After delays in the form of postponements and on the night, technical issues Michael Schenker took to the stage in Glasgow in his only headline show in 2022 and for 90 minutes a God walked amongst us.
As previously booked support Doro could not attend the show was opened up to hometown favourites Heavy Pettin and there were no complaints at the change. The venue was packed to the rafters and there was a multitude of HP t-shirts and a readiness to see these guys in full swing again.
It was a much bigger venue than their last Glasgow show and even with the delays on us punters getting in and the band getting on stage the sound and lights were far superior to the previous show.
Newer song “Get Back to You” opened from the 4 Play EP and the first thing you notice was how happy the band were to be back home. Hamie and Gordon spent the whole night spotting friends and fans from the last 40 years and saluting them.
As we jump into “Roll the Dice” it is like the band were never away. The energy is as intense as the time I first saw them at The Burns Hauff many moons ago and a day I will never forget. What grabbed me that day grabbed everyone in this hall tonight. After I had finishing shooting the boys I decided to head up to the balcony and took in the band in total and they were sublime.
Next was “Love Times Love” and the place was jumping as we all relived the first time we heard the tracks from the album Lettin loose, the album that got them onto KISS and Ozzy tours and saw them play the temple that was the Glasgow Apollo…the most run down, smelly and dangerous venue you have ever witnessed but a temple to us youngsters before it closed its doors in 1985.
The Lettin Loose barrage continued with “Rock Me” and “Shout it Out” and already my voice is starting to break at the ungodly loudness I am screaming at but I could not care less. This is Glasgow’s band and we will not let each and every visit home go quietly or unnoticed.
We move quickly onto the second album with “Sole Survivor” and “Rock Ain’t Dead” which like the multitude of amazing young bands out there shuts Mr Simmonds mouth. The amazing thing from these are witnessing Hamie hit every note and sound as fresh as he did in the 80s.
As we near the end of the show it is time to send us into overdrive with “Hell is Beautiful” and “In and Out of Love” and we have been royally rocked. The band may be different from all those years ago but this is one solid unit and considering how they are spread all over the world it is even more incredible to see such a polished performance.
The good news is 2023 will brring a new album and tour and I for one cannot wait.
Is there any better way to open a show than with “Into the Arena”? You could drag someone off the street, stick them down the front and let Mr Michael Schenker loose and the person will be blown away. That fluffy hat, that flying V and that talent…you can only be in total awe.
From one defining song to another in “Doctor Doctor” and as much as Ronnie Romero is one of the best new singers on the circuit he is not needed as every person here is singing this at the top of their voices.
After that one two sucker-punch it is time to ease off the classics for a bit and let us old ones catch our breath as we go through the likes of “Looking for Love”, “Red Sky” and “Sail the Darkness” before going into a breathless run of what can only be described as classic hits of the last four decades.
The technical issues raised their heads again during “Lights Out” but Ronnie is not just an awesome singer and pretty face, he can plug in monitors and mop down other band members sweat at no extra costs.
There are always murmured whisperings around the singers that frequent MSG, especially after some other problems tonight but I love Ronnie, I love everything he touches and the way he handles these immense songs, considering his age and the fact that unlike us fans who have lived and breathed these songs since they were released is outstanding.
There is a number of people who will say pick a singer and stay with them and all issues will be avoided and there is credence to that as someone filling in will never be as full on as a properly placed singer but for me Ronnie will be looked back on in years to come as a very special singer and maybe even reach the status of the Great Schenker himself.
I just hope that the fans who were here for the hits check out Ronnie’s stuff and support him as he is your hero of tomorrow.
The show closed on pure rock genius with the likes of “Rock Bottom”, “Too Hot to Handle” and “ Only you can Rock me” and nothing was left on that stage and there was nobody left wanting in front of it.
There is no doubting when Michael Schenker comes to town you are going to see a show. You are going to be rocked to your core and you are going to walk away with a huge smile on your face.
Images and words Ritchie Birnie