Concert Report by Scott Williams
MSG at Brick by Brick, San Diego, CA
December 3, 2003

Added on 12/04/2003


Here is my review from last nights (12/3/03) show at Brick by Brick in Sana Diego, Ca. Michael and the band were doing the sound check when I arrived at the venue at approx. 6:45 pm. This place is small! maybe 300 people max. It was packed! Standing room only. MSG came on at 11:00 pm. First 2 bands not so hot. Michael was "on" all night as was reported by the other reviews. Yes, they were having a great time, lots of smiles and gestures to Amy Schuger when she was playing with MSG. Kudos to Amy, she is great, both as a singer and a guitarist! She played along on "Rock n roll beliver", "Aracnophobiac", "Armed and ready", Doctor doctor", "Rock bottom", and they did 2 songs from the "Under Constrution Demo" CD. "High cost" and "Victon to the system". By all means, Michael is in top form so far for this tour! Chirs Logan was great but not load enough. "Rev" Jones is frantastic. He can be a show in himself. He likes to jump, swing his head and have a good ol time. I had a chance to talk to Amy before the show, she was very nice and signed my "Demo" CD. After the show, Michael and Amy sold CD's any signed them. Michael signed the "Demo" cd and "the Plot" cd that I had brought. He is very friendly and was taking time to talk to his fans. Fantastic show! I am going to the San Bernidino show tomarrow night (12/5/03) This time I'm bringing my camera! Go if you can! It's Great!

Concert Report by Mark T with Flying V
MSG at Brick by Brick, San Diego, CA
December 3, 2003

Added on 12/08/2003 (originally posted on Dinosaur Rock Guitar Forum)

Well I guess everything in life is a compromise, and you never get everything you want.....but tonite came pretty close!

In a nutshell it was a lacklustre show BUT I did get a chance to talk to Michael and get my V signed, so I'll remember the night for that more than anything else.

We made it down for the soundcheck and the owner let us in to hang out and watch the final set up and actual soundcheck. We sat down with Amy Shugar for awhile and talked with her about everything from vitamins to guitars to life on a tourbus. She's very nice and sweet and really cute, and to look at her tiny hands (she's very petite) you'd never guess she's as good as she is. Really good, actually and a great singer like the other reviews have said. Actually we thought she had a much more powerful voice than Chris Logan, who is twice her size.

One of the most frustrating things about Brick by Brick shows is how variable and frequently awful the house PA and monitor systems are operated. Not always, though. Dio sounded amazing. Kings X were mud all three times, barely heard Ty at all. As long as I've been going there and working there, Ive seen bands bitch and complain and get frustrated with the muddy sound, howling feedback, bad mixes, sound and volume problems of one kind or another. And BbyB has an amazing system so it's not about the equipment.

During MSG's soundcheck it was apparent Mike was not pleased with a number of things, mainly the monitor mix and the wildly fluctuating house mix and lots of errant 60HZ hum and feedback. We all know how hard it is to be inspired and play your best with all that shit dragging you down. Not looking real good at this point. Many frowns and shrugging shoulders. We watched him go from a lets-try-and-work-this-till-we-get-it attitude to fuck it, whatever, lets-just-do-this-thing-and-get-outta-here, where's the next show? Bummer, but I dont blame him.

They ran thru a few tunes at soundcheck. After Let it Roll, we heard Mike admonish Chris "You're not gonna use that halfway kind of voice for the show, I hope" We hoped so too. I'm not looking to bag on the guy, but Chris Logan just doesnt seem to have the power or range to be a suitable foil for Mike, it showed on the UFO stuff and everything else. Singing wise, Amy blew that guy off the stage. They played Rock and Roll Believer, and Victim of the System (in this case I think they meant PA system)

The band broke for dinner, no one looking particularly happy, and we got outta there too after saying hello to Mike as he passed by. Amy mentioned that I had brought a guitar for him to sign and he said to bring it over after the show. Cool!

Fast forward to the show, we suffer thru two awful opening bands, PA was way too loud for these guys and my ears took a serious beating before MSG ever took the stage. Nothing like 2 hours of bad music played too loud to pre-fatigue your ears.

When they finally came on, Vanessa and I are directly in front of Schenker, about 8 feet away. He played a new black V, still has the clear plastic on the pickguard and one full stack.

But, in a horrible perversion of all that is good and right in this world, we couldnt really hear him.

The PA was so loud and, especially, the vocals so dominating that as absurd as it sounds it was just like I said. We stood right in front of him and couldnt hear him. What the fuck was up with that? We could "watch" and we knew what was going on, but we couldnt make out any detail. If I wasnt a guitarist and a huge fan Id have walked away not even knowing what he sounds like.

So we gave up and went back to the bar and had a few cold ones where we could hear a little better. Not much better though. The sound that night, whoever's fault it was, sucked.

The set list was about the same as the other shows, and it was great to hear On and On, Into the Arena and Armed and Ready. But I ask you, with his body of work, all those albums, all the great instrumentals..... am I the only Schenker fan who would NOT be disappointed if MSG skipped Lights Out, Rock Bottom and Doctor Doctor and instead played some other more guitar-intesive B sides?

Other tunes were Arachnaphobia, Fat City N.O. (rocked), Mother Mary.

Schenkers playing? Great, but he never once really broke out and went for it. Cant think of a single moment when he swung for the fence and drew gasps and day-ums! like the last time I saw him. Kind of on autopilot it seemed.

The Shugar-Schenker songs were really good, lots of potential there. Her voice is powerful and subtle all at once, and she can cover a wide emotional range with that voice just like he does on the guitar, so this could turn into something great. Or not. Too soon to tell.

Im a little disappointed in the MSG band. Last time I saw him, Schenker had Barry Sparks and Shane Galaas behind him. THOSE guys rocked. The new MSG well, they just look sound and act like hired help. Maybe they are, but it didnt work for me. Im talking zero chemistry up there. Schenker needs to be among great, not merely competent, musicians who appreciate and respect his work. I didnt see that at all last night.

After the show when the CD autograph session died down, we went over to Amy and Mike and thanked them for the show. God, man, I was so nervous. Gave them a carepackage of the vitamins we were discussing earlier. I had taken my V out of the case at this point, holding it upright at my side, and waited for him to notice or remember that I wanted him to sign it. Pause in the conversation. "What's that?" he said. "Oh,it's my's called a Flying V". Chuckle. Handed it to him with my black Sharpie and asked him to sign it. He did, but with the RED marker he was using for the CD's. Ah well fuck it, red or black, he still signed it. Like I was saying everything in life is a comprimise.

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