Heres another article I did for The Michael Schenker Fest when he brought his tour to Long Island. Ive missed seeing Michael for decades but was so happy to not only make this show but to shoot it as well.
The Space at Westbury Theater Ill be the first to admit, I dont pay attention to song titles. I love music for music; I love the way it makes me feel. So when someone asks, “Hey, did they play ‘such and such?” I sometimes have no idea! And thats how it was for Michael Schenker Fest. He played music from his UFO days, McAuley Schenker era and of course his MSG projects. I never followed his vocalists either but I certainly know who Robin McAuley and Graham Bonnett are, unfortunately I didnt know who Doogie White or Gary Barden are, at least not until I saw them perform at The Space in Westbury, NY. The first couple of songs included all four vocalists until Gary Barden was left standing, where he continued to sing his highlights of when he sang with Michael. Next was Graham Bonnet. A name I hadnt heard since his Alcatrazz and Yngwie days! Yes, that long! Next up was Robin; a true highlight of the night for me followed by Doogie White. Although they all basically shared their own spotlight with Michael, they all came out to lend support and back up vocals; it is truly a brotherhood with no apparent egos.
Michael came out and addressed the crowd and paid homage to his fellow fallen bandmates from UFO who had passed earlier this year before the Fest started but after his somber instrumental, it was balls to the wall, non-stop rock! My only disappointment was attendance, or lack thereof. Considering the show I had been witness to, anyone could have guessed the show would have been sold out! But this simply wasnt the case! For a 1500 capacity theater, selling only approximately 400-500 tickets is a bit of an embarrassment for any band. I had been thinking perhaps my taste in music was a bit off from the mainstream and may be it is, but after seeing poor attendance with Neal Morse Band, Los Lonely Boys and now Michael Schenker Fest, Im beginning to believe the shows arent being promoted as well as they should be. No matter what the reason may be, The Space is a gorgeous, newly renovated theater with and upgraded sound system and lights. Any artist would enjoy playing here, even if there were 100 people in the house.