The Metal Files

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Posts Tagged ‘ufo

UFO Concert Review, San Antonio, TX, March 12, 2016

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I’m not going to lie, I haven’t been a lifelong UFO fan.  In fact, and it’s been mentioned here before, I didn’t become a fan until 1997.  I know of them, knew a few songs here and there mainly from metal bands covering songs of theirs (Fifth Angel anyone?), but it wasn’t until a colleague through work gave me his pristine record collection that I truly became aware of UFO, MSG and Uli era Scorpions.  That’s not very long overall, especially seeing how popular that stuff is here in Texas thanks to former San Antonio DJ Joe Anthony.  None of that was ever on the radio in Virginia although I do have to say that Steve from Skinnies Records in Norfolk always recommended that stuff since I had first met him in 87.  I just didn’t listen.  haha.

That being said, I dig UFO now and am glad to have had the opportunity to see them last night.  This isn’t your father’s UFO as many members have come and gone over the years.  Several friends said they weren’t going because neither Schenker nor Pete Way were in the band.  Fair enough, everyone needs their reasons I guess.  More so than the guitar playing, it was Mogg’s vocals that drew me to them and with him still in the band, I was in.

I got to the north side of San Antonio to Rodney’s place to immediately head downtown to grab dinner and show some friends from Mexico City the Alamo.  Our other friends from Corpus were there as well.  They all went to Dallas the night before to see UFO.  We snapped a few fotos at the Alamo, grabbed a drink on the Riverwalk then headed over to the Alamo Music Hall.  There was only one opener and UFO was scheduled to go on at 9PM.

I grabbed a tour shirt and we stayed out on the patio during the opener.  UFO went on promptly at 9 to a crowd that seemed like 700 or better.  Their taped intro was Alex Harvey’s Faith Healer, a song that I love thanks to Foetus covering it.  I’m pretty sure most folks there didn’t recognize the song.  They opened with We Belong to the Night from 1982’s Mechanix album.  They followed up with a song from 2012’s Seven Deadly album called Fight Night. The band didn’t shy away from newer stuff playing 2 from their latest effort, A Conspiracy of Stars, another from Seven Deadly and one from 1995’s awesome album, Walk on Water.

Highlights for me were Lights Out, Love to Love, Too Hot to Handle (not played that often so far on this tour), Venus and Rock Bottom.  The only lowlight would be the sound in the venue.  I thought with it being pretty filled that it may sound better but that just wasn’t the case.  I like the venue and the staff but the sound in there is just awful.  Roc Box (formerly Kapone’s) has it dialed in pretty well.

I’ve heard people bitch and moan about Vinnie Moore being in the band.  What?  That guy is great and does a great job.  Other non-classic era bassist, Rob De Luca f. of Spread Eagle is also in the band.  He’s been in since 2008.  Rounding out the lineup were Andy Parker, Paul Raymond and the incomparable Phil Mogg.  He’s 67 and his voice sounded great.  I was pleasantly surprised.   The band was tight and played everything at a good moderate pace.  Andy’s drumming was solid and he had no issues rocking the set.

Of course I brought The Book with me.  The band wasn’t set to do a meet and greet so I had to hope for them to come out after.  Unfortunately on Rob de Luca came out.  The plus side to that was that my friend Christie was there and she’s friends with him.  Through that connection, Rob graciously walked me to the band’s green room, offered me a Peroni and introduced me to Paul and Andy who both signed the book.  I caught Vinnie Moore in the hallway and he was super cool.  Phil wasn’t anywhere to be seen and then from another room he popped out with travel bags in both hands.  He looked at me, the book, then back at me and said, “I’ll sign it after I drop this off on the bus.”  I offered to help carry his stuff and he responded, “That’s nice of you but I’ve got it.  And you know, I better sign this now because I likely won’t come back off of the bus.”  I thanked him for his time and for his music.  He made a funny crack about the picture of him and thanked me again for offering to carry his stuff.  I think that may have been the only thing he signed after the show.  SCORE!  I owe Christie big time for that hookup.

After the show, we hit IHOP then back to Rodney’s and listened to records until the wee hours of the morning.  After 2 hours of sleep I got up and drove home.  What a great night!



Written by The Metal Files

March 13, 2016 at 5:25 pm

Michael Schenker Concert Review, San Antonio, TX, April 11, 2015

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To be honest, I was a latecomer to the works of Schenker and even the Uli era of the Scorpions.  I never got exposed to it.  It wasn’t until the mid-90s when a friend gave me his record collection that was filled with pristine copies of UFO, Scorpions and MSG that I was floored by the greatness of these bands.  I had seen Schenker and Roth together in 2004 and was simply blown away.  I do prefer the MSG stuff a little more than UFO just for its heaviness, but hearing someone play like that in the 70s was pretty groundbreaking.

The current lineup features Francis Buchholz and Herman Rarebell from the Scorpions along with Doogie White (Yngwie, Rainbow) and Wayne Findlay.

I opted for the pre-show meet and greet because I am a huge fan of Francis and Herman.  What a solid rhythm section.  The 7 of us got to sit in on soundcheck.  Before getting the PA and everything in order, Schenker was just in front of his amp shredding at a low volume for about 45 minutes straight until the whole band was ready to check.  Half of that time he was just doing hammer on/pull offs with no picking in between whatsoever.  It was pretty impressive.  He’s 60.  Also a lot thinner than he was in 2004.  It was interesting watching Michael, Wayne and Francis fixing a “mistake” that they were doing live.  Michael asks Francis what note he’s playing in a certain part, Wayne disagrees, Michael agrees, they play it between themselves a few times and fix it.  After the 4 song soundcheck, we got to hang out with the band, nerd out, get our stuff signed etc.  There was a young couple who had just gotten married earlier in the day then came to the meet and greet.  Pretty cool seeing such young fans of quality music.  I was really mostly excited to meet Francis.  When I picked up the bass in 2000, the Scorpions were one of the bands that helped me learn how to play.  I had a great conversation about his red Fender bass and if he brings it on tour still.  “It’s better left back home these days.  It’s a ’66,” he said.  He went on to tell me about his current Warwick endorsement and how they custom built 2 for him.  He’s such a big guy that the Warwick looked tiny strapped to him.  Herman was a pleasure to talk to as well.  Before soundcheck, Doogie came over to where I was sitting and just started chatting.  He must have been pretty bored.  haha.  I asked him about his first band, La Paz, and gave me a cool quick history.  Unfortunately they weren’t listed in the book.  I did have Francis and Herman sign on their photo.

Y&T were playing in the club next door and went on before Schenker, but I didn’t get back to the club in time to catch them.  We purposely missed the openers but I caught a glimpse of the band that was on right before and saw the bassist all over the stage with crazy antics and thought that he looked like the former Schenker bassist, Rev Jones (Fort’e).  It was him.  He’s a bit annoying to watch but the guy can play.  Too much over the top though.

Schenker and the band come on and open with Doctor Doctor.  They sound great.  I think Doogie is a good fit with them.  They rolled into a new song called Live and Let Live then into Lights Out.  The crowd was very into it.  Schenker and UFO are huge in San Antonio.  The set was filled with UFO, MSG and Scorpions songs.  Michael’s playing was just stellar.  His rhythm guitarist/keyboardist, Wayne Findlay, also provided great backing vocals.  The whole band looked like they were having fun.  It was a killer show.  Now I need to see Y&T next time they’re around.

I also got a bonus signature in the book from original Devastation bassist, Alex Dominguez.  Score!

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