MICHAEL SCHENKER'S TEMPLE OF ROCK
'On A Mission: Live In Madrid' DVD
It may well be just four years ago since Michael Schenker's Temple Of Rock last gave us a live offering with 'Live In Europe' which was filmed shortly after their formation, but this new live opus 'On A Mission: Live In Madrid' is the perfect companion as it proves how much Schenker's new band of well travelled musicians have grown as a unit and have confidence in the new output from the two studio albums they have delivered in 'Bridge The Gap' from 2013 and last year's 'Spirit On A Mission'.
Filmed at the Joy Eslava Theatre in Madrid last November, Michael Schenker's Temple Of Rock are in fine form as they deliver a well balanced set representing the maverick guitarist's entire career from his time in UFO, Scorpions, Michael Schenker Group and the current Temple Of Rock.
Featuring the entire set, the classics you expect to hear are present including opener 'Doctor Doctor' along with other UFO gems including the colossal 'Lights Out', the rifftastic 'Natural Thing', the commercial sounding 'Too Hot To Handle' and 'Only You Can Rock Me' plus Schenker's masterpiece 'Rock Bottom' which that sublime jaw dropping solo filmed up close here to see the master close at work.
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Only three songs are included from the MSG era and that's what makes 'On A Mission: Live In Madrid' so refreshing because it allows for the inclusion of eight new numbers from Temple Of Rock's short time together and those numbers easily fit into the set.
The rhythm section of former Scorpions members Francis Buchholz and Herman 'Ze German' Rarebell along with the faithful guitarist/keyboardist Wayne Findlay lock horns with Schenker as they thump through the new material in an impassioned embrace of rigid showmanship.
Classics in the making with 'Where The Wind Blows', the Dio-esque 'Before The Devil Knows You're Dead', the gritty 'Saviour Machine', a title borrowed from a David Bowie song, features Schenker on his new double-necked Flying-M. The German really let's rip on 'Horizons' but the real highlight is the highly infectious Celtic flavoured 'Lord Of The Lost And Lonely', a song certain to remain in the set for a long time yet.
Vocalist Doogie White has no trouble adapting to the versatility of the music from Schenker's career. stamping his own personality on the set throughout. Addressing the crowd, he honestly informs the Spaniards that the evening "is being filmed in 4K... no, I don't know what the fuck that means either."
The cameras certainly capture all the action and the Madrid crowd are in fine fettle as they sing along to the Scorpions global smash of 'Rock You Like A Hurricane', a song penned by Herman Ze German which is a worthy inclusion.
It's now almost a decade since Michael Schenker suffered his demonic personal meltdown but the spirited and gifted guitarist has built himself back brick by brick on his way back to the top.
To see Michael Schenker putting on exhilarating performances night after night with a smile on his face is a joy to behold, as is evident on this wonderful live collection.