Michael Schenker's Temple Of Rock - Live In Europe is the best live recording the German axe master has gifted the world with in almost 30 years. If the world needs any more convincing that Schenker is at the top of his game, look no further than Live In Europe.
The DVD contains the complete show shot in Tilberg, Netherlands in May of 2012, and five bonus tracks from the High Voltage Festival in July of 2011. Veteran belter Doogie White handles the vocal chores in Tilberg and producer Michael Voss sings the HV cuts, however make no mistake - there are other players on the stage, but it's Schenker who commands the focus.
From the minute William Shatner finishes his recorded intro, Schenker owns the next two hours. He takes his audience on a dazzling trip through his musical history - he mixes in relatively equal doses of his days in UFO, his brief but brilliant stint in his brother's Scorpions, and plenty of gold is imported from his own juggernaut, Michael Schenker Group. I've had the pleasure of standing on the stage as Michael played on many occasions, and I can honestly say, he's playing as well as ever. He seems more willing to take chances with some wicked improvisations - several new twists and turns during Rock Bottom made me laugh out loud - but more than that, he finally seems comfortable in his own skin onstage. He smiles, laughs, and throws shapes left and right as he commands his turf.
|Photo by Stephen Fourie|
In the meantime, you're going to want this collection. It's a great document of this point in Michael's life and career - it's a great time. He's smiling, he's happy, and he's playing the kind of guitar that got us all here. We love Michael Schenker because he is an astounding musician, and a most interesting man. I've been riding with this rodeo for 35 years, and I am thrilled to see this great exhibit of guitar wizardry.
As you may know, I just reviewed ex-MSG, current UFO member Paul Raymond's new solo album, Terms & Conditions Apply, and I called it the best set of original music to come out of the UFO camp in twenty years. I fully expect both Schenker and UFO to give Mr. Raymond a run for his money in this next year - hopefully, in the process, they rub shoulders. As a fan, I dream of it, as a critic, I long for it, as a friend, I hope for it.
As a huge fan and old friend, it's beautiful to see my old boss riding so high.
Michael Schenker Temple Of Rock - Live In Europe is one that you will want to own, to sit down with, and be amazed by - I was.