On A Mission–Live In Madrid is a simultaneous DVD and CD release from Michael Schenkers’ latest iteration, formally titled “Michael Schenker’s Temple of Rock.” The first thing that is immediately noticeable when the DVD fires up is how “live” it looks, which is result of being done on video instead of the more normal film that most concert documentaries are shot on. The video was shot in 4K HD technology, which is so clear you feel you’re almost in the front row for the concert. That’s a good thing, as Schenker and his band (former Scorpions bandmates Francis Buchholz and Herman Rarebell, and current Temple of Rock members Wayne Findlay and Doogie White) blast through the concert with genuine enthusiasm.
The set list will definitely please anyone who’s been a fan of Schenker through his long career, sprinkled with songs he’s done with with the Scorpions, UFO, solo albums and Temple of Rock. Doctor Doctor, Lights Out, Lovedrive, Rock Bottom, Blackout, Attack of the Mad Axeman, …they’re all there, and much more. Schenker’s live performances are as predictable as his trademark beanie with the sunglasses perched over the forehead. The songs pretty much mirror the studio versions, with even the guitar solos note-for-note. However, there’s something to be said for that approach–the fans who attend his concerts know what to expect, and they come away satisfied.
Schenker is a man of few words (actually no words, as he speaks not a one in the nearly two hours run time of the DVD), but that’s his M.O.–he lets his guitar talk on his behalf. His fluid, melodic style has inspired generations of guitar players, and it’s a treat to see the closeup shots of his fingers effortlessly working the fretboard. After 22 inspiring songs, no one in Madrid’s Joy Eslava theatre really minds when he sneaks offstage at the end of the concert–and neither will you.