Michael Schenker Fest at Empire Garage and Control Room, Austin, TX, 5/18/2019

So, when you get to the point where you create a fest around yourself, you’ve either had one hell of a long and prosperous career or you’re just an egomaniacal jackass.  Or both.

Michael Schenker is one of those guys who I’ve found is usually a bellwether for ferreting out whether someone is a true metalhead or not.  If you know who he is, or better yet, you know some of his albums, you’re one of us and you can stay.  He’s one of those guitar gods who should be more well known than he is, but for some reason has never reached the mainstream consciousness of, say, a Jimmy Page, Eddie Van Halen, Tony Iommi or Slash.   Schenker always seemed to hover just under the surface of mainstream fanfare even though he was a leading force of two very influential metal powers:  UFO and the Michael Schenker Group.

Saturday night was a celebration of the man’s career.  The focus was mainly on songs from his MSG days with a smattering of UFO classics and a few songs he contributed to his brother’s band, Scorpions.  Along for the ride were four singers who fronted different eras of MSG:  Gary Barden, Graham Bonnet, Robin McAuley and Doogie White.  All told, these aging rockers pulled off an impressive set that lasted over two and a half hours.  A lovely evening of nostalgia was had by all of the fossils in the crowd and on the stage.

The Desert Song

Rock Bottom

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