Concert Report by Skid Rowe
MSG at The Roadhouse, Sacramento, CA
November 28, 2003

Added on 11/29/2003

After much Turkey from a Thanksgiving feast, I was oh so thankful to be going to see MSG again on Friday in Sacramento at the Roadhouse. My brother & my 23 yr old son (who saw MSG unplugged at age 12) went with me and we found the venue around 8 o'clock. Almost missed it as it is small and not on a busy corner. Michael's huge tour bus was parked out front. We went in and surveyed the venue & stage. Even smaller than Concord! A very old building indeed. The stage was smaller than the previous venue (Cadillac Ranch). While standing around waiting for the warmup band to come on, I saw Rev Jones standing by one of the back mixing tables. I approached him with a handshake and he was very personable. We chatted for a few minutes as he told me the stage in Concord was not very sturdy and they had sound problems but Michael to his credit blazed through the set undaunted. This stage he said was better and the soundcheck from the afternoon was great. He also told me that Chris Logan was feeling a little under the weather but that he would sing because they were not going to cancel any gigs NO MATTER WHAT!

Once the local warm up band finished their (too) long set, MSG came out around 11pm. An almost identical set list as the previous show with the exception of dropping "Assault Attack" & "Because I Can". Michael was in top form as the crowd responded joyfully to UFO tunes. Some of the newer songs were falling on unfamiliar ears (Fat City, Arachnophobiac, & Schugar/Schenker tunes) Fatal Strike was again a highlight to me as Michael chugga-chunked through the chorus and blazed out the ending solo. He acknowledged the crowd after most every song and even surveyed the audience at times while playing, always smiling. Something must have been wrong with Amy's guitar as she held it behind her and just grabbed the microphone during her two singing tunes. Rev was wild as usual but had told me earlier that he would not be able to jump on stage for fear of hitting his head on the low ceiling. Pete Holmes on drums and Wayne Findley on keyboards & guitar again held a fine accompaniment to the others. Standing about 8 ft from the low stage it was difficult to always see Michael's playing but he sounded just awesome. During the encore I ended up in the back of the room "air guitaring" "Rock Bottom" with some guy who was enjoying the show as much as I. After the show Michael went straight from the stage to a little table by the exit door to sign his new CD and anything people put in front of him. He signed stuff for at least 45 minutes, smiling and shaking everyone's hand until the line was completely gone. I got a chance to briefly talk to Rev & Wayne inside after the show, thanking them and wishing them a successful tour. Outside was Chris Logan and I thanked him for quickly replying to an email I had send him. I also wished him better health and said many people were waiting to see them on the road to Chicago and that I hoped that they were welcomed to tour other stops after that.

Great sound. Smiling Schenker. Friendly band. Awesome experience. See them when they come your way, I'm so glad I did!

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Concert Report by Trexx
MSG at The Roadhouse, Sacramento, CA
November 28, 2003

Added on 12/02/2003

The Michael Schenker show was better than my wildest imaginings! Oh MY GAWD! We had such a blast! Woooo Hooooooo! The whole thing just came together kind of at the last minute. My good friend Richard that lives in a somewhat close-by city, invited some of his buds. One of the guys was a old schoolmate that I knew. There was me, my girlfriend, and a coworker that is a music lover. (more blues/jazz, though) and all but one of the eight tickets accounted for. Early on friday we arranged for a rental car. A big fat new Cadillac Deville with a Cd player. We got the car over here to my house and shortly thereafter everyone was here. We had seven people. Almost everyone in our group are HUGE MICHAEL SCHENKER FANS! for my girlfriend and coworker. They all knew about my Michael Schenker jinx too. Actually, Richard reminded me that it was three shows that have been cancelled that I've attempted to go to over the years and not two! Oh my gawd! It was a drizzly afternoon/evening and we were very anxious. I made a window sized MSG logo cut-out and we stuck it in the back window (I used the big proof-making equipment at work! Ha!). We then piled into the car a bit early to be sure that traffic would not delay us. It's a good thing because it took us a half hour to get us fit into the car! My girlfriend was the designated driver.

The venue only holds about 250 people or so. We pulled into an almost empty parking lot... I'm thinking.... everyone's thinking ....He cancelled? FaughhhhKKKK!!!!!!!! faughk-faughk-faughk-faughk FAUGHKKKK!!!!!!!! There were two dudes in a pickup truck and they heard our rants and said "I know what you mean... he cancels a lot, but not this time!" He points across the way. You could see a giant travel/bus/rig, "Schenkers". Cool. While at home, before we left, I showed Rich my old Michael Schenker framed photo that I've had for 23 years. It's black and white from Oakland Collesium in 1978 when he's on stage with UFO and very cool. I held it up and said, "You think he'll sign this?"-"Let's bring it".

So we grab this picture and haul off to the bus. Some roadie said that he'll sign stuff after the show however. So we wait around awhile and some of the guys went and bought a twelve pack and were tailgating and hanging out We sold the last ticket to one of the pick-up truck dudes. A small line started to form and a doorman announced that the door will be open at eight o'clock. We smoked some, drank some, and then head to the door. The parking lot filled up quickly. Inside it's a biker-type bar. A large island bar off to the side, and two steps down leaving the main room area open with the band riser against the same wall as the entrance. There's a few ceiling support poles on the main floor. There were some monitor speakers around a couple of them. The opening band was "Barking at Flies". They did originals and were led by a guitarist-singer that was darn good. The band was metal and decent. They did a 40 minute set.

