Concert Report by Padge
MSG at J.B.'s, Dudley, West Midlands, UK
March 8, 2004

Added on 03/09/2004

I saw MSG last night.... but only heard him for the last half. There was a sound problem at the start and we couldn't hear Michael. We could hear drums, bass, vox all fine, but no MS... not the best sound mix for an MSG gig! The crowd were actualy shouting "Turn Michael up" between the songs (me included)... a few people even walked out. Things weren't looking good.

Suddenly just before "Into The Arena" I think the venue's sound man woke up and realised MS wasn't going through the PA. "Into.." started and BANG, there was that good old MSG sound. Brilliant. The place came alive, the crowd woke up, and it all came good.

MS was on TOP FORM. I haven't seen him this good in a long long time. The rest of the band are also excellent. This has to be one of the the best line ups ever. Chris did a fantastic job on vocals, Rev was incredibly cool on bass (does something with his head which I've only ever seen done by strippers).

By the end of the night, it was all OK and MSG were back... on top form. I just hope that the gig on Weds doesn't have any sound problems.

Concert Report by Plantman
MSG at J.B.'s, Dudley, West Midlands, UK
March 8, 2004

Added on 03/09/2004

hey gang................

well i never thought i'd see that again...... that schenker bloke playing an 'kin blinder, no, no, hang on........a 'KIN blinder.......that's wot. now i'm no good with set-lists and all that so i won't even try, but 'let it roll' sent shivers running down my spine and by the time we got to 'doctor doctor' (encore time) there was this strange watery stuff obscuring my vision a little.......

there was a bunch of local lads stood behind me and one sez to his mate, 'who is this bloke....?' (just before they came on stage) his mate replied 'dunno, but he's suppossed to be some kindda legend' i guess they know the truth now................ehh

and yes, i did the right thing to. you might remember me being rather out spoken (or should that be damn right rude...??) about the man himself in recent months and all that. so last night i shook his hand and just said 'welcome back man'. he paused slightly, smiled and said 'thank you'................

see ya'll,
Plantman - Go Ask Alice

Concert Report by Dean
MSG at J.B.'s, Dudley, West Midlands, UK
March 8, 2004

Added on 03/09/2004

Just to echo the previous posts, absolute blinder!! Everyone on top form! Great mix of songs. Michael's looking fit and playing beautifully. Wayne played great and does a fine Arachno solo. Stage front the vocals were a little bit low (hopefully higher further back) but Chris sang really well. Revs a maniac on stage. All the band guys were great when we met 'em. Great to see SITNers Plantman, Wolfie, Paul, Padge and mates and of course our Batttttty. I wasn't originally planning to make the trip to London but I might just be there now!! DON'T miss it!!!!!

Concert Report by Rich
MSG at J.B.'s, Dudley, West Midlands, UK
March 8, 2004

Added on 03/10/2004

Well, what a great night out it was last night. Meeting up with all the SITNers who are now not-so-strangers-in-the-night, just Strange- In-The-Night (only jestin'!) - Battttty, Dean, Plantman, Paul, Padge & friends. It was also great to see some friends on my local patch - Tim Reed, H, Brian Tatler (ta for the cd), Tony Glidewell, Bryan James....

Iw was good to see Batttty on her knees for the Schenker cause! And hey - it was a great pint and nice meal in the Bostin Fittle - i'll have to remember that for another time.

I didn't find too many problems with the sound (maybe Chris' vocals a bit quiet to start with) - it seems like it was different depending on where you were in the club. The show itself was great, the same setlist as Bradford I think. However, a bigger stage gave the Rev more space to jump and gyrate like a wild animal posessed.

Chris did a great job on the vocals (especially when you consider who he's got to live up to), and Pete was powerful and consistent throughout. Wayne's contribution should not be underestimated either. I particularly liked how Michael stood back while Wayne took the solo on Arachnaphobiac.

And Battttty ended the evening in true Rock & Roll style by throwing things out of hotel windows (ok - it was only my shirt, but life on the road must be startig to get to her :-)

All in all a great night out. Let's hope we can all do the same for UFO in May.

