MVD Visual // 2012 // 157 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge P.S. Colbert // February 21st, 2013
"For your own protection, we've put a barrier across the front of the stage...because we have three live Scorpions on the stage!"
True enough. Michael Schenker: Temple of Rock finds the Mad Axeman reuniting with ex-Scorpions bandmates Francis Buchholz (bassist) and Herman Rarebell (drummer/lyricist) onstage in Tilburg, the Netherlands for a speed metal trip down memory lane. Aided and abetted by lead vocalist Doogie White and auxiliary player Wayne Findlay (tripling on guitar, keyboards and backing vocals), the May 2012 set featured a crowd-pleasing set of greatest hits from the Scorps, UFO, and Schenker's solo oeuvre:
"Into The Arena"
"Armed And Ready"
"Another Piece Of Meat"
"Cry For The Nations"
"Let Sleeping Dogs Lie"
"Coast To Coast"
"Before The Devil Knows You're Dead"
"On And On"
"Let It Roll"
"Rock You Like A Hurricane"
But don't put away your Bic lighter yet: there's also a five song look at Schenker and company's appearance at the High Voltage Festival in London, July 2011. Schenker, Rarebell and Findlay are joined by guitarist/vocalist Michael Voss, and bassist Elliott "Dean" Rubinson, and though the set consists of repeats from above, there are special guest appearances by Schenker's guitarist brother (and Scorps' co-founder) Rudolf on "Rock You Like A Hurricane," and bassist/ UFO co-founder Pete Way drops by to thunder through "Doctor Doctor."
And if your ears aren't yet bleeding, extras include a pre-show backstage tour, where the band talks shop, limbers up, and attempts to destroy its debauched reputation by signing articles for children's charities and admitting that nothing stronger than sparkling water and soda is on tap before show time. Finally, there's a twenty-one minute soundcheck that is...exhaustive and suggested for completists only.
As for the quality of the performances, what can I say? These men know their business, and if you close your eyes, you won't be able to tell the difference between today and 1985. Open your eyes and you'll be astonished at how ageless Magic Mike appears under his NY Yankees baseball cap, though you'll also notice that -- the nimbleness of their hands and the length of their hair aside -- the rest of the band does a lot less moving on stage than in days of yore.
(Point of clarification: Despite all appearances, that's Herman Rarebell (and not Oscar-winning actor Geoffrey Rush, of The King's Speech) sitting behind the drum kit -- I checked!!)
Anything's possible, but I doubt Michael Schenker: Temple Of Rock (Blu-ray) will appeal to more than the faithful, though this spanking print delivers everything rabid fans need in terms of getting the true concert experience (minus parking hassles, that is) and depending on your set up, you can crank the DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio or the LPCM stereo mix -- either one guarantees to rattle your bone marrow.
Please burn your Joss sticks responsibly.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: MVD Visual
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080)
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (English)
* PCM 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 157 Minutes
Release Year: 2012
MPAA Rating: Not Rated