At O2 Academy, Newcastle, U.K., April 12, 2013

Young guns Virgil and the Accelerators certainly acquitted themselves in style with their fiery brand of Blues Rock, but it was left to the old warhorse Michael Schenker to show them how it’s really done.

His career has taken many twists and turns over the years since first cutting his teeth as a teenager with the Scorpions, before really making his name with UFO, followed by a short stint back with the Scorpions and then onto his own band, the Michael Schenker Group.  It hasn’t always been easy, it hasn’t always been pretty, but it has always been an eventful ride with Schenker at the helm.

With his blonde locks hidden beneath a beanie hat, a leather clad Schenker with trademark black and white Flying V guitar in hand certainly struck an imposing figure.  Looking fitter and leaner than he has in years, Schenker was indeed ready to rock.

Michael Schenker

Bolstered by the classic Scorpions rhythm section of Herman Rarebell and Francis Buchholz, together with former Rainbow vocalist Doogie White, Schenker has put together a formidable band that could really do justice to his musical legacy.

Doogie White had arguably the hardest job of the night, but he pulled it off with ease by capturing the spirit of the originals yet bringing his own inimitable style to the songs.  If there ever was a musical problem for Schenker in the past, finding a singer that could deal with his whole catalog was the big one. It seems that at long last he’s found the perfect man for the job.

With a set list built around UFO’s Stranger’s In the Night (“Doctor Doctor”, “Lights Out”, “Rock Bottom”), MSG’s One Night At Budokan (“Into The Arena”, “Armed and Ready”) and a sprinkling of gems from Lovedrive-era Scorpions (“Coast to Coast”, “Holiday”, “Another Piece Of Meat”), pretty much every track was a classic.

Michael SchenkerNew song “Horizons”, from his forthcoming album Bridge The Gap, showed Schenker building on the impressive Temple of Rock album from 2011 and looks set to be one of the musical highlights of the year.

Schenker was clearly having a blast even throwing in Scorpions classics “Rock You Like A Hurricane” and “Blackout”, which were recorded by the band after he left, but gave Rarebell and Buchholz their moment in the spotlight.

Schenker left his troubles of the past well and truly behind as he showed why he is revered as one of the all-time greats.  His tone is simply unmatchable and his technical ability is jaw dropping, but better still his solos have a grasp of melody that many other guitarists just overlook.  For those in the crowd, it was an unforgettable chance to see a true legend right at the very top of their game, and for fans of the Classic Rock of Scorpions, UFO and MSG, it was a night to cherish.


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

    View all posts

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.