PS - My pics of lat night are now up:

Concert Report by Alan Walsh
MSG at J.B.'s, Dudley, West Midlands, UK
March 8, 2004

Added on 03/10/2004

So, the MSG entourage rolls into the Midlands for the second night of their mini UK tour. The band were already at the venue by 3.30pm, however, Schenker didn t show until 7pm. With the queue growing outside, MSG sound checked with 'Arachnophobiac' and 'Let it Roll'. However, it was clear the sound gremlins were at work. In fact, there were obvious signs the monitors were less than satisfactory.

The doors opened at 7.45pm and those eager to get a close up (glimpse) of their hero made their way to the stage. MSG opened the show at 9.40pm, with the set-list being identical to Bradford. Schenker looked relaxed and happy, smiling to those gathered at the front of the stage.

As the band kicked off with 'Ready to Rock', it was clear that Chris Logan (although on a learning curve) is really enjoying that job that he s been assigned to. No doubt he will have his detractors, but you have to look at the 'bigger picture' and adopt a broader perspective. Truth is, with Logan, in some ways there are similarities with Barden s acquisition to MSG in 1979. A virtual unknown, plucked from obscurity to play with a seasoned professional. That is the reality of the situation. And, for this scribe, Logan equips himself very well indeed.

The range of material (from UFO and MSG) was written in a certain style for different vocalists. Thus, any vocalist working with Schenker has to have the ability to adapt and bring their own creativity into the equation. Logan adapts very well and certainly seems to relish the challenge of singing songs such as: 'Assault Attack', 'Fat City', 'Attack of the Mad Axeman', 'On & On', 'Only You Can Rock Me' and 'Rock Bottom'. Undoubtedly, on the evidence of the two UK shows, Logan s confidence has grown. Still, it s refreshing to see a front man who is genuinely touched by the number of people in attendance.

Indeed, with Dudley being a (virtual) sell-out, it was clear the band were up 'for it'. Unfortunately, for some (those nearer the back of the venue), the sound was less than satisfactory. According to some people, they couldn't hear Schenker's guitar until the fourth number, when the sound suddenly 'came to life'. However, for those at the front, with Schenker's back-line hitting you square in the face, there were no such problems. Again, he was absolutely 'on fire', nailing every solo. That is, until 'On and On' when the onstage sound went awol. Schenker rocked back and held it together, then hammered the outro which was note perfect.

Rev Jones continued to impose his manic presence, along with displaying some outstanding bass guitar work. He was/is truly exemplary. Wayne Findlay followed on from Bradford showing just why he is so integral to the MSG sound. His keyboard work in 'Rock Bottom' (amongst others) was sublime. Layering the sound, it was a perfect foil for Schenkers stunningly structured fretwork. Moreover, Peter Holmes (the man at the back) kept 'things' thundering along at a measured, yet frantic pace. Suffice to say, this particular set of musicians really do gel together.

As the main set neared its conclusion, the band broke into 'Attack of the Mad Axeman'. Logan did a more than admirable job on the falsetto parts, Rev Jones was (er) crazy. More importantly, Schenker entered the outro with such ferocity, he broke the Top E string and had to improvise the solo. No problem: He pulled on the neck, bent it forwards and backwards, whilst straining the remaining five strings to breaking point. His face contorted as though he was wrestling with his Flying V, he took total control and hammered it into submission. There really was only going to be one winner.

The encore was (literally) electric. 'Armed and Ready' saw Schenker walking the length of the stage acknowledging those with there arms outstretched. Then followed a frenetically paced 'Doctor, Doctor'. However, the piece de resistance (which ended the show), was a glorious version of 'Rock Bottom'. This was another outrageous performance from Schenker, aided and abetted by Findlay on keyboards. Another tremendous show by Schenker and his band was finalised by all the players gathering together and taking a collective bow.

Yes, there were sound problems, however, there were no tantrums. In truth, taking the poor onstage sound into account, this performance equalled (if not bettered) Bradford. Of course, you can wax lyrical about Schenker's guitar work when he's in this mood. And yes, you can use all the superlatives that spring to mind, but to what end? Fact is, at the moment Schenker's playing is wondrous to behold. He is exceptional, inspirational and (at times) downright outrageous. Absolute quality!

Alan S Walsh

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