Concert Report
by Randy Rogers

- MSG -
at The Edge, Palo Alto, CA
May 6, 1999

Added on 10/25/2002

I first saw Michael Schenker in Sep 78 when UFO opened for BOC at Wings Stadium in Kalamazoo, MI. I saw him for the second time on May 6, 1999 in Palo Alto, CA at a place called The Edge.

Vinnie Moore opened the show. He is a shredmaster of the first degree. His technique is incredible. I am not a fan of his and I had not heard any of his music before that show. Personally, I would have to say that it got to be a little ho-hum after four or five songs. I think it is really tough keeping a crowd entertained with all instrumental songs. I sensed the crowd enjoyed his playing, but would prefer to see MS. I was actually a little surprised that a call for Michael to take the stage didn't happen during Vinnie's performance (not that I felt it should have). Credit that to a polite audience. I have seen some good performers get booed off a stage because the crowd wanted to see the main act - even though the band was doing a good job.

Getting back to MSG... The band that played with Vinnie Moore was also the band that played with Michael. I really couldn't tell whether it was Michael's band or Vinnie's band, or just some hired guns being used by both.

Honestly, I only know MS from his work with UFO. As it turned out, at least half of the material from the concert was vintage UFO (with a couple of new UFO tunes) - which suited me just fine.

During the first half of the show, I couldn't help but get the feeling that MS was basically a has been trying to make a buck off his fans. A thought driven home by a recording played over and over before and after Vinnie Moore's set that advertised the MSG items that were on sale at the back of the club. Michael was readily available for autographs before the show, provided the item to be autographed was purchased from him (t-shirts were $25). Outside the club, little flyers advertising items for sale were posted on walls, telephone poles, etc. Is this the new trend in self-marketing?

Also, it seemed as though MS had very little interaction with the rest of the band. In fact, his guitar cord was literally taped the floor and he could not move very far from his position (stage left). None of the other band members came over to his area. The lead singer had a lyric book (that sat out of sight behind one of the floor monitors - I was front row center, so I could see it).

Speaking of lead singers... there were two. One started the show (I don't know his name) and a second one came out during the middle of the show to sing new material from MSG's latest release (I think his name was Keeling). The first singer came back out and closed the show.

I will have to say, however, sometime during the second half of the show, the MS magic started to come out. He took off the trench coat and sunglasses and just got the crowd going - mostly with UFO classics like Lights Out, Love To Love, and Only You Can Rock Me. He raised the roof with the final encore - Rock Bottom. In spite of my initial misgivings, I would have to say I got what I came for and left a satisfied customer. Twenty one years is a long time and quite naturally, MS (and myself, for that matter) has changed. He isn't a young man anymore. I honestly can't remember that much about the first time I saw him in 1978 - other than the fact that UFO absolutely rocked with a passion and MS just killed on guitar. I have the video "History of UFO." It has lots of vintage UFO concert footage, much of it from the era when I first saw UFO in concert. MS was much more physical on stage back then. However, as evidenced by the show I saw last Thursday, he still has the stage presence, guitar skills, and aura that made him famous.

Incidentally, it was mentioned several times during the show (by both Vinnie Moore and MS's lead singer) that it was being recorded for a live recording release.

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