Michael Schenker Live In Tokyo CD Rocks Your Socks Off
Live music adds a sense of occasion, the frisson of anticipation runs through you as you await the band to strike the first note. The next best thing is a live album, Michael Schenker on Fest – Live Tokyo International Forum Hall A, here he nails it. Close your eye turn the speakers up loud and you are in the concert hall with the band. Fest – Live Tokyo is a rock concert with an overture, three movements with interludes and the finale pulling the whole show together. This gives the body of work from Michael Schenker a structure, definition and purpose that engages and keeps the audience in the hall or listening to the double CD or DVD engaged with the music.
The overture is a double instrumental helping Searching for Freedom & Into The Arena. The stage is set as with any overture. Searching For Freedom; the applause, then you can almost hear the collective holding of breath as the first notes of his virtuoso guitar playing fall like musical diamonds from the speaker. The opening two instrumentals are a personification of rock majesty the instruments collective takes you on a journey looking for the freedom and Into The Arena we are now at the heart of the crowd intently listening to the band featuring drummer Ted McKenna and bassist Chris Glenn pounding out the driving deep rock rhythm and Steve Mann on keys adding tonal textures and interest counter-balancing Schenker’s guitar the glorious centrepiece of the CD & DVD.
With three vocalists in this eighteen track set, Gary Barden, Graham Bonnet and Robin McAuley it is not long before the vocalists join as an extra layer with words and the human musical instrument the voice.
The first movement consists of five tracks featuring vocalist Gary Barden. Starting with Attack of The Mad Axeman. Gary was the vocalist on Michael Schenker Group debut album released August 1980 entering the top five UK album chart. With UK single chart conquered by Armed and Ready, the obvious track to close out this section. This is a band in their element, they are hitting the highs pulling out every moment of the music. Production is superb the band is tight around the flaming guitar comet that is Michael Schenker, in his natural element playing live music on a Marshall stacked stage. Gary’s vocals have deepened connecting with the lyrics as he sends out a heartfelt cry For The Nations. This is a vocalist that is back in town singing rock with the band that he feels is right for him.
A pause as Coast To Coast resets the mood before the mighty Graham Bonnet picks up the microphone for a trio of numbers in the second vocal movement of the night. Yes, the first track is Assault Attack forever associated with the power of the partnership of Schenker & Bonnet. The music is fast the rock is frantic and we feel the heat of the live event being turned up another notch. The DVD shows Michael & Gary smiling at each other once again, the joy of playing rock is paramount as the clock is turned back.
Captain Nemo the interlude as the microphone baton is passed to Robin McAuley for a quintet of numbers. Change of vocalist, change of feel as the melodic movement cascades from the speaker as we hear This Is My Heart live. No one will have a broken heart listening to the outpouring of rock classics. The vocal muscles are warm full of emotional contours as they curl around the guitar and conquer Love Is Not A Game. Nor, is producing live rock of this glittering quality.
All too soon, the finale is here the mighty Doctor Doctor with all three vocalists joining the howling guitar majesty of Michael Schenker. Live music is magical, this s a recorded live album that pulls no punches you truly feel that you are there in the presences of musicians who love and understand the power of rock. One thing I am certain of there will not be a better live album produced in 2017. Michael Schenker Live In Tokyo Rocks your socks off.
Michael Schenker on Fest – Live Tokyo International Forum Hall A – Inakustik
NINEdoodle paws out of TEN ….
- Intro: Searching For Freedom
- Into The Arena
- Attack Of The Mad Axeman ft Gary Barden
- Victim Of Illusion ft Gary Barden
- Cry For The Nations ft Gary Barden
- Let Sleeping Dogs Lie ft Gary Barden
- Armed And Ready ft Gary Barden
- Coast To Coast
- Assault Attack ft Graham Bonnet
- Desert Song ft Graham Bonnet
- Dancer ft Graham Bonnet
- Captain Nemo
- This Is My Heart ft Robin McAuley
- Save Yourself ft Robin McAuley
- Love Is Not A Game ft Robin McAuley
- Shoot Shoot ft Robin McAuley
- Rock Bottom ft Robin McAuley
- Doctor Doctor ft Gary Barden, Graham Bonnet, Robin McAuley