After a swift stage change comes Schneker. He comes out on stage first. Waves, says nothing, dinks around with the equipment a bit and the other dudes come out to get ready. Michael is wearing sneakers, low socks, NBA big baggie dark blue shorts with white piping, REI fleece sleevless blue vest with collar and a dark blue knit ski beanie with Oakley silver framed sunglasses, and a thin, longish, blonde goatee. He takes his sunglasses off. His eyes were pale-blue, clear and bright. He grabs his axe, puts his head under the strap, while looking up and yells, "You Ready to Rock?" And just goes right into it!

I cannot remember the entire song list exactly but this is what I retained:

Are You Ready to Rock
Mother Mary
Rock Bottom
Too Hot To Handle
Into the Arena
Attack of the Mad Axeman
Some new ones with his girlfriend singing.
Lights Out
Doctor, Doctor
Some newer MSG, not familiar but great.
Let Sleeping Dogs Lie (???)
Only You Can Rock Me
This Kids (???)
More new stuff...

His girl friend is really young and fine. That "tom-girl-rides-horses-kinda-fine" She's very small, brunette with a gigantic voice and a very good guitar player. She joined in on about a third of the songs as a second rhythm guitarist. She sang lead on two numbers and they were very good songs. Great with a girl voice too.

Richard moved towards the front and takes a couple of pictures, a bouncer grabs him makes him leave. Wes (friend from our group) goes after him and gets him off the hook, saying the photos are not for profit, just for our scrapbooks, etc... It works, the owner let Rich back in and says to, "avoid that large bouncer dude". We got some great shots, man! Michael looked up and checked out the crowd a bunch of times. He waved numerous times too. The band was tight and kick'in ass. The bass player looked like "Flea" from RHCP. Three or four long dreadlocks only on the very top of his crown that were spun around constantly, otherwise shaved bald. The singer was the granola, hippie looking dude, clean shaven and ponytail. The rythm guitarist doubled as a keyboardist and had a big mop of hair and goatee. The drummer looked simular. They did a fantastic job. Michael was the only one who messed up that I could detect. (just the singing courus on Too Hot).

They played for two hours. Michael never switched guitars. He used the same one all the way through and just tuned as he went. I was overwhelmed. The music was top drawer and performed to a tee. They all looked really happy, relaxed, and in fun loving mood.

After the show they sold Cd's of his new stuff and he was signing each of them. I think they had three different titles. I got into line to get a Cd and Rich bolts out to the car to retreive the photo that I have. He comes back and shows Michaels' girlfriend and she's all gushing over it... "Oh Michael has to see this!" She says. She interrupts the signing going on and Michael grabs it. He holds it up and is checking it out real carefully... Richard, is saying "Thats from 1978 man! When you were in Oakland, CA with UFO!". "Ya" he says, smiling. I go, "I've had that for over twenty years, I love your music!" He glances over and flashes a smile and then signs it! Soooooo Cool!

I got to see him perform no more than fifteen feet away. Then I got to talk to him face to face afterwards! The show was excellent with many great numbers played. The band was red hot and in sync. The crowd was into the music. They knew the words to the UFO songs! Hot, "40-somethings" women/babes were movin' and groovin' to the music. I was completely enthralled and impressed. I don't have to cover for a disappointing show. This was the best. Perfect!

I have been on a huge high for days now. I really needed to have some fun and feel good again. Michael Schenker did it! I will always associate this huge time in my life to Michael Schenker and his great music. We're all hyped up on the way back to the car, Wes is running with the signed photo above his head and is yelling, "The jinx has been broken, the jinx is history!" We were like a bunch of kids. It was the most fun I've had in a long, long, long, time.

Concert Report by Roger Bleck
MSG at The Roadhouse, Sacramento, CA
November 28, 2003

Added on 12/03/2003

We (my wife Diana, my buddy John & myself) were right down in front on Michael's side of the stage, & it was fantastic!! Michael seemed to be enjoying himself throughout the whole show, he smiled & nodded at us frequently, & the crowd was going nuts during almost every song. The old UFO tunes got the best response, although everyone seemed to enjoy the tunes that Amy played also.

I'm a guitar player myself, I've spent the last 25 years or so studying & playing Michael's songs, so I was pretty focused on his playing & not on the rest of the band. Where we were at down front, we couldn't hear much in the way of vocals, but we could hear the guitar great. Michael was only using one of his Marshall stacks, probably a 50-watt, one of the old JCM800's, & the V that he was playing was brand new (the protective clear plastic was still on the pickguard, you could see that it was beginning to peel back around the edges), & he had a great tone all night long. His rhythm playing was great, he had that Rudi crouch goin' on, bopping back & forth, I don't think he gets enough credit as a rhythm guitarist. And all of the leads were great, he played a lot of the songs like the recorded versions, but with little extra improvised parts thrown in, & I didn't really hear any clunkers all night. I was actually feeling pretty good as a guitar player through most of the show, I was thinking "Yeah, I have most of these solos right", but at the end of the "Rock Bottom" solo, he played a 30- or 40- second flurry of some of the most amazing lead guitar playing I've ever witnessed, up & down the neck, totally fluid & musical, it just blew the top of my head off completely!!!

When I got to meet him & shake his hand after the show, what I told him was that the show was GREAT, but that I was going to go home & practice for about 3 days.........He just smiled.........

I hope the rest of the tour continues as well as it has begun, if you get the chance to go, do so!!!!!!!

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