Michael Schenker Group // Night Demon // Live Review // The Limelight // Belfast

Saturday night, the legendary Michael Schenker rolls into Belfast for a packed-out show at Belfast city centre’s iconic music venue, The Limelight. The queue is down the street and wrapped around the corner as I drive past, and a huge tour bus is parked outside awaiting the opportunity to catch their very own guitar hero in a reasonably intimate setting.

Tonight follows a turbulent weekend in Dublin in which Michael’s show had to be cancelled last night, so we expect a fully rested and re-energised performance from this great band showcasing a classic setlist that will have devoted fans salivating.

We also have the mighty Night Demon in tow, I last caught these guys doing a headline slot at Voodoo Belfast, it was my first time catching them in the flesh and I was blown away! Such classic melodic metal at its finest, this three-piece is a highly entertaining band that will blow your socks off with savage riffage and soaring vocals, so I am stoked to be catching them live once again. It is an early kick-off, and I do mean early! 6:45 Night Demon hit the stage, I barely made it into the venue after navigating the Belfast Christmas traffic, so a mad dash from the car to the venue and a slight wait for the photo pass and I’m in! Straight to the pit as Night Demon’s intro is playing and the lights dim and they kick it off. These guys are just a class act from start to finish, old school vibes, old school look, old school sound but with huge melodic choruses for everyone to sing along with, blistering guitar solos, energy in abundance and solid, tight musicianship, what’s not to love!

Two gruesome twosome Jarvis Leatherby on Bass and vocals and guitarist Armand John Anthony just love covering the stage from left to right, interchanging spaces, climbing up on top of their raised platforms and swinging their instruments like madmen on a rampage, it’s all exactly how you want your old-school metal heads to act on stage, with passion and zero-fucks given! Highly entertaining from start to finish I highly recommend catching these guys any chance you can, they are just a feel-good band that delivers live. We are lucky as well that even though these guys originate from Ventura, Cliforn-i-a, Mr Leatherby has made Northern Ireland his home and we get the opportunity to catch them live more than we should. Fuckin A!




Tonight though was about popping my proverbial Schenker cherry, as a guitarist myself (and I do use that term loosely) it is criminal that tonight I am catching Michael for the very first time, but it is what it is and yes I am a disgrace!

The iconic guitarist, known for his exceptional skill and contributions to bands like Scorpions and UFO, brought his live show to the heart of Belfast, leaving a lasting impression on fans who were fortunate enough to witness his performance at this intimate venue.

The Limelight Venue, nestled in the vibrant city of Belfast, served as the perfect backdrop for Michael Schenker’s live showcase. With its cosy yet electric atmosphere, the venue created an intimate space that allows fans to feel a deep connection with the music and their favourite artist.

Michael Schenker’s reputation as a virtuoso guitarist precedes him, and his live performance at the Limelight only solidified his status as a true master of the craft. From the moment he stepped onto the stage, it was evident that the audience was in for a treat. Schenker’s fingers danced effortlessly across the frets, producing soul-stirring melodies that echoed through the venue.

Schenker’s setlist was a journey through his illustrious career, featuring a mix of classics and newer material. From the iconic riffs of UFO’s “Rock Bottom” to the soaring instrumental “Into The Arena” each song was a testament to Schenker’s ability to captivate an audience with his timeless sound. The setlist was carefully curated to showcase the evolution of Schenker’s musical prowess over the decades, providing a nostalgic experience for longtime fans and a thrilling introduction for those new to his work.

Beyond the band’s technical brilliance, The Michael Schenker Group’s stage presence was a force to be reckoned with. Engaging with the audience, he effortlessly commanded the attention of everyone in the room. Connecting with the crowd went beyond the music, creating a shared experience that transcended the typical concert dynamic. Fans were treated not only to a display of musical mastery but also to the genuine passion and joy that Schenker exuded on stage.

Schenker’s live performance was complemented by a stellar supporting cast of musicians who expertly brought his vision to life, including the mighty Robin McAuley on vocals delivering a majestic performance in his own right. The synergy between the band members was palpable, creating a cohesive unit that elevated the overall experience. The rhythm section provided a solid foundation, allowing Schenker’s guitar work to soar to new heights. The chemistry on stage was a testament to the professionalism and talent of each member all topped off by Schenker’s tasteful guitar playing, cutting tone and soaring leads, it was a guitar player’s dream to catch such a legendary player up close, in the flesh and appreciate a back catalogue so rich many would kill for.

Michael Schenker’s live performance at Belfast’s Limelight Venue was more than just a concert; it was a testament to the enduring power of rock and roll. With his timeless talent, engaging stage presence, and a setlist that spanned the breadth of his illustrious career, Schenker left an indelible mark on the hearts of fans in attendance. The Limelight Venue became a sanctuary for music lovers, and Michael Schenker, a maestro conducting a symphony of electric guitar magic, proved once again why he is a living legend in the world of rock. Legend!


Photography: Mark McGrogan

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