A long time Japanese friend of mine (originally from Kobe, now in Tokyo) has been a die-hard fan of the German guitar demigod, Michael Schenker, ever since I have known him. Till this week, the closest I had gotten to Michael Schenker was my “Lights Out” U.F.O. CD – bought upon my friend’s recommendation years ago. However, on Sunday he contacted me saying he had tickets to the 30th Anniversary Tour of the Michael Schenker Group, playing at Sun Plaza in Tokyo’s Nakano ward.
The weather on Tuesday night was cold and drizzly. I went to Nakano straight after work, still in my shirt and tie. To my surprise, the crowd in front of Sun Plaza was huge. Not so much to my surprise, most present were in their late-30s or 40s.
Inside, Sun Plaza, with its seating for 2,222, was packed to the rafters with not a spare seat in sight. The entrance of the band caused a sensation. All stood, and no one sat till the lights went back on two hours later.
The MSG was in top form, and played with enormous energy and panache. The audience was hard core fandom from beginning to end, elderly men in suits and all pumping the air with their fists to the riffs and rhythms – with who knows what memories of good old days of youth and freedom flooding back.
The band came back for no less than two extended play encores. The notoriously temperamental Michael Schenker was in top form, even high-fiving the crowd at the front before his final exit.
The playlist for the Michael Schenker Group’s 30th Anniversary Concert, on January 12 2010 at Nakano Sun Plaza Hall, Tokyo.
1. Feels Like A Good Thing
2. Cry For The Nations
3. Let Sleeping Dogs Lie
4. Armed And Ready
5. Victim Of Illusion
6. Are You Ready To Rock? 〜 Drum solo
7. I Want You
8. Night To Remember
9. Into The Arena
10. Lost Horizons
11. Rock My Nights Away
12. On And On
13. Attack Of The Mad Axeman
14. Ride On My Way
15. Rock Bottom
16. Dance Lady Gipsy
17. Doctor, Doctor
Rock on, Michael!
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