Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Scorpions - June 19, 2010

The Scorpions were the big headliners at 2010s M3 Music Festival in Columbia, Maryland. As part of their farewell World Tour (rumored to last until 2012 so there should be ample opportunity to see them live if you haven’t) The Scorpions made the stop for this big metal music festival.

I was excited for this part of the night. Having never seen The Scorpions live, this was going to be a great moment in my life. Another classic band was going to be added to the list of amazing performers that I’ve been blessed to see over the years. The Scorpions were a band that I never really paid much attention to after the 80s. So when they announced that this was their farewell tour, I knew that I had to see them live. Fortunately for me, they were headlining M3, which I was already attending.

Now, I don’t know if they’ve been having sound troubles at the beginning of this US tour, but their sound check took forever. Part of it was due to the festival running late (thanks to Vince Neil), but part of it was The Scorpions. Their road technicians performed almost two full songs during the sound check. At one point, we all thought it was the band taking the stage!

When they finally did come out on stage, The Scorpions seemed a bit off. They opened with Sting In The Tail, the title track from their latest (and supposed last) release. Sting In The Tail is an amazing song, and a great choice for an opener. Even though I had never heard the song prior to that night, I was up on my feet, clapping my hands, and rocking along with the band.


Make It Real from the classic Animal Magnetism, and Bad Boys Running Wild from Love At First Sting were performed next. Both songs sounded off. The vocals were low, the guitars appeared out of tune, and the Scorpions seemed to be off by about a full beat on each song. Something was definitely wrong with their sound, and I understood why the sound check took so long. The Scorpions actually sounded bad.

The Zoo was up next, and while this is one of my favorites, this song was also not crisp and appeared to be slightly strained on the sound. After The Zoo Klaus Mein would explain to us that he had the flu, but did not want to cancel the show. He said that he could not sing any louder and if we wanted to blame anyone for the bad sound that we shouldn’t blame the sound engineers, we shouldn’t blame the band, we should blame him. I disagree. Up to that point, I thought Klaus was the best sounding part of The Scorpions. Granted, his vocals were lower, but other than that, his voice was on. It was the rest of the band that wasn’t, and regardless of Klaus’ plea, I would have fired the entire sound crew. They did an awful job.

Klaus disappeared backstage after that and the rest of the Scorpions performed Coast To Coast. That was an interesting pick. Having been a huge fan of Lovedrive for many, many years, hearing Coast To Coast live was pretty darned cool.

Klaus returned for the next song and introduced a very special friend that was going to help sing it. He told the crowd how this man was a friend of the band for years and he was honored to have him come out on stage with them. Vince Neil then came out to sing Another Piece of Meat, which he covers on his latest disc, Tattoos & Tequila. I was worried for a moment. Klaus was fighting the flu. Vince was on stage to sing. Was Vince taking over vocals for the rest of the show? If he was, I would walk out. It’s hard enough to see Vince sing ever third word to his own songs, now I had to listen to him sing every third word to The Scorpions songs too?


Thankfully that was not the case. Vince sang his one song with The Scorps, the crowd went nuts for him, and then he was gone. It was a cool moment in rock and roll that much I’ll admit.

What disappointed me most about this Scorpions performance was their song selection. Perhaps it’s because I had never seen them before, but I wanted to hear classics like Loving You Sunday Morning, Still Loving You, and if possible the deep cut of Always Somewhere. Now, I’ll admit, Coast to Coast was cool and a deep cut. I also understand that they are plugging a new album, so those songs have to be performed (and they were excellent songs). However, James Kottak’s drum solo went on forever, and to me, unless your name is Neil Peart, you shouldn’t be performing a drum solo. Kottak’s was boring and it easily could have been replaced by Still Loving You and Loving You Sunday Morning.

The Scorpions opted to not play the aforementioned songs. They also skipped out on No One Like You and Rhythm of Love. Highlights of the night included Tease Me Please Me, Blackout, and of course the huge encore of Rock You Like A Hurricane.

For the beginning of Blackout, guitarist Rudolf Schenker came out dressed like the madman on the cover of the classic Blackout album. He was a card all night long. Very entertaining and fun to watch, and seeing him in the headgear and goggles was too funny.

Overall, I was a little disappointed with The Scorpions performance. I am willing to give Klaus and company the benefit of the doubt due to Klaus fighting the flu. If they come back around to New Jersey, I will try to see them live again. Hopefully everyone will be healthy at that point.


Sting In The Tail
Make It Real
Bad Boys Running Wild
The Zoo
Coast to Coast
Another Piece of Meat (with Vince Neil)
The Best Is Yet To Come
Wind of Change
Raised on Rock
Tease Me Please Me
Kottak Attack (drum solo)
Six String Sting
Big City Nights
Rock You Like A Hurricane


Bonnie Gunkel said...

LMAO Ryo! I can't wait to read your "single-handedly" story about Vince :)

Anonymous said...

I had a great time at M3 and loved seeing the Scorpions live! "Raised On Rock" live was a song that went right through me... crazy good!

We'll check out another show together down the Metal road... Metal Buddy!