On Easter Sunday evening at Canton Hall in Deep Ellum there were only three small tables in this good sized music venue. That could only mean one thing: the place was going to be standing room only for MICHAEL SCHENKER FEST. By the time opener SUPERNOVA REMNANT took the stage the joint was full and ready to rock.
When the time came MICHAEL SCHENKER, the legendary axeman with the walk of a peppy Ozzy approached the mic and said, in his happy German accent, “ELLOO DALLAS!!” Schenker and his bandmates, Chris Glen (bass), Ted McKenna (drums), and Steve Mann (guitar/keyboards) kicked the show off with M.S.G. classic “Into The Arena” to get the crowd going. It Was On! Afterwards Schenker welcomed lead vocalist Gary Barden to the stage.
Barden performed songs from M.S.G.’s first album in “Let Sleeping Dogs Lie”, “Attack of the Mad Axeman”, and “Armed and Ready”. By this time Schenker had his crowd in full rock mode and proceeded to do what a guitar hero does, which is shred tastefully through the dynamic foundation of his bandmates.
After proving why he is one of the greats, he then sauntered into SCORPIONS classic rocker “Coast to Coast”. Next up was the second lead vocalist to the stage, Graham Bonnet. This man was one of two singers in attendance who performed on 2006’s Tales of Rock’n’Roll album which commemorated the 25th anniversary of M.S.G. He did “Desert Song”, “Dancer”, “Nightmoods”, “Searching For a Reason”, and “Assault Attack”, which all received high praise from the crowd.
Afterwards, Schenker ripped into his blistering instrumental “Captain Nemo”. Then, lead vocalist #3, Robin McAuley (also featured on Tales of Rock’n’Roll) took the stage to celebrate his time with M.S.G. They rocked the house with “Bad Boys”, “Save Yourself”, “Anytime”, “Love Is Not A Game”, and “Heart And Soul”. So…. Are you tired yet?
Because stepping up to the plate was lead vocalist #4: Doogie White, singer on both of MICHAEL SCHENKER’S TEMPLE OF ROCK albums. White performed “Live and Let Live”, “Vigilante Man”, “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead”, and “Lord Of The Lost and Lonely”. Both records, Bridge the Gap and Spirit On a Mission, are outstanding. So if you haven’t checked them out by new, get cracking on that.
Last but not least… the new album from MICHAEL SCHENKER FEST in Resurrection, recently released on Nuclear Blast Records. This represents a spiritual side of the band. It’s a hard and heavy rock record which features Barden, Bonnet, McAuley and White. These guys unite with Schenker on the single and video for the song “Warrior”. The album also features “Take Me To The Church”, sung by White, and it was fantastic live.
By this time I was sonically complete. But Wait! Schenker still had great songs from the UFO era in him. We’re talking rock anthems “Rock Bottom”, “Doctor Doctor”, “Shoot, Shoot”, “Natural Thing”, and saving the best for last…”Lights Out”. The four vocalists took turns singing lead on some of these and working in perfect harmony on others. All in all it was a GREAT night of rock and roll!
LIVE IMAGES: GUZPIX
LIVE WORDS: DONNIE PENDLETON