UFO Live @ The Wolf Den /Mohegan Sun 11-2-19 Last Orders 50th Anniversary Tour
After fifty glorious years, UFO rock legends have decided to embark on a final tour. Unfortunately, the band was hit with sad news this past spring when keyboardist/guitarist Paul Raymond died of a heart attack on April 13th. However, the group knew Raymond would want them to carry out their Last Orders tour as they recruited former bandmate, Neil Carter. The trek kicked off on October 10th in Anaheim, CA, and concluded on November 2nd in Uncasville, CT. Metal Insider contributor Dennis Brunelle was there to capture the evening at what could be UFO’s final show ever! Or, maybe not since UFO will be performing on next year’s Rock Legends Cruise.
Frontman Phil Mogg has been the only consistent member who performed on every album from 1970’s debut UFO 1 up until their twenty second album with 2017’s The Salentino Cuts. The rest of the lineup includes Vinnie Moore (lead guitar), Rob De Luca (bass/vocals), Andy Parker (drums/vocals), and Neil Carter (rhythm guitar/keyboards/vocals).
The Wolf Den is a small venue in the middle of the Mohegan Sun casino. All shows are free and always on a first-come-first-served basis. On November 2nd, the show was quick to fill the 300 person capacity. Anticipation filled the intimate venue as this was noted to be the last show of their 50-year career, with a few rock cruises in 2020. The band took to the stage without any opening act and made sure the crowd was in for a treat during their 90-minute set.
Phil Mogg looked a little frail at the ripe age of 71, belted out “Mother Mary” as though it was the first time he sang the song back in 1975. The crowd sang along with firsts in the air, shouting out to the lyrics word for word with Mogg. The group went into “We Belong to the Night,” a song from the Paul Chapman era (Michael Schenker’s replacement, joining the band in 1978). As the history of the group continued, they went into “Run Boy Run.” At this point, the crowd settled down a bit as this track is from a more obscure album, A Conspiracy of Stars. Things continued to cool down with “Venus,” a song from the album Walk on Water, which was a reunion of the original UFO lineup with Schenker.
The energy rejuvenated as Mogg introduced the next song, “This is called ‘Lights Out!'” This track is probably the best known UFO songs as the crowd went nuts belting out the chorus. Vinnie Moore nailed Schenker’s lead note for note during this performance. UFO dove into the vaults and went into “Burn Your House Down” and “Fighting Man” taken from 2012’s Seven Deadly, an album mostly written by Mogg and Moore and not well known.
At this point of the night, UFO put their foot on the crowd’s throat and didn’t let up as they went into “Only You Can Rock Me.” The group went back to more classics with “Cherry” and “Love to Love,” which highlighted Moore’s superb work on the fretboard. Moore continued to mix his style along with Schenker’s original work. The crowd expressed their gratitude to Vinnie as they gave his solo a round of applause. Moore continued to show off his skills with “Too Hot To Handle” as he went ala Hendrix during part of his guitar solo.
Finally, they went into “Rock Bottom,” a staple song at every live UFO show. A tune where Schenker was once in the spotlight has now given way to Vinnie Moore. Moore kept some Schenker licks and continued to mix his own style.
Before the encore, Mogg shouted, “this is where we usually leave the stage and come back, but we’re just going to stay here and cut out the bullshit!” Sadly, the night was coming to a close as they went into their most famous song, especially for Iron Maiden fans with “Doctor Doctor.” The audience continued to sing along as the group moved into “Shoot Shoot.” Moggs’ voice remained strong and nailed the 1975 song from Force It.
There’s a saying in show business, “always leave them wanting more.” And after fifty years of rock n’ roll, UFO did just that!