Concert Report by Eric
MSG at Vamp'd, Las Vegas, NV, U.S.A.
March 22, 2012
Added on 03/25/2012

Killer! What more can I say!

Eric Andrini

Concert Report by Taylor
MSG at Vamp'd, Las Vegas, NV, U.S.A.
March 22, 2012
Added on 03/31/2012

By Taylor Carlson in Vegas Valley Classic Rock Society

Michael Schenker with opening band Dinner Music for the Gods. March 22, 2012, Count's Vamp'd.

Michael Schenker is a guitar god, and has been rocking the world for the past four decades. Schenker has been a part of the Scorpions (a group founded by his older brother Rudolf), UFO, and the short-lived supergroup Contraband (which also featured Tracii Guns and Bobby Blotzer.) He also made a name for himself with his own band, the Michael Schenker Group, which later became the McAuley Schenker Group. Schenker has never really "gone away", and has been fairly active in the music business since the world was first introduced to him so many years ago.

When it comes to classic rock/hard rock/metal guitarists, Michael Schenker is easily in my top 10. I had been eagerly awaiting this show ever since it was first announced. In the past few years, I have seen 2 UFO shows, and while excellent in their own right, they just aren't the same without the classic German axeman on deck. This tour (the American leg of it, anyway) reunited Schenker with his classic, late 80s singer, Robin McAuley.

The entire night was jam-packed with hard rock excellence. Dinner Music for the Gods, an incredible instrumental local group who has been winning me over through the course of the last few months, started this show. And I have to say, I don't think there is any local-based group that could have been an opener for this night. It was just the appetizer the evening needed. Definitely check these guys out if you haven't yet!

And then came the main course. Michael Schenker's current touring band features some top-notch musicians, including Robin McAuley, who sang on a number of Schenker's best known post-UFO tunes. If you listened to classic tracks like On and On, Anytime, and Gimme Your Love back in the day, this is the man whose vocals brought them to life alongside Schenker's guitar. He's a seriously underrated singer.

It's very rare that I can say a concert was damn near PERFECT, but Schenker and company blew everyone away. Choosing a setlist when you're a man like Schenker is not easy, with over forty years of material to choose from, but this was a great variety of tracks. It was essentially the former half featuring Scorpions and MSG tunes, and the latter half being almost entirely devoted to his classic UFO material. This tour is technically for Schenker's new Temple of Rock solo CD, but surprisingly very little was actually played from it. Apparently, Schenker knows the fans want to hear the classics - and to say he delivered them was an understatement. These renditions of UFO classics trumped even the versions the modern version of UFO did a few months ago, and that is no small feat!

It was an incredible performance with an amazing setlist, that lasted for nearly two hours straight (including encores.) While Schenker himself disappeared not long after the show had ended, I was lucky enough to get to meet Robin McAuley, and even got him to sign my record. Great singer, and a great guy too. There were no shortage of local-based classic hard rockers attending the show as well - Ron Keel, Vinnie Paul, and Paul Shortino were all in attendance!

If you haven't attended a show out at Vamp'd yet, you're missing out. This is a great, intimate venue, and there is really no better place to see one of your favorite classic hard rock bands. It is absolutely a godsend that Schenker and his band decided to play here of all place. Over the last year or so, this place has evolved to be what is arguably my favorite Vegas music venue. Thanks to all the staff out there for making great shows like this happen! Furthermore, I have never seen the place more packed than I did at this show.

Michael Schenker is still going strong, and still kicks ass on the guitar. It's always scary to see one of your rock idols live - you never know if they will live up to your past memories and experiences. But I can safely say Schenker not only meets these past memories/expecations/etc., he EXCEEDS them by far. This is easily the best concert I have seen in 2012 so far. If you have a chance to see Schenker live, DON'T PASS IT UP.

-Taylor Carlson

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