7/26/2010 12:01 PM
The Scorpions hit the stage and opened with the title track to the new album. I watched from the side of the stage, taking in part of the band, part of the crowd. They sound really good and, within the first few seconds, I can hear the classic two guitar interplay between Rudolf and Matthias. The sound on stage seems pretty good, judging from the grins on their faces. Matthias is playing his new Cort signature model, Rudolf one of his many Vs. They go into “Make It Real” from Animal Magnetism. Scanning the crowd, I see nothing but ecstatic looks. I stick around at the side of the stage for “The Zoo,” and I’m amazed at how heavy it is. After the frenetic 3-against-4 intro, the chugging low-E figure is like a sledgehammer. Both guitarists pull way back into the pocket on this part, with Matthias on the low thumps and Rudolf hitting the high answers. When it comes time for the talk box solo, Matthias steps up to the mic and starts growling and yowling, eating the signal from the lone Marshall JCM 800 backstage. I walk out into the arena after “The Zoo” and the intensity factor goes up exponentially. You realize that this is a fully professional organization, because the mix is clean, the lights are synchronized, the guitar changes—of which there are many—are seamless. They charge into “Coast to Coast” and “Loving You Sunday Morning” off Lovedrive before going into “The Best Is Yet to Come” from the new album, which generates a great singalong with the crowd. After several more tunes there is a drum solo and I find Matthias at the side of the stage taking a much needed breather. He’s the consummate professional—totally unflappable—and agrees to shoot a brief video interview before bounding back on stage. They play “Blackout” and Rudolf rocks the head bandages and eyeball forks from the album cover—a look that seems as agonizingly painful now as it did back in the ’80s. They save three of their most famous tunes for the end, closing with “Big City Nights,” “No One Like You,” and “Rock You Like a Hurricane.” I watch the final tune from Matthias’ tech’s station with Ratt’s Warren DeMartini, a scene that would surely have made my head explode back in 1985.
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