They played Richmond, VA the night before. You guys really did a good job covering it! A few comments...
I've seen pics of the crowd in Atlanta and some other shows and Richmond looks like the only one that didn't sell out. That's a little disappointing because it probably lessens the chance of him playing here if he tours again. I do understand it though, because years ago he was supposed to play here and there was a huge buzz about it but he cancelled at the last minute. People were making comments all over FB about it and how they weren't counting on him being here this time. Richmond also had reserved seating, and even though my two friends and I just got our tickets last week, we were in the 7th row. There were PLENTY of empty seats in front of us. I would estimate the venue was about half full.
He opened the show with some genial chitchat to the audience including paying tribute to Ted McKenna and Paul Raymond which was very nice. Unfortunately before he played a note he mentioned how he had not been credited for songs he wrote with Scorpions like Holiday, which he then proceeded to play and sing unaccompanied. I was surprised to hear he has a decent voice and he provided backup vocals on several songs through the night. I just felt like the Scorps comment was a lousy follow-up to the tributes to his ex-bandmates. After about a minute of Holiday, they segued into Doctor Doctor and Graham Bonnet, Robin McCauley, and Gary Barden joined the band onstage, each singing a verse and backing up each other.
Bonnet's voice was nothing short of amazing! He's surprisingly tiny but he can absolutely belt his lungs out at 71 years old. McCauley was no slouch either, but as ZR noted for the Atlanta show, Gary Barden seemed to have a harder time. He was still great, but he struggled a few times. Doogie White didn't come out until about three quarters of the way through the show when he joined the other three singers. I'd never seen the guy before, and unfortunately he was just out of the spotlight so the rhinestones on his blousey kilt top didn't reflect any light. He's a bit overweight and standing outside of the spotlight the kilt just looked like a bathrobe. I wondered if he was on drugs, sick, just woke up or what. The other singers and Michael didn't seem to bat an eye so I figured they knew what his deal was.
When Doogie got his turn to sing lead by himself, he moved into the light and you see he was wearing a stylized kilt. He was over-the-top trying to get the audience into the performance, wildly running around and trying to get us to clap on every song and his voice is not as good as McCauley's or Bonnet's. I REALLY disliked him at first but then he spoke to the crowd and I heard that Scottish accent and I realized he's just a wild-ass Scot! My mom's family history is Scottish so after that I cut him some slack and liked him more and more as the night went on.
The rest of the band were outstanding. Bassist Chris Glen has a little trouble moving around because he's gained a lot of weight, but he was mugging, leaning down to get into pics, and having a blast all night. In fact, all the singers and Michael seemed to be having the time of their lives as well. Michael's smile never dipped in the least. As ZR noted, the singers displayed genuine affection for each other and were laughing and smiling, joking and cutting up with each other all night.
In the middle of the show, unfortunately Michael decided to make another negative speech aimed squarely at his brother Rudolf. Again he mentioned the songwriting, said that Rudolf had asked to borrow his V when they were young, asked if he could use the black/white paintjob, dying his hair blond, and even that as the older brother Rudolf should have taken better care of him. He came right out and accused Rudolf of wanting to be him! All of that might be true, but it doesn't need to be part of an otherwise uplifting, fun night.
However, Michael played his ass off; just totally on fire the entire night! The first three or four songs the sound was a bit of a mushy rumble with too much bass and bass drum, but they got it dialed in after a while and Michael's always excellent tone cut right through. He played four different Dean V's, three in variations of black and white and one that was multi-colored which I liked a lot. As mentioned above, they more or less took a chronological walk through the solo stuff with some UFO sprinkled in and closed the night with four UFO songs. He did three instrumentals including Captain Nemo which is one of my personal favorites of his.
A friend of mine hung out by the buses after the show and met Robin McCauley and Chris Glen who he said was hilarious. He did seem like a fun guy on stage so it cool to know he's a good guy offstage as well.
This was my first time seeing Schenker live, and I can't remember a show at which the actual performance exceeded my expectations by so much. I would recommend seeing Schenker with whatever band he puts together if he comes around your way in the future. I know I certainly will.