Saturday, 1 November 2014

Michael Schenker's Temple of Doom - 31 October 2014, Boerderij Zoetermeer

Friday night 31 October; while more and more people try to copy Americans (why?) by dressing up strangely, it was in Holland all about Rock. I had to choose between 5(!) shows which was reduced to two in the end. German progrockers Sylvan were the first I would not see. Than the choice was between Textures/Exivious or Osada Vida, which Textures won, until two of my heavy metal DNA bands announced to also hit Holland on 31 October: Fates Warning and MSG. In the end MSG it became due to be closer to home and the fact that I saw Fates Warning only half a year ago. Well MSG you can't really call it as Michael Schenker's Temple of Rock goes through MSG, UFO and Scorpions material nowadays.

This was the first show of their European Tour and I was pleased to see the Boerderij well filled up. Maybe not sold out, but even the balcony looked crowded. In return to the almost full house we got an animated band and a happy looking Michael Schenker. With Michael Schenker being the reason I bought my first guitar from Jim 33? years ago I was so pleased to see that he is getting in a better mood by the year. The set opened with Doctor Doctor followed by a recent MSG song. This set the tone for the evening well. Only Classics filled up with 4 newer songs, which all did not bring the level down. With the Assault Attack album being sold on T-shirts I was hoping for a lot of that album. After all we have Doogie White on vocals and he can sing songs from all vocalists Michael has worked with, without much of a problem it turned out tonight. Unfortunately we stuck at the Title track only for that album. There was a relatively large part of Scorpions material in the set, which was authenticated by band members Herman Ze German on drums and Francis Buchholz on bass. I might prefer MSG over Scorpions, but we got material from their best period in Lovedrive, Blackout, Rock you like a Hurricane.

Actually the whole set consisted of classics that I hope Tiago can sing along as well in a few years time (if not I probably failed as a father). Biggest part going to UFO which is understandable. I do think that all secondary schools should teach music and one lesson should be dedicated to the best live album ever: Strangers in the Night. It remains amazing how even without the mighty Phil Mogg on vocals these songs never stop getting to your emotions. Only the guitar solo at Rock Bottom is worth the ticket for the evening. Tonight in perfect state this was one lesson in melodic soloing which just never ends again. Another obvious highlight is the singing along to instrumental Into the Arena. So here we passed another evening in de Boerderij, realizing why these songs from 35-30 years ago made such an impact. It really never got better than this. Without any complaints I do hope next time around to get more MSG though. This show was not very dissimilar from the one we saw 18 months ago. By including so much Scorpions/UFO songs I do miss too many MSG classics (Lost Horizons to name only the most important one)
Ending with a small message to Doogie White: No Ian Gillan was not in the audience, her name is Jolanda and the confusion around the guy standing before me was pretty funny.

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