One of my most anticipated shows at High Voltage 2011 was the main stage set by German guitar god Michael Schenker. After a slightly hit and miss sequence of shows with MSG, this was to be something different. This was to be Michael Schenker with an all star supporting cast, but in the build up to the gig we didn’t appreciate just how all star it was going to be….
Since Michael Schenker got his shit together a few years ago he has enjoyed a stunning return to form, and the fears about him actually turning up are a thing of the past. Today his band included Scorpion Herman (ze German) Rarebell, Wayne Findlay, Elliot Rubinson and Michael Voss, could this be a band to do justice to Michael’s considerable talents ??
The set opened, predictably, with Into The Arena with Michael looking every inch the guitar hero of old as he shredded his Dean Flying-V to within an inch of it’s life. Another MSG classic followed in the form of Armed And Ready, with Voss proving that (unlike Gary Barden) he could do the song full justice.
We dipped into the Scorpions back catalogue next for Another Piece Of Meat which got the crowd bouncing before there was a change of vocalist for the next song, as former Rainbow / current Tank frontman Doogie White took over the mic for the one new song in the set today, Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead.
Then came what was, for me, the moment of the festival. Voss walked up to the mic and said “We’ve got something really special for you out there”, going on to promise that “for the next 4 minutes, we will Rock You Like A Hurricane”. Now at this point I was filming the video you can see below, so I missed the new arrival on stage.
RUDOLF FUCKING SCHENKER !!!!
Cue High Voltage 2011 going mental. THIS was what summer festivals are all about…..
Rudi stayed on stage for Hangin’ On before there was another special guest appearance with Pete Way joining in the on-stage antics for Rock Bottom before everyone piled back on for an ensemble cast performance of, what else, Doctor Doctor.
Summer festivals are all about surprises and I have to say that the arrival of Rudolf Schenker on stage here was, by any measure, a biggie. The new track we heard here today bodes extremely well for the upcoming album and hopefully with the nostalgia-gasm of the recent MSG shows behind him Michael will move on to greater things.
There’s a wave of appreciation for “proper” rock and metal at the moment, and fingers crossed that wave will carry Michael Schenker onwards and upwards to the recognition that his talent undoubtedly deserves. Either way, long after the other memories of the weekend have faded, the recollection of the Schenker Brothers ripping it up together will live with me.