In addition to a ticket, it seemed that a talent for air guitar was required for entry to Saturday's McAuley-Schenker Group show. The invisible ax-pickers weren't disappointed. In his first area appearance in four years, guitar hero Michael Schenker was in fine form.
Though Schenker (ex-Scorpions and UFO) is obviously MSG's centerpiece, he didn't come off as an obnoxious star, generally leaving the center stage posing to singer Robin McAuley and guitarist Mitch Perry. When Schenker did take the spotlight for his requisite guitar solos, he kept the posturing to a minimum and concentrated on short, purposeful finger play.
Hard-rocking songs like "Gimme Your Love" and "No Time For Losers" (drawn, like the bulk of the show's material, from MSG's recent debut album) stand well against the epic metallic likes of Iron Maiden, but Saturday they ultimately sounded plodding and graceless following Schenker's own 1981 flowing anthem "On and On and On."
L.A. Guns kicked off the night, but a short set and a muddy sound mix hampered their performance. Second-billed Leatherwolf suffered similar problems, compounded by a frightening display of bombast.