Review and photos by Fred Kuhlman
Promoter: 13th Floor Entertainment
Venue: Club Red, Mesa, Arizona
Date: Sunday May 12, 2019
Tour: Triple Anniversary World Tour 2019
Uli Jon Roth has been playing professionally for over 50 years. He was a member of the German band, Scorpions in the 1970s. However, Uli never tour the USA with the Scorpions. In 1978, Uli formed his own band named Electric Sun. They produced 3 albums over the next 8 years. This tour (2018 & 2019) is in celebration of Uli Jon Roth’s triple anniversary: 40-year anniversary of SCORPIONS – TOKYO TAPES, 40-year anniversary of the Birth of ELECTRIC SUN and 50-year anniversary of Uli’s first ever stage performance in 1968 at age 13.
The concert consisted of a 90-minute Electric Sun set. This was followed by a short intermission and then the second set that highlighted songs from TOKYO TAPES REVISITED. The entire show was about a 3-hour extravaganza. The entire show was complemented by a multi-media projections that included life video of the band.
Uli was joined on this part of the North American tour by fellow guitarists David Klosinski and Niklas Turmann. Niklas also took over the lead singing role. The rest of the band is made up of keyboardist Corvin Bahn, drummer Richard Kirk and bass player Nico Deppisch. It was a real treat to see two skillful guitarists complement Uli’s impressive mastery of his Sky guitar. Niklas also was very impressive as he sang each of the songs.
The show started with Uli and the band playing “Sky Overture”. They then played a collection of songs from Uli’s Electric Sun timeframe. They ended the first set with “Enola Gay (Hiroshima Today?)”. They then took a short break and the audience was able to get more drinks and talk about the sensational first set.
Second set started with Uli alone on the stage performing the acoustic song, “Passage To India”. He sat on a bench and played one of his other Sky guitars. Then the rest of the band came on stage and the real fun began. The next song was one of the first songs Uli every played professionally, “Apache” with his original guitar, a Framus guitar. For me Uli’s rendition of the classic “All Along The Watchtower” was stellar. It ranked up there Jimi Hendrix’s classic version. They ended the show with one of my personal favorites, “The Sails of Charon”.
This was the first time I saw Uli. It was also the first time I had seen or heard one of his Sky guitars. These are special guitars designed and built to Uli’s specifications. They are a little on the expensive side starting at $9000 and going up to $36000., just a little out of my price range. According to the Sky Guitar website ( http://www.sky-guitars.com/ ), there is a 1 year wait for a guitar. It seems most of the guitars are purchased by collectors and guitar fanatics. It was truly a treat to see the master (Uli) exploit the full potential of the guitar. So, if you have $36000 just lying around doing nothing, then you might consider getting one of these impressive and eye-catching beauties. I need to do to the Phoenix Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) and check out their current electric guitar exhibit and see if they have one of these unique Sky guitars.
I was completely shocked by the small crowd of only about 70 fans. About half of them purchased VIP passes that included an afternoon show where Uli performed a special show. It is a real shame that an artist and band of this talent draws so small a crowd when crap bands with very little talent but have great PR, draw thousands. I was happy to see a teenage girl with her father at the show and seeing her really enjoying the music. We talked during the intermission and she is learning guitar and loves bands like Metallica and Iron Maiden. So, I guess there is hope for the younger generation. Rock on girl and I hope you and your dad liked the show.
Photos © Fred Kuhlman 2019, All Rights Reserved
Uli Jon Roth Setlist: (Album / Cover)
Sky Overture (Transcendental Sky Guitar)
Indian Dawn (Fire Wind / Electric Sun)
Electric Sun (Earthquake / Electric Sun)
Sun In My Hand (Scorpions Revisited)
Why? (Beyond The Astral Skies / Electric Sun)
Don’t Tell The Wind (Scorpions Revisited)
Just Another Rainbow (Fire Wind / Electric Sun)
Icebreaker (Beyond The Astral Skies / Electric Sun)
I’ll Be There (Beyond The Astral Skies / Electric Sun)
Starlight (Prologue to the Symphonic Legends)
Enola Gay (Hiroshima Today?) (Fire Wind / Electric Sun)
Passage To India
Apache (The Shadows Cover)
We’ll Burn The Sky (Taken by Force / Scorpions)
In Trance (Scorpions Revisited)
Pictured Life (Virgin Killer / Scorpions)
Catch Your Train (Scorpions Revisited)
All Along The Watchtower (Bob Dylan Cover)
Dark Lady (Scorpions Revisited)
Yellow Raven (Virgin Killer / Scorpions)
The Sails of Charon (Scorpions Revisited)