Scorpions @ Fivepoint Amphitheater – 09/02/2018
50 years is a long time on planet earth and German Rock n Roll veterans Scorpions have celebrated 50 years as a band and show no signs of slowing down. Playing a string of re-scheduled dates from late 2017, including an added date at Fivepoint Amphitheater in Irvine on Sunday night September 2, Scorpions are still putting on a killer, high energy show to sold-out arenas. Along for the ride are long time Scorpions touring partners Queensryche who themselves are veteran rockers still touring and tearing it up some 38 years after their birth as a band.
Queensryche played a nine-song set that spanned their long career including “The Whisper” and “Screaming in Digital” from 1986’s Rage for Order. Vocalist Todd La Torre now having 6 years tenure with the band continues to prove he is the perfect fit for Queensryche with his vocal power and he looks as comfortable as ever fronting the band. Original guitarist Michael Wilton still scorches the fret-board with his red-hot licks as does original bass player Eddie Jackson with his thumping bass lines. Missing from the lineup were drummer Scott Rockenfield who has taken a temporary leave from the band being replaced with live drummer Casey Grillo. Also absent is guitarist Parker Lundgren who is also on leave with previous Queensryche axeman Mike Stone filling in.
The band played their biggest radio hit “Silent Lucidity” with a huge crowd reaction and then an absolute amazing rendition of “Queen of the Reich” that La Torre just nails on vocals giving you chills up and down your spine! The set ended with the rocking “Eyes of a Stranger” and the capacity crowd in Irvine now fully primed for Scorpions.
Beginning their career in the late 60’s and having their biggest hits during the MTV era of the 80’s, the Scorpions remain Rock n Roll royalty with some of the biggest guitar driven rockers and ballads your ears will ever hear. The band took the stage to a roaring crowd with a huge stage set backed by large video screens and a 25 ft drum riser. The night started with “Going Out with a Bang” from their 2015 album Return to Forever proving that their newer material remains as catchy and strong as ever.
Father Time has been very good to Vocalist Klaus Meine, as at 70 years old, he has not lost a step in his delivery and his vocal prowess remains just as you remember from all those radio hits – absolutely amazing! By the fourth song, “The Zoo”, Fivepoint Amphitheater was completely rocking and the momentum was carried into the guitar driven instrumental “Coast to Coast” which has been a staple in Scorpions live performance for years.
The focal point of Scorpions live show is without a doubt Rudolph Schenker with his fleet of exotic Gibson flying V guitars that powers him through amazing rhythms and the occasional solo as he very dynamically engages with the crowd throughout the show. Long time guitarist Matthias Jabs plays very focused leads complimenting Schenker making for one of the premier guitar duos in the history of Rock n Roll and one cannot forget Jabs amazing Talk Box effects on “The Zoo”. Bass player Paweł Mąciwoda fits in perfectly holding down the low end of the spectrum and then there is former Motorhead drummer Mikkey Dee . . . joining the band after the death of Lemmy Kilmister (RIP), Dee is a fantastic addition to Scorpions and is an absolute monster on the drums.
The band played a medley of their lesser known 70’s hits that was certainly a treat for the older Scorpions die-hards and the cell phone lights came on for the huge ballad “Wind of Change”. Meine acknowledged Dee being in the band and his friendship with Motorhead and Lemmy over the years and then went into a cover of Motorhead’s “Overkill” with photos and videos of Lemmy on the large video screens. A very touching tribute that led into Dee’s amazing drum solo. His drum riser lifted into the air an additional 20 ft or so as he blazed through a killer solo that without a doubt was the highlight of the show.
The main set ended with the one-two punch of “Blackout” and “Big City Nights” before the band returned with a two-song encore of “No One Like You” and without a doubt Scorpions biggest hit “Rock You Like a Hurricane”. A timeless night of Rock n Roll . . . Scorpions still have it in 2018 ! There is talks of a new Scorpions album when the time is right and we all certainly hope that happens along with more live shows.
Queensryche Set List: Best I Can | The Whisper | Empire | Guardian | Silent Lucidity | Queen of the Reich | Jet City Woman | Screaming in Digital | Eyes of a Stranger
Scorpions Set List:
Going Out With a Bang | Make It Real | Is There Anybody There? | The Zoo | Coast to Coast | Top of the Bill / Steamrock Fever / Speedy’s Coming / Catch Your Train (’70’s medley) | We Built This House | Delicate Dance | Send Me an Angel | Wind of Change | Tease Me Please Me | Overkill (Motörhead cover) | Drum Solo) | Blackout | Big City Nights
Encore: No One Like You | Rock You Like a Hurricane
Queensryche Photo Gallery:
Scorpions Photo Gallery: