Bet you never thought you'd hear former Scorpion's guitar heroes Uli Jon Roth and Michael Schenker jamming on some UFO classics did ya? Or Roth and veteran bassist Jack Bruce rippin' on some Cream staples either huh? Well, this 2 CD concert gives you the opportunity to hear that and a lot more, and the results are breathtaking to say the least.
Uli Jon Roth is probably one of the most remarkable yet underrated guitar players in the world today. Anyone who managed to hear his recent Sky Guitar release knows the man has been busy honing his craft. Headlining this Legends of Rock festival must have been a labor of love for him, as he assembled quite the list of superstars and picked out some choice tunes to wow the audience with. Backed by former Jethro Tull drummer Clive Bunker, Deep Purple keyboardist Don Airey, and Dokken/Yngwie Malmsteen bassist Barry Sparks, the band rolls through the majestic instrumental pieces "Sky Overture" and "Aranjuez", both highlights for Roth's soaring classical oriented melodies and searing guitar solos. In addition, they cover the Jimi Hendrix staples "All Along the Watchtower" and "Little Wing", with Roth's tone and phrasing is so close to Hendrix' it's scary. The band is then joined by Michael Schenker, Phil Mogg, and Pete Way from UFO, slamming into "Let It Roll", "Rock Bottom", the more recent "Midnight Train" and the anthem "Doctor Doctor." Hearing Roth and Schenker trading licks is like a dream come true, especially on the lengthy rocker "Rock Bottom." One funny note, in the booklet, there are pictures of Schenker from this show, looking all dishevled with long beard, messy hair, shorts, no socks, sunglasses, and a ripped up T-shirt. Whatever happened to the slick, leather wearing, long blonde hair look from the past? I don't know, but he still has his Gibson Flying V, and he still kicks ass!
If hearing Roth and UFO playing some classic UFO songs doesn't get your blood pumping, then feasting on Roth and Jack Bruce stomping through "Sunshine of Your Love", "White Room", "Spoonful", and the closing improvisation of "Fireworks Jam" definitely will. Once again, Roth is note-perfect on the Cream tunes, with a tone so vintage 1960's Clapton that you'll get chills hearing it. Bruce is in fine form vocally and on the bass, and I'd love to hear these guys do some recording together in the future.
So, if I'm gushing a bit over this CD, so be it. I'm an old school Scorpions, UFO, MSG, and Cream fan at heart, so hearing these guys playing together is something I'd never thought I'd hear. The quality of the recording is superb, the performances flawless, and the CD packaging informative and colorful. I've heard that Roth did another similar show with Frank Marino as a guest. Now that I would also want to hear! More please!!!!