Tuesday, November 2, 2021
Live review: MSG and Doro at KK Steel Mill, Wolverhampton. 30th October 2021
KK Steel is an amazing venue and idea for a gig such as we saw tonight. Big enough to contain a boat-load of rockers but not so big that you're miles away from the band.
Both bands on tonight's show relished the closeness of the audience. The audience relished the incredible music they heard tonight!
Doro and MSG have only played five shows in the UK as part of Schenker's "Immortal" Tour so fans of both bands were excited to see them here.
The Queen of Metal, Doro opened proceedings. She's currently riding high in the metal charts with "Triumph and Agony Live" (particularly in her homeland, Germany) and shows no signs of slowing down! She is still as vibrant, exciting and rockin' as she ever was. She has an amazing sense
of how to whip up a crowd and her enthusiasm for metal and her energy is contagious. There were plenty of Doro and Warlock t-shirts in the venue but the MSG fans were also with her. The sound, whilst a little quiet, was impeccable. Her voice was spot on and the band really did her proud.
It was one of those support slots that made you wish they had longer. Sadly though, 45 minutes was all we could have. In this all too brief moment in metal Doro tore through classics like "All We Are" and "Burning The Witches" as well as a sublime rendition of Judas Priest's "Breaking The Law". Instead of the usual rip-roaring intro, Doro's band of highly accomplished musicians (including the twin guitar attack of Mass and Princiotta) slowed it down to a soft semi-acoustic intro that somehow really works! The band soon sped up though for the rest of the song as the eager crowd sand in unison with Doro on this metal classic. I'm sure KK Downing (owner of the Steel Mill and present on the night) was delighted to hear his song ringing through the building. Great stuff!
Michael Schenker, the master of guitar, was then on stage dressed in his usual attire - a flying v guitar. Not a Gibson nowadays though but his Dean custom models.
Taking his usual stance stage left, he meant business right from the off. This is a clean, sober Schenker that is proving he is better than ever. This "Immortal" tour has seen some changes to the usual MSG set list. Some people are liking it. Some not so much. Personally, and judging by the packed crowd I wasn't alone, I think the set list was brave, challenging and expressive. With 50 years in music. He has plenty of songs to choose from!
His new album "Immortal" (released this January on Nuclear Blast) was well promoted within the set. The two songs offered tonight being "After The Rain" and "Sail The Darkness" both of which show just how far Schenker has come musically and technically as a guitarist. The riffs and solos are incendary and would give any young guitarist nightmares!
It was his back catalogue, however, that everyone wants to hear. He cannot escape his UFO and Scorpions past even IF he wanted to! Luckily he doesn't!
He played with a new-found brilliance, dexterity and passion as he explored his illustrious musical past. Naturally, the main chunk of these golden oldies were from his days in UFO which included a truly jaw-dropping guitar solo during "Natural Thing". We were also taken way back to his Scorpions days. "In Search Of Piece of Mind" was given a fresh, tight and powerfully moving make-over tonight. It was mesmerising in his musical complexity and atmospherics. It also has to be said that no guitarist, no matter how good, can do a show without a shit-hot band. The boys (including vocalist Ronnie Romero) did him proud. They were tight, focused and worked well with a man that isn't known for his people skills. Romero did a great job considering he has to cover the vocal styles and ranges of several of his peers and he only faulters a couple of times during the UFO numbers. Schenker, did not, however, ever falter. Only 2 (and I counted!) dodgy notes in a show of thousands!
Tonight KK's saw two German giants stride its stage. Excellent gig.
You can find live videos from the show on our website and Youtube.
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