Michael Schenker Group -
Sony Hall, New York, USA, Saturday, October 22nd, 2022
Set List: Into The Arena/Cry For The Nations/Doctor, Doctor/We Are The Voice/Looking For Love/Red Sky/Sail The Darkness/Emergency/Lights Out/Armed And Ready/Assault Attack/Rock Bottom/Shoot Shoot/Let It Roll/Natural Thing/Too Hot To Handle/Only You Can Rock Me.
I have witnessed several incantations of Michael Schenker groups and fests over the years. What never changes is the revolving door of accompanying talent. With Schenker, known to be a perfectionist; he is going play alongside musicians of his equal in talent and professionalism. The 50th Anniversary show at Sony Hall in New York City was no different.
Throughout the years of watching Michael Schenker perform; there were times I questioned his ability to survive the long run. Not his talent as a guitarists but more lifestyle choices. Seeing Schenker not only conquer his demons and thrive, which is no easy feat, especially in the entertainment industry. He looks and sounds fantastic, his smile is infectious and it is apparent how much he enjoys every minute on stage.
There were the familiar faces of Steve Mann, Bodo Schopf, and Barend Courbois; but it was my first time hearing the “dioesque” Ronnie Romero in a live setting. Schenker, chooses his musicians wisely. They are a unique clique who fit together like pieces in a puzzle.
Shortly after taking the stage to an enthusiastic welcome; Schenker announced the first song choice of the evening 'Into The Arena'. While some bands may not choose an instrumental as their opening number; this is Michael Schenker demonstrating the reason why he is revelled as much as he is.
Schenker introduced Ronnie Romero who took the stage, front and center for 'Cry For The Nations'. While the stage is slightly smaller, than the band may be used to; Romero made the most of it and proved to be a polished showman.
While the set list was stellar and well received; it is obvious the UFO songs gain the best audience participation. 'Doctor Doctor' gained notoriety as the Iron Maiden introduction number. Although I have heard it that capacity many times; it does not compare to how impressive it sounds live.
The band dipped into the Michael Schenker Fest era for 'We Are The Voice'. While watching Romero, I was, exceptionally impressed with this gentlemen. However, listening to the recorded show while writing, the wow factor is intensified.
'Looking For Love' is one of my favorite Michael Schenker songs and was delighted it made its way into the set. Followed by 'Red Sky' and 'Sail The Darkness'; all delivering the same intensity and excellence from a tight, talented unit.
Familiar UFO songs found their way throughout the performance. 'Lights Out' and 'Rock Bottom' were interwoven between Michael Schenker Group’s various history. As always, the frenzied crowd knows every word as audience and band feed off each other’s energy.
Before the band ended the set with full fledged UFO, we heard 'Armed And Ready' and 'Assault Attack' which were also excellent. Being a fan of all things Michael Schenker, his UFO creations are among my favorites, and yes, I know all the words too.
The show concluded with 'Too Hot To Handle' and 'Only You Can Rock Me.' From beginning to end; Michael Schenker Group never ceased their rock onslaught. We did not want the show to end but left satisfied and exhilarated non the less.
Review & Majority of Photographs By Dawn Belotti
Forefront Photographs of Michael Schenker By Alan D'Angelo