at Arcada Theatre, St. Charles, IL., US, April 25, 2015

A chilly and damp spring day at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles, IL USA (a suburb west of Chicago) ushered in a night full of entertaining Hard Rock. This night’s event would showcase three bands with the crowd trickling in slowly and reaching its “sold out” status of 900 fans by the time Michael Schenker’s Temple Of Rock would take the stage.


Gundriver, a new band out of the infamous Hollywood, California, opened the night to a sparse crowd but seemed to be up to the task. Gundriver plays an edger type of “Rock ‘N Roll” that is closer to Metal than Hard Rock. The four-piece band hit the stage with confidence and seemed to be well received by the locals in attendance.stage with confidence and seemed to be well received by the locals in attendance.GundriverThe guys were out promoting their recently released debut album What’s Inside with the music seeming to be a good fit for fans of Michael Schenker.

Singer Crazy Tomes’ influences include AC/DC’s Bon Scott and that aspect of his vocals that came through. Guitarist Tom Potter, sporting a cowboy hat and jeans did a good job at using his part of the stage with plenty of guitar poses.


The surprises of the night for this band were a bass solo, of all things, from Rev Jones and a drum solo by Alex Rivas. Jones throughout the whole set was an animated sight to behold.

Jones’ solo included snippets of what sounded like “I Can See Clearly Now” and The Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby”. Overall, a well-received set by these guys from the West Coast.


As the crowd started to fill in a bit more, native boys Enuff Z’Nuff took the stage. Being sandwiched between the grittier Gundriver and the Hard Rock of Michael Schenker seems like a daunting proposition for Chip Z’Nuff and the boys. Enuff Z'NuffWorld renowned Enuff Z’Nuff’s musical stylings lean more towards the “Pop Rock” spectrum, more so than any of the bands on tonight’s bill. Even so, Johnny Monaco, who continues to do all the singing and guitar work, Chip (bass) and Erik Donner (drums) put on a strong set even if it was in front of a less than appreciative home crowd. The band themselves are always entertaining including Monaco’s guitar solo and Chip sporting his usual “retro garb”.

The set list included several favorites, replete with many vocal harmonies, with the high spot being the two closing popular numbers; “Fly High Michelle” and “New Thing”. Great entertainment, as always, it’s just unfortunate that this “hometown” crowd wasn’t a bit more enthusiastic for a band that is internationally revered!


By the time Temple Of Rock hit the stage the seats were full. How could the fans go wrong with a band whose line-up sports; Michael Schenker (guitar), Doogie White (vocals), ex-Scorpions Herman Rarebell (drums) and Francis Buchholz (bass) and longtime MSG member Wayne Findlay (guitar/keyboards)? It didn’t take long to answer that question as the band opened with a rousing version of “Doctor Doctor” followed by “Live And Let Live” (the opening track off the new album Spirit On A Mission) fueled by an energetic and chilling rendition of “Lights Out”. The opening triumvirate was pure magic and it was evident that Michael was happy, healthy and back in shape as he sported his classic Flying V moves and was full of plenty of smiles!

Surprisingly, this night was filled with more UFO and Scorpions classics than MSG classics with only “Victim Of Illusion” and “Armed And Ready” being the sole representatives of Michael’s earliest solo years. A good portion of the set list was dedicated to the Scorpions’ Lovedrive album which is understandable given Michael’s involvement on that release, along with having Herman and Francis in the band. Fans in attendance had no trouble at all accepting energetic renditions of “Lovedrive”, “Coast To Coast” and “Another Piece Of Meat” and even “Holiday”, which oddly enough was part of the encore.

The part that came off sounding cumbersome were renditions of “Rock You Like A Hurricane” and “Blackout” which Michael had little to no part in. The solos in these two tracks were supplied by the very capable Mr. Findlay but he really didn’t do Matthias Jabs’ solos, and more importantly fills, any real justice. “Blackout” just seemed out of place and sounded clunky and didn’t sit well, especially as the last number of the night when fans are there to see Michael Schenker. Perhaps Michael is proving that Temple Of Rock is less about him and more about “the band”.

Of course, any of those faux pas can be forgiven thanks to “Rock Bottom” preceding the encore and Michael’s traditional, extended solo played within that number. He played some amazing licks and melodies during that piece and it’s times like this where one hopes for a live recording. It was pure magic, a guitar nerd’s wet dream and it should have delivered chills to any Schenker fan in attendance! All in all it was a wonderful show and exceeded all expectations! The price of admission was worth it just to see Michael perform “Lights Out” and “Rock Bottom”, he’s on his “A game” folks!


  • Scott Jeslis

    Scott is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He handles a lot of Metal Express Radio's public relations, screening of new music and radio scheduling. On occasion, he also does reviews and interviews. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2004.

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