Michael Schenker - On A Mission Live In Madrid

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Inakustik Music
Produced by Joy Eslava

On A Mission Live In Madrid is the latest release from Michael Schenker's Temple of Rock and is a DVD that captures the bands performance in Madrid in late 2015. The DVD is a follow up of sorts to Spirit On A Mission and features several tracks from the album in tandem with a plethora of fan favourites. The performance was shot in 4K and is available on DVD, Blu Ray and double CD.

First and foremost, On A Mission Live In Madrid captures the excellent form Temple of Rock were in during their 2015 European run. The performance is energetic from start to finish with the band blasting on all cylinders. The reunion with bassist Francis Buchholz and drummer Herman Rarebell has already been well discussed, but their importance to this DVD should not be understated. They provide a brilliant and solid foundation for Wayne Findley and Schenker to colour on top of, particularly in the instrumental Coast To Coast, in which the three strings players appear to be lapping up the Madrid crowd's affection. As for Schenker himself, his performance is in-line with what has been typical in recent years. Looking like a rejuvenated man, his unique and signature style is matched in equal measure by his energetic stage persona. The entirety of the band look like they're genuinely enjoying themselves as much as the crowd. As for the set, this consists of the fairly predictable numbers like Doctor Doctor and Natural Thing as well as some more recent additions like Where The Wild Winds Blow and Saviour Machine.

In terms of sound quality, Live In Madrid benefits from having a balanced mix that manages to capture the essence of the band without being overly raw or strident. It's clear, with depth and should be played through a 5.1 system or at least some good quality speakers to be appreciated fully. The picture clarity is equally as enjoyable. Thanks to the 4K quality the resolution is clear, with defined imagery that maintains good focus during the cameras movement. However, the weakness of this release lies in the camera operation and editing process.

The appeal of a DVD release is that it's a polished, coherent and professional document of a performance. Unfortunately in this case, the cameras seem to be in a constant state of zooming back and forth and being inconsistently switched between. Granted, there are some great close ups of Schenker and the band, but the editing process fails to do the bands excellent show justice. There's never any prolonged focus on the entire stage, as the editing sees the footage quickly flip between different angles. While on the one hand it could be argued that this gives the release a 'live' feel, after the first few tracks it becomes somewhat frustrating to watch. It's important for a DVD to be entertaining and not just monotonous viewing, but this could be accused of overcompensating somewhat. Instead of being balanced, the footage is too overbearing at times and focuses on the crowd and flashy shots more than necessary.

With that being said, sonically, this is excellent. The track selection is near enough what most Schenker fans would want, given that it covers both classics and live versions of new material and it's an honest representation of how good Temple of Rock were on the latest tour. Importantly, it wouldn't be fair to say that the deficiencies in the video editing ruin the release, as that's certainly not the case, but they do tend to impede the delivery of how good this show was.

For those who missed Temple of Rock in 2015 or want to re-experience the show they went to, the DVD is worth picking up, but for fans who just want to enjoy the show, the CD is arguably the better option. Either way, this is a solid release from Michael Schenker's Temple of Rock and is worth a listen for the new live tracks at the very least.

“ the band look like they're genuinely enjoying themselves ”

Tracklist: Ocean Odyssey / Doctor Doctor / Live And Let Live / Lights Out / Where The Wild Winds Blow / Natural Thing / Before The Devil Knows You're Dead / Victim of Illusion / Lovedrive / Coast To Coast / Vigilante Man / Rock My Nights Away / Saviour Machine / Too Hot To Handle / Only You Can Rock Me / Lord of The Lost And Lonely / Rock You Like A Hurricane / Rock Bottom / Horizons / Attack of The Mad Axeman / Communion / Blackout
Bonus features: Rehearsal / The Tour Starts / Outside The Theatre / Soundcheck Sketches / Michael And His Guitars / Interviews With Band Members

Written by James Abel
More: 2016, DVDs, Hard/Heavy Rock,

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