UFO is an English rock band which was formed in 1969. From early hard rock to heavy metal this group is the definition of British heavy metal. Over a career spanning 48 years, UFO has released 22 studio albums, 14 live recordings and 16 compilation albums. They achieved success in the late 1970s and early 1980s with several albums and singles in the UK and US Top 40 charts, and have sold over ten million records worldwide.
The band’s current lineup includes vocalist Phil Mogg, guitarist Vinnie Moore, bass guitarist Rob De Luca, keyboardist and rhythm guitarist Paul Raymond and drummer Andy Parker.
Taking the HOB stage over and welcomed with a packed crowd and a sea of raised fists, the band proceeded to play “Long Gone” from the 1981 album ‘The Wild, the Willing and the Innocent’, which by the look on some of the crowds face was a surprise. It’s one of those songs that builds and pulls you into it. Next up was “Wonderland” which blended in and picked up the crowd who got the fist back up in the air, slowing down a bit for “Making Moves”. I am not familiar with these songs, but then again I am old school. My favorite album was the Double Live album “Strangers in the Night” from 1979, which still finds rotation on my current song list. And tonight I will be remembering the songs from that album because 8 of those tracks will be performed live tonight. Next was “Run Boy, Run,” from the band’s latest LP, A Conspiracy of Stars, had a surprisingly somewhat more bluesy feel than typical UFO power chords. It’s nice to see the band challenge itself and experiment with their music. And then it hit me hard, the opening chords and rhythm to “Lights Out”, now we’re cookin’. Crowd was going crazy and the party just got started. It sounded kick-ass and brought the show to an early crescendo.
The sound at San Diego’s HOB was sweet, with each tune being dialed in and tweaked as the night progressed. “Baby Blue” from the Vinnie Moore era and “Ain’t no Baby” from 1978’s Obsessions album rolled thru the crowd sounding loud and crisp. The songs were just primer for what was coming and they help lead directly into a chomping, “Only You Can Rock Me,” which was one of my favorite songs of the night. “Burn Your House Down” slowed the groove down and was welcomed by the crowd. What to do after slowing the groove, Kick off with “Too Hot to Handle” which immediately had the crowd singing and connecting with the band. The night ended with the last five songs (all on the ‘Strangers in the Night’ album) “Love to Love”, “Rock Bottom”, “Cherry”, “Doctor Doctor” and “Shoot Shoot”. What can be said about “Love to Love?” it is a classic that I never get tired of hearing. The song has it all, it was mesmerizing, tender and pretentious, hitting more climaxes than anyone could possibly handle. The timeless opening Riff to “Rock Bottom” rattled the buildings foundation. In short, it was magnificent; a classic-metal symphony, that signaled the end of the set. The song “Cherry” once again just primed the crowd for the finishing blow. “Doctor, Doctor” is a signature cut released in 1974 from the album “Phenomenon.” It was electrical nirvana. Moore’s fret board work was not as far off Schenker’s as many people would lead you to believe. “Shoot, Shoot” closed the night out in style and gave the San Diego Crowd something to bring home and talk about. Many of the audience members were singing along and reliving their youth thru the music that left an imprint on them growing up in the mid 70’s. Overall, this was a wonderful night out with great music and reliving moments from my favorite UFO album was priceless
Run Boy Run
Aint no Baby
Only you can Rock me
Burn your House
To Hot to Handle
Messiah of Love
Love to Love