The Road To Michael Schenker Fest





Rock guitar legend Michael Schenker was bringing his touring event “Michael Schenker Fest” to Northern California. This event would be bringing the singers from the past that recorded and toured on his MSG albums. This was something to the look forward to. The fans will actually hear the people the recorded the material that we grew up listening to and not just has someone else doing a cover version.


Another great part of this day would be in part to Guitar Showcase. The Campbell, Ca. based music store (that has been and is a staple to the music community for decades) arranged an autograph signing with Michael prior to his show. I would be allowed to photograph this signing so I got there in time to walk the floor and meet many of the great people that worked there. So I would personally like to thank their staff for including me in their event. Now back to Mr. Schenker.


Fans lined up early to get their MS signature Dean Guitars signed as well as the posters that were offered. Because of the time restraints, Michael would not be signing any outside material to attempt to cover as many people as possible. When the “Legend” arrived, he was in a great mood, relaxed, and very friendly. Michael has an incredible memory and remembered many of the fans that came to see him.

Michael joked a lot with both the fans and the GS staff and after the signing I was able to talk with him one on one and go over photos I had taken of him through the years. He enjoyed looking at them as well as checking out one of our Mayhem Music Magazine issues and discussing the last time I interviewed him.

Michael with some of the great Guitar Showcase Staff

Now it’s time to attend ‘Michael Schenker Fest’ at City National Civic. With all the great music he’s written and performed with Scorpions, UFO, & MSG, I avoided seeing any of the previous show’s setlists so I could find out for myself as they were played. Anything he would play would not disappoint.

As I mentioned earlier Mr. Schenker would be using several singers during MSF. He would be bringing out original MSG vocalist Gary Barden who recorded the first two albums as well as “Built to Destroy”. Also taking part of this event would be Graham Bonnet (Rainbow/Alcatrazz fame), who recorded Michael’s “Assault Attack” album. Robin McAuley, who formed and recorded several albums as the ‘McAuley Schenker Group’ with Michael was also in attendance. Vocalist Doogie White was included in the vocalist line up as he started singing and touring with Michael since 2011 with ‘Temple of Rock’. The rest of the band was filled with drummer Ted McKenna, bassist Chris Glen, and guitarist/keyboardist Steve Mann.

 I don’t want to spoil the show with giving you the complete setlist but there are some songs you know that he cannot do a show without playing. He played the early MSG classics like “Armed and Ready”, “Into the Arena”, and “Assault Attack”. He played the Scorpions “Coast to Coast” and stated that he gave this song to his brother for the Lovedrive album.

Michael went through the evening with the rotation of vocalists hitting the stage both separately and together which made for a very entertaining evening. All those who attended I believe would say they enjoy Michael’s MSG recorded music but we the fans still want to hear the music that brought him to fame in the band UFO and that we would have to wait until the end of the show to get. With many songs played starting with the essential “Rock Bottom”, we were blessed with several with the show finale being the pinnacle “Lights Out”. I will say that if ‘Michael Schenker Fest’ comes anywhere close to being able to attend. This is a “Must See” show.

For more photos of MICHAEL SCHENKER FEST, check out our Photo Gallery HERE




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