GIG REVIEW: UFO & Saxon Live at The Machine Shop, Flint, MI
The Machine Shop in Flint, Michigan was packed with eager fans who were ready to start their weekend off with loud and hungry music. Tonight’s show featured two legends of rock and metal music with Saxon and UFO. With so much talent on the stage, there was no way this show would be anything less than spectacular.
Tearing up the stage with glorious blues rock rage was Jared James Nichols. The blues flows red hot in the veins of Jared James and his band. Erik Sandin (bass) and Dennis Holm (drums) locked in the groove and provided a fortress foundation for Jared to blaze. If you love blue music that rocks, you must check out this band. They are the real deal and put on one hell of a great show. Their cover of “Stranglehold” by Ted Nugent was a big hit with this Michigan crowd.
The stage lights dropped as “It’s a Long Way To the Top (If You Wanna Rock N Roll)” by AC/DC filled the air. The room then ignited with headbanging madness as Saxon played “Battering Ram”. These founding fathers of metal poured fuel on this heavy metal fire with the intensity of their performance. Biff Byford was engaging as he solicited the fans for requests. He went so far as to tear up the setlist to the cheers of the crowd.
The band hammered out such classics as “Dallas 1pm”, “Power and the Glory”, and “Heavy Metal Thunder”. Paul Quinn and Doug Scarratt traded one burning solo after another while Nibbs Carter (bass) and Nigel Glockler locked horns and brought the thunder. The temperature in the Machine Shop rose as fans sang with fists held high to “Crusader”. Saxon capped off their explosive set with the balls out rocker “Wheels Of Steel”.
It does not get any better than to be mere feet from one of the most influential bands in rock history; UFO. Phil Mogg and Andy Parker have been the power plant behind the band for almost 50 years and they continue to bring it each and every night. Tonight’s show was no exception.
Phil’s strong and vibrant vocals soared on “Run Boy Run”, “Lights Out”, and “Too Hot To Handle”. The beating heart of UFO’s set was the dynamic rhythm section of Andy Parker, Rob De Luca, and Paul Raymond (guitar/keyboard). They anchored each song while adding their own flare.
The fireworks during UFO’s show at the Machine Shop were provided by the mighty Vinnie Moore. This man is simply one of the most dazzling guitarists in rock music. I have always loved the unique phrasing of Michael Schenker era UFO. Vinnie Moore made those songs his own and tore the roof off the club with his solo during “Rock Bottom” to wrap up their set.
Chants of “UFO” drew the band back to the stage for “Doctor Doctor” and “Shoot Shoot”. The crowd was in heaven as they sang and cheered. Another night of magnetic rock and roll came to a triumphant end with this phenomenal performance by UFO.
There is a reason UFO and Saxon are legends of rock and metal. Each band uses the passion they feel for the music they make to create epic performances. Both bands put on a superb show that captivated the souls of their fans who gathered in mass at the Machine Shop in Flint, Michigan.