The Chicagoland area has had a passionate love affair with UFO since the recording of the Strangers In The Night" live LP released in 1979 here in Chicago. "Hello Chicago will you please welcome from England, U. F. O. "... and to this day, so many of the audience on that iconic album were at the SOLD OUT show in St Charles. Michael Schenker took the stage with "Into The Arena", "Cry For The Nations" and "Doctor Doctor". Ronnie Romero on vocals was outstanding! Taking on all these classic tunes from Michaels' early solo albums and UFO anthems. It is easy to see how Michael Schenker is enjoying his accomplishments and the fan base knows they are watching "Mozart" on guitar, there just is no other like Schenker.'
The band on this tour is phenomenal with Steve Mann on guitar and Keyboards opposite Michael, Barend Courbois pounding it out on bass and Bodo Schopf on the kit. These guys are solid and it seems Michael has the artistic freedom he may not have had earlier in his career, the smiles on his face throughout the show just shows he's at the top of his game and still one of the most innovative and unique hard rock/metal guitarists of his time.
The progression of the set list from his amazing solo material like "Armed And Ready" then into UFO "Lights Out" was like feeding raw meat to a pack of wild dogs. The crowd just eats it up clenched fists demanding more knowing every note of these guitar master pieces we've all played on vinyl for decades. It's still memorizing watching Michael flawlessly work the soundtrack of our lives on the fret boards of his Dean Flying Vee collection.
Dear to the hearts of those in attendance was the last part of the set list, all UFO: "Rock Bottom", "Shoot Shoot", "Let It Roll", "Natural Thing", "Too Hot To Handle", "Only You Can Rock Me" and played with the drive and intensity as if it were still 1979. There were no encores just a solid set and when done, no more need be said. Michael Schenker is a guitar GOD and there is no doubt, when he takes the stage he's like no other and all others step aside in pure awe!
Opening the show Eric Martin of Mr Big and with him on guitar Paul Pesco as seen on many "Live From Daryl's House" episodes and who is also an amazing guitarist. These guys were amazing, total blast and a fun performance, Paul's guitar work in person amplifies the performances I've seen him on "Daryl's House" so glad I got to see this guy live.