Michael Schenker – Temple Of Rock, Live In Europe

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Review by Brian McGowan

Legend in his own lifetime – for good or ill – Schenker describes his current career position as “celebrating”, which suggests he’s now focusing on material from the past, rather than the present. And so, his live set features only two tracks – ‘Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead’ and ‘Hanging On’ – from last year’s rather good Temple Of Rock. This is a two CD package: CD1 – Live In Tilburg (2012) and CD2 – Live In Tilburg, part 2 and Live at High Voltage Festival (2012). Both gigs “celebrate” his time with The Scorpions and UFO as well as his MSG stuff, and when you count in those bands, you get a weighty back catalogue, one that’s just bursting at the seams with great rock songs. Classy material played by a classy band: Doogie White, Herman Rarebell, Francis Bucholz and Wayne Findlay.

Pretty well everything you would imagine then, is here: the stately, martial clarion call of ‘Into the Arena’; the declamatory ‘Armed And Ready’ and a closing handful that most hard rock bands would sell their granny for peaking with a phenomenal version of ‘Rock Bottom’, arguably the equal of UFO’ Strangers In The Night version… Schenker is on fire here. Everybody hits the mark with the kind of precision you expect from seasoned pros, great backup guys who know their place, ceding centre stage to Schenker, acknowledging his status and indeed, his skill. White’s vocals range from a powerful vampiric croon, eminently suited to the escalating operatics of theatrical rock songs like ‘Lovedrive’ and ‘Cry For The Nations’, to a tough as teak Hampden roar, tailor made for blistering anthems like ‘Assault Attack’ and ‘Lights Out’.

The second half of Disc 2 cherry picks tracks from the High Voltage gig, and the choices seem rather predictable, until you realise that Michael Voss replaced Doogie White for this gig, and that they feature guest appearances from Rudolf Schenker, Jeff Scott Soto and Pete Way. Through it all, Schenker is in imperious form. Perhaps his well-documented personal problems led to a face-off with mortality, and that helped energise this roaring return to where he should be. One way or another, he is a commanding, convincing presence in both gigs. Definitely one for fans, but any hard rock student will find plenty to love here.

8 out of 10

Track Listing:

Schenker  - Live 2013Disc 1

  1. Into The Arena
  2. Armed And Ready
  3. Lovedrive
  4. Another Piece Of Meat
  5. Hanging On
  6. Cry For The Nations
  7. Let Sleeping Dogs Lie
  8. Coast To Coast
  9. Assault Attack
  10. Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead
  11. Lights Out
  12. On And On
  13. Let It Roll

Disc 2

  1. Shoot Shoot
  2. Rock You Like A Hurricane
  3. Rock Bottom
  4. Holiday
  5. Blackout
  6. Doctor Doctor

Bonus Concert – Live At High Voltage

  1. Armed And Ready
  2. Another Piece Of Meat
  3. Rock You Like A Hurricane
  4. Hanging On
  5. Doctor Doctor

 

1 COMMENT

  1. That video has some good clear close-ups on Schenker’s hands for the guitar shredders out there.

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