10/7/17 – Scorpions w/ Special Guests Megadeth at the Los Angeles Forum
*** MEGADETH ***
What a treat to catch Megadeth on a bill with The Scorpions!
A Special Guest that lived up to that billing, Megadeth kick you right in the mouth with No-Frills In-Your-Face METAL!
Their set on this tour is perfectly constructed to give the die-hards a healthy selection of their catalog while also giving any newbies, or those fans who just came for The Scorps, a decent taste of what this band is all about…
A Megadeth show doesn’t allow you a lot of time to catch a breath and a cool prelude of Risk’s “Prince of Darkness” while their stage was being “constructed” led right into the onslaught that is “Hangar 18“. And from that moment, Dave and the boys were off and running… “The Threat Is Real”, “She-Wolf”, “Sweating Bullets”, “Trust”, “Dystopia“… Boom, Boom, BOOM!!!
Dave Mustaine’s snarling vocals were on point. At some times it didn’t even look like he was moving his mouth as he growled through his pursed lips. Kiko Loureiro on guitar has been an amazing addition to this lineup, taking on the intricacies of the ‘Deth catalog in stride. Dirk Verbeuren, barely visible from up high on the drum riser thrashed the hell out his kit. And I’m not even sure what to say about Dave “Jr” Ellefson on bass…other than, to me he’s as important to their sound as Mustaine is.
Their set was capped off by a blistering version of “Mechanix“, “Symphony of Destruction” and the familiar bass riff that kicked off “Peace Sells…“
They proved to be the perfect BOOM to get the night started and I have no doubt that they won a ton of fans this evening.
*** THE SCORPIONS ***
German Rockers, THE SCORPIONS, returned to “Caalleeeeeffoorrrnneeeaaaaaaahhhhhhh” on Saturday evening and continued to prove why retirement was definitely not the right option for them. After more than half a century (52 YEARS PEOPLE!!!) they still have too much left in the tank to let it go to waste.
It’s been many years since I caught The Scorpions in concert (Last time was 2004 at the Universal Amphitheater… may it Rest In Peace!) And I have to say… that night I felt that opening act, Tesla, outpaced the veteran rockers. But tonight they showed me that quitting is for quitters. This band are firing on all cylinders! All the Signature moves are in place and they hit the right tone at the right time. Kicking off with a bang… A 70’s Medley
The irony of this evening wasn’t apparent until I got home and heard that the band just canceled the rest of their U.S. tour due to Klaus coming down with a severe case of laryngitis. When taking notes about tonight’s show I wrote that Klaus Meine’s vocals sounded as crisp as ever and that at almost 70 years old, there are some young guns out there that had better take a lesson in keeping their instrument in good condition.
The tandem guitars of the even-keeled Mathias Jabs and the anything but even-keeled Rudy Schenker still pristinely crunch out all those incredible Scorpions’ hits. It looks like Rudy still relishes his role as one of Rock’s brightest stars as he dances around the stage, making faces and thoroughly enjoying the ride that he’s on. Mathias is still the solid & steady ball of rock greatness. His amazing talent and soulfulness truly shined on the instrumental piece, “Delicate Dance“
Bassist Paweł Mąciwoda has now been with the band for over a decade (How time flies) and has become a fun presence on stage. At one point he was sucking up the fumes cascading from the back of one of Rudy’s smoking Gibsons.
Last but not least, the addition of ex-Motorhead, powerhouse drummer, Mikkey Dee to this lineup, adds a fine exclamation point to the current sound of this band. He was able to really let loose during a tribute to the one and only “Lemmy” via a kickass version of Motorhead’s “Overkill“, which led to Mikkey pounding out a killer solo; with kit lifted high above the Forum crowd.
The setlist was similar to the last leg of their Crazy World Tour with a few new and a lot of old tracks nestled together like old friends. A couple of familiar favorites, “The Zoo” and “Coast To Coast” were followed by a 70’s Medley of “Top Of The Bill”, “SteamRock Fever”, Speedy’s Coming” and “Catch Your Train“
An Acoustic set up which brought Mikkey Dee down to the front of the stage to join the rest of the band included, “Always Somewhere”, “Eye Of The Storm” and great version of “Send Me An Angel“. That was followed by a familiar Klaus whistle that signaled the “Wind of Change”.
The latter half of the set was filled with their greatest hits. The crowd were in fine voice as they helped the band run through “Blackout” and “Big City Nights” which closed out the main set. After a brief interlude, the band returned with “No One Like You“. Klaus talked about how much the U.S. has meant to the band and in turn they wanted to give back by displaying numbers on the side of the stage that provided an easy way for fans to donate to the victims of the recent Hurricanes. That led into (my favorite song EVER) “Still Loving You“. The night was capped off, as always, with “Rock You Like a Hurricane“.
With the recent passing of Tom Petty (and numerous others) it’s a good time to honor the amazing talent, especially from the veteran rockers, that comes through your town. Most of them, no doubt have in some way provided a part of the soundtrack to your youth. Having this tour canceled the very next morning due to Klaus’ health concerns should make you realize that you just don’t know when the show is going to end. Here’s wishing Klaus a speedy recovery and hoping that this night was not the last chance I had to catch these legends live.