!!) and I wasn't terribly impressed with either of them except for Sundin on his own Written In The Sand tunes. I have no idea how Keeling does Mogg, Barden or Meine tunes so I can only compare the new guy to him on the 3 new tunes that they did. Overall I was very pleased with this singer. He adequately handled whichever style of vocals he was covering. His Mogg tunes were probably the best I've ever heard Mogg covered (Mogg is close to an untouchable voice for being covered by others IMO - witness Joe Lynn Turner's butchering of Rock Bottom on his latest cover album; it's not that I don't like JLT but he does a much better Paul Rodgers or Lou Gramm impersonation than he does Phil Mogg's style of singing). The Barden tunes played last night were sung very close to Gary's style/sound as well. When the 3 new tunes were played the singer covered Kelly's vocals very well. His "Klaus Meine" vocals for Another Piece of Meat were incredibly accurate.


There were a few rude individuals after the show who got in line for Michael's autograph only to find out they could only get something signed if they had bought it at the merchandise booth. Some fans can be pretty boorish I guess.....their reactions ranged from immature to downright childish. It was very clear from signs posted at the made throughout the evening that Michael would only sign his merchandise. It shouldn't have been a surprise to anyone who stood in line for 20+


While some looked upon this as an opportunity to slam Michael (for only signing his new merchandise), I think it is nice of the guy to hang out after the gig and sign SOMETHING for his fans. How often do you see that at a concert? If there weren't restrictions on what Michael is willing to sign, he may as well set up to sign something for every fan in the building - that can take a lot of time for a musician who needs to get ready to move on to the next gig.


Michael has been bashed on this newsgroup many times by many people for the deal he made with Mogg/Way on the rights to the UFO name. I myself have thought that it was a very selfish contract (and I fear that Tony Iommi may have made a similar deal with Ozzy about the Sabbath name and that pisses me off but I digress....) and that Michael shouldn't hold those guys back from using the name if he doesn't wish to participate. Anyway according to Barry Sparks who I talked to after both sets there are presently discussions going on to allow the other guys to carry on business as UFO!!!! He said that Chapman is back with them and perhaps also Jeff Kollman on guitar. I'm sure this will all come at a cost for the Mogg/Way/Chapman guys but it is encouraging to know Michael isn't being a prick just to be a prick by keeping the name away from them.

Overall I had a great time at this show last night. I was very happy with the singer MSG selected for the tour and the musicianship (every one of them) was top-notch.



Thank you, Tony!

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