Michael Schenker Group - Rock Over America - March 22, 2012
This would be my first visit to Counts Vamp’d Bar & Grill and wow was I in for a treat. The venue was smaller than I thought it would be but worked for this event. Michael Schenker’s Temple of Rock Tour will consist of different line ups all around the world. The three singers from the brand new “Temple Of Rock” album: Michael Voss, Robin McAuley and Doogie White will be feature throughout the tour. The tour started in the United States will be in Japan for some shows and will finish in Europe. The first leg of the tour features Robin McAuley (McAuley Schenker Group and Survivor) on vocals, Elliott “Dean” Rubinson on bass, Wayne Findlay on keyboards and guitar, and Pete Holmes on drums. Oh yeah, and the best guitarist I have had the pleasure to listen to live, Michael Schenker (Scorpions, UFO, The Michael Schenker Group and McAuley Schenker Group) on lead guitar. I’m not saying he is the best ever but I have never had the pleasure of seeing anyone better. The reunion of Michael and Robin is something special because they used to share the stage together and for one reason or another parted ways sometime in the early 90’s. But before these two long time rockers would take the stage there were two warm up bands that were more than honored to take the stage before them.
The first band was Seventh Calling. This is a group of mainly long time rock veterans and they rocked it out as well as any young rockers could have. They are very heavy metal with some death metal here and there. The thing I was most impressed with is that during the death metal portions of their performance you could actually understand what was being sung! The second band was Dinner Music of the Gods. This is a strictly instrumental rock band. I had heard them a while back while eating at the House of Blues and bought their CD. So I guess you can say I like them. I will be honest, instrumental rock is not high on my list of rock music but these guys pull it off somehow. I think it was a good lead up to get the crowd ready for Michel’s long guitar riffs.
By the time Michael, Rubin and company took the stage the Vamp’d was packed. If you didn’t have a spot in front of the stage you weren’t getting one, camera or not. The last time I felt this kind of rock electricity was when Taime Downe and Brent Muscat reunited at a Sin City Sinners show last December. You take the rocking voice of Robin, mix it in with Michael’s gifted fingers and you get some great rock music. They played a mix of songs from the Scorpions, UFO and the new “Temple Of Rock” CD. I was really taken away by the music Michael created on his Schenker signature Dean V guitar. After getting some photos I found a spot on a little stair case just right of the stage where I was content to just watch and listen to him play. Rubin and the rest of the band rocked it out and then some but Michael stole the show. I can see why when he had a chance to join the likes of Aerosmith and Ozzy Osborne and he choose not to. This way he is the MAN and not just the lead guitarist for Aerosmith or Ozzy!
Overall this was one of the best music experiences I have been a part of. What can I say; it will be a night I will remember for a long time. The warm up bands were good. Rubin, Elliot, Wayne and Pete help create a great sound and gave the crowd something they will remember also. I don’t know if I have any accolades left to describe Michael. He is more than worth checking out if he’s in your area. If you want to see and hear one of the best guitarists to grace a stage you need to see Michael live!! Just want to thank Mark Lewis my editor for thinking of me when the original writer couldn’t make it. I wouldn’t have experienced one of the best guitarists of our time otherwise. In closing I would just like to say if you really want to experience music you must let yourself be consumed by it! Rock on my friends. Rock on.
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