LIVE REPORT: Scorpions sell out The Forum in L.A., and Metal Sludge is there to mark down all the gory details
LOS ANGELES – This is the last hurrah for Scorpions, and the German band celebrated its 50th annivesary in style with a soldout concert Saturday, Oct. 3 before a delirious crowd of nearly 20,000 at the Forum.
We wish a lot of brand-new bands featuring snot-nosed adolescents could show half of Scorpions’ exuberance and determination, but alas that’s another story.
Not that Scorpions would care anyway. They were too busy having the time of their lives in what figures be the farwell tour (though we never say never considering what we keep on seeing from The Stones and The Who).
About 10 minutes in, Scorpions broke into “The Zoo,” one of the group’s most popular songs, and what a sight to see so many of us pumping our fists all at the same time.
Klaus Meine is 67, and amazingly he still sounds the same as in Scorpions’ hey day, the singer’s vocals searing through the arena air like a rocket. He was on the top of his game, loud and clear, as Meine roamed the stage to let us know he owned every inch of it.
Founder Rudolph Schenker and fellow longtime guitarist Matthias Jabs are still in place, and both demonstrated awesome tone. The group also features American drummer James Kottak, a Sludge favorite whose roots can be traced all the way back to the Sunset Strip as a founding member of Kingdom Come and a former temporary standout in Warrant.
Kottak’s drum solo was one for the books, as his kit slowly rose high above the stage via a lifter with the blond bomber continuously flailing away without missing a beat. He displayed his oversized “Rock & Roll Forever” tattoo across his back towards the end, but even if the ink was not there we surely got the message anyway.
“Wind of Change” never sounded better, as a lot of us were singing along. “Blackout” had everyone on their feet going wild, and Scorpions were just finding their groove.
Next came “No One Like You,” then “Big City Nights” and “Still Loving You,” as the group was really stirring a frenzy heading into “Rock You Like Hurricane,” which put a bold exclamation point on the proceedings.
Here I am, rock you like a hurricaine. That’s a catch line utterly perfect for the car radio on a warm summer night with the top down.
One thing is for sure, Scorps. We shall miss you when you’re gone.
Queensyche opened — the version without standout singer Geoff Tate — and frankly, the pop-metal act sounds just as good without him.
Lead singer Todd La Torre is in his third year with the band, and the guy has pipes from god.
The timing was perfect because the latest Queensryche CD called “Condition Human” was released just one day earlier, as the group performed some new material in addition to the big hits like “Silent Lucidity” and “Jet City Woman.”
The well-received set ended with a bang with “Queen of The Ryche” from 1982, and the song remains a masterpiece. When the lights went on before an hour’s time, it seemed too soon.
Gerry Gittelson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
PHOTOS BY JOE SCHAEFFER