Concert Report by Rich
MSG at Rio's, Bradford, U.K.
March 6, 2004

Added on 03/07/2004

Michael played a great show last night at Bradford Rios. It was great to hook up with Batttty and Dairve whose adventures in getting lost around Bradford and trying to find a pub you will soon hear about.

Schenker was in fine form, and good humour. The Rev was bounding all over the stage, and Wayne Findlay suitably impressed on keyboards and rhythm guitar.

Set list was a great mix of classic UFO & MSG and some more recent MSG.

Afterwards, Michael took a considerable amount of time chatting to fans and signing autographs. Cool

here are some pics;

Concert Report by Alan S. Walsh
MSG at Rio's, Bradford, U.K.
March 6, 2004

Added on 03/08/2004

After the debacle that was Manchester Apollo in November 2000 (except for brief guest appearance at Donington-2001), who really believed Michael Schenker would ever return to the UK? I'll wager there weren't many. The consensus that Michael had 'burned all his bridges' was, to some extent, a logical conclusion after the mess that ensued on that final UFO date in Manchester. No matter, as he has done on many occasions, Schenker has returned to the UK on a three-date stopover, to bring his present incarnation of MSG to his adoring UK public.

Pre-show ticket sales for this show approximated near the 300 mark, thus, for a venue with 1000 capacity, it was looking as though there would be a low turn out. The venues proprietor indicated that: 'The phones hadn't stopped ringing all day.' Constant questions about whether He (Michael) was really playing, or whether he'd even turned-up. Undoubtedly, that 'infamous' Manchester farce had affected sales, hence, MSG were playing club dates rather than theatres.

By 5.15pm, 'things' were not looking too good as the band and equipment had not arrived. No problem. Crew and band arrived at 5.30, Schenker walked into the venue 10 mins later. Chatting with him briefly, he was very receptive, and it was clear he was feeling happy and in good spirits. With no support band in attendance (who needs 'em anyway), and the doors due to open at 7.30pm, MSG finished sound checking at 7.50pm. Peering outside the venues main doors, the queue stretched as far as the eye could see, with those at the front pressing their ears against the door, whilst trying to hear the sound check. From the evidence of what I heard (and saw) in the sound check, with the growing mass outside (along with Schenker's demeanour) the signs that it would be a great show looked positive.

Suffice to say, by the time MSG hit the stage (9.30pm), Rios was packed. And, I mean: 'Totally packed in like sardines in a can.' In fact, it was estimated by the owner that 700+ people paid on the door, making it a capacity sell-out. The set-list was virtually similar to what has already been recorded elsewhere (with 'Fatal Strike' being moved to mid-set after 'Arachnophobiac'). Opening with 'Ready To Rock', it was interesting to see how Schenker would respond to the absolute noise that greeted him. We/He needn't have worried, 'Hero Worship' would be an understatement. He smiled, waved and acknowledged those he knew as he tore into the opening number. Then came the solo: 'Absolutely bang on!' The signs really were looking good. And they were. 'Mother Mary' and 'Assault Attack' followed. Cue, people staring in amazement and disbelief. 'Show 'em Michael' screamed one admirer. 'Let it Roll' and 'Fat City' followed, Schenker smiled in acknowledgement to the crowd, then ripped into 'Lights Out'. Again, he nailed the solo: note perfect. And, as the gig progressed, he got better.

Whilst the maddest bassist in the world (a hybrid of 'Flea' and Pete Way) terrorised his area of the stage, Chris Logan commanded a presence rarely seen since Barden's days with MSG. Indeed, Logan was in fine voice, using his capabilities to full effect on the array of MSG & UFO material. However, his quality truly shone through on his own songs. Moreover, Wayne Findlays solo on 'Arachnophobiac' was excellent.

As for Schenker? 'Into The Arena' was truly inspirational. 'Only You Can Rock Me' and 'Too Hot To Handle' sent Rios into a frenzy. 'On and On' was beautifully sublime, with Schenker soloing majestically. Final track of the main set: 'Attack of the Mad Axeman' was simply sensational. Schenker was 'on fire', we knew it, but did he? Maybe not, but he smiled, waved and looked inseparable from his trusty (new) Flying V. Back for the encore: 'Armed & Ready', the inimitable 'Doctor Doctor' and an absolutely mind-blowing 'Rock Bottom' (a virtual take on the 'Strangers' version), Schenker stood victorious arms aloft, smiling insatiably, whilst surveying his audience. Shouts of delight from the gathered throng, reciprocated smiles and bows from Schenker, a few handshakes and he was gone.

Having lost count of how many times I've seen this man play, I can honestly attest, this was (one of) the finest I've ever seen him. He played with an intensity that defied logic. He was focused, fluent, melodic, inspirational and totally mesmerising.

The after show signings took over an hour, yet, as some people filed out into the cold Yorkshire (night) air, it was stated by several fans that He (Schenker) had totally redeemed himself. Talking to a well-known local guitarist: I asked him what he thought about the show. 'I've seen him many times, but tonight I am speechless. On that form, he's the finest guitarist in the world. No question.' I could only agree with his summation.

If this was a 'come back' of sorts, it was unbelievably successful. If Schenker felt he had something to prove to the UK. He certainly proved it tonight. The Manchester affair, that lingered so long in peoples' minds (NOW), seems such a distant, faded, memory.

Fact: On this form, in this genre, he is undoubtedly the greatest guitar player in the world. No one (and I mean no one) can get near him. Absolutely Magical.

Alan S Walsh.

Concert Report by Les
MSG at Rio's, Bradford, U.K.
March 6, 2004

Added on 03/09/2004

I travelled from Edinburgh for the gig and I was worried that it would be either a "no-show" or a mediocre performance. Suffice to say the doubts and apprehension before the gig were swept aside by the time the intro to Ready to Rock was over. From start to finish Michael's playing was absolutely sublime. Last time I saw him play (UFO Covenant Tour) his playing was erratic - when he was good he was brilliant, but there were a few lapses. Not this time - he was note perfect from beginning to end and it was great to hear so many UFO classics like Let it Roll and Lights Out.

The other difference from last time was Michael seemed genuinely pleased to be there and was enjoying himself throughout. I spoke to him afterwards and he did seem really happy and was truly appreciative of the reaction from the crowd.

Compliments to the rest of the band too - they were really on fire and it was a great performance from everyone. I had read mixed reviews about Chris Logan's vocals and whilst he is no Phil Mogg, his voice held up well through the variety of UFO and MSG numbers. And what can you say about Rev Jones??!!

Overall it was a fantastic gig and seeing Michael back at his best was a dream come true. I'm desperately trying to arrange a flight for tomorrow to catch the London show. If you were thinking about going but weren't sure, do yourself a favour and go see a genius at work!!


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