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Metal/Prog Metal Concert Reviews

Scorpions

Live in Rosemont, Illinois August 2010

Review by Greg Olma

I have to admit that I was shocked when I heard that the Scorpions were going to do a farewell tour.  This German metal machine has been doing it for so long that I never even considered that they wouldn’t be around recording and touring past my lifetime.  So it was with some celebration and a fair amount of sadness that I attended the last show the Scorpions were going to play in the Chicago-land area.  They were promoting their swansong Sting In The Tail and if this was in fact going to be their last hurrah, they were going out on top. 

They started the show with the title track from their new disc which set the Rosemont Theater into overdrive and it never let up. The song is a perfect opener and fits in nicely with their classics.  “Make It Real” was next and I was happy they stilled played tracks from the often overlooked Animal Magnetism record.  The first “real” hit came in the form of “Bad Boys Running Wild” and the crowd responded with their approval.  Klaus Meine sounded great throughout the show and he proved to everyone why he is one of the top metal singers in the world. Guitarist Rudolf Schenker is a whirlwind of energy and I only wish I had 1/10th of the energy that he puts out on stage.  Slowing things down a little (but still keeping it heavy) was “The Zoo.” I’m sorry to say that I find this tune a little boring on record but live it takes on life of its own.  It has a groove that works well in a live setting and it is also a fan favorite.  Giving Meine a chance to rest his voice, the guys performed the three guitar attack of “Coast To Coast”.  There’s not much to the song but it is one of the most effective pieces in their catalog of music.  It has one of those melodies that you will hum for weeks but never get tired of at the same time.  Sticking with the Lovedrive album, they played “Loving You Sunday Morning” next.


Greg Olma
 
Greg Olma
   

The next section of the show slowed the pace down but still kept some hits coming.  The new song “The Best Is Yet To Come” complete with sing-a-long at the end showed that the Scorpions can still pen a great ballad.  It was just as good as “Wind Of Change” which is probably their biggest worldwide hit.  I’m not a fan of that track but everyone else in attendance seemed to enjoy it, so they definitely gave the audience what they wanted.  For years the band has played the slow beginning part of “Holiday” but for this tour they decided to play the whole thing and that was a welcome surprise.  It was definitely one of the highlights of the show for me.  The band still wanted to promote the new CD so “Raised On Rock” was next and it would surely be in the set list for years to come if the band didn’t decide to make this their last go around.  “Tease Me Please Me” was followed by the first big surprise (although I had a feeling) of the evening.  For “Another Piece Of Meat”, the Scorpions brought out Michael Schenker to play on stage with them.  For those of you that remember, Michael Schenker played on the original album so we got to see a little bit of history when he joined them on stage.  Both Matthias Jabs and Michael Schenker threw in some Led Zeppelin into the middle of the song, making it a one of a kind performance.


Greg Olma
 
Greg Olma
   

Normally I don’t pay attention during the drum solos but James Kottak’s “Kottak Attack” is one that I never miss.  For this tour, he incorporated a lot of visuals into his solo.  Basically, he brought to life many of the Scorpions album covers on the video screens while he bashed away at his kit.  Take it from me, you don’t want to miss this solo because it really it extremely entertaining.  The rest of the band returned to the stage for “Blackout.”  Rudolf Schenker even wore a mask with the forks in the eyes just like the cover of the album.  They finished off the set with “Big City Nights,” but since this was their last time in Chicago, the crowd was not going to let them go without playing a few songs for an encore.  The Scorpions had no problem obliging the sold out crowd with a few more tunes.  The first one up was “Still Loving You” and I have to say it again, Meine’s voice was perfect throughout the show and showed no signs of fatigue.  The second surprise op the evening (this one I was even surprised at) was Carmine Appice filling in for Kottak on drums for “No One Like You.” He played it well but you could tell he was concentrating on playing and he looked (at least to me) a little nervous.  Kottak jumped back into the drum stool and the Scorpions finished their show with “Rock You Like A Hurricane.”  It was a great ending to a great show.  It was a little sad walking out of the venue thinking that that was going to be the last time I would see the band live, but if they were going to go, they did it while still on top and able to put on a great show.  The Scorpions are having a retirement party for three years and we are all invited.  I heard that they may come back to the US next year and play some of the markets that were missed on this part of the tour.  If the band happens to roll into your town, you owe it to yourself to be a part of the retirement festivities.  I, for one, will make the journey to another location to catch the Scorpions in concert while I still can.

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Greg Olma
 
Greg Olma
 
Greg Olma
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.
You'll find concert pics of this artist in the Music Street Journal members area.
 
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