Scorpions – San Antonio, Texas

July 29th, 2010
by Robert Williams

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July 23, 2010

The AT&T Center – San Antonio, Texas

Review by Robert Williams

 


With a career spanning a little over forty-some odd years and a vast treasure trove of classics consisting of both studio and live releases, the pressure was really on for the legendary German hard rockers Scorpions to deliver on the San Antonio stop of their farewell tour. With supporting act Ratt in tow, this would mark the first time in around seven or eight years for Scorpions to grace a stage in Texas and the amount of anticipation from the sold out audience at the AT&T center seemed to be at an all time record high.

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The band kicked things off with "Sting In The Tail" off of their latest studio release of the same name amidst a monstrous lighted backdrop of flashing red laser lights and fog. The initial excitement of the German hard rockers hitting the stage was enough to carry the new material and in hindsight was a wise choice to open the concert with. "Make It Real" from 1980′s "Animal Magnetism" followed and served to ignite the fuse on the firecracker that was the San Antonio faithful who had turned out in large droves to see Scorpions perform on this, their "Farewell" tour. The crowd joined the band in singing along to every word on such classics as "Bad Boy’s Running Wild" and "The Zoo" which have become nearly saturated with heavy radio station rotation in the San Antonio area since the early seventies, due in large part to the loyal support from such stations as 99.5 KISS FM whose now deceased disc jockey Joe "The Godfather" Anthony was one of the first in the country to champion Scorpions.

"Coast To Coast" and "Loving You Sunday Morning" both from 1979′s "Lovedrive" record, ended up being the oldest songs Scorpions would perform on this night, as no Uli Jon Roth-era songs were touched upon, an oddity being that this was the aforementioned farewell tour. "The Best Is Yet To Come" also from the new album "Sting In The Tail" saw the band incorporate a more intimate and unplugged atmosphere as drummer James Kottak picked up a pair of bongo drums and momentarily abandoned his kit atop a massive drum riser to join Klaus, Rudolf, Matthias and bassist Pawel center stage. Klaus engaged the audience with an extended sing along.

Klaus Meine announced to the captive audience that the next song "Send Me An Angel" was dedicated this night to the immortal Ronnie James Dio to tremendous applause from the audience. "Holiday" was next and was another sing-a-long favorite of the night in the wall to wall packed house that was the AT&T Center. I’d have to really jog my memory to recall another show in recent history that received such thunderous applause and obvious devotion from the fans, as at times it was difficult to hear the vocals of Scorpions frontman Klaus Meine over the roar of the crowd. "Raised On Rock" was next followed by "Tease Me Please Me" leading up to a barn burning version of "Dynamite" from the "Blackout" album.

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James Kottak was the first member of the band to engage in an extended solo, performing his "Kottak Attack" drum solo in unison with a really excellent video montage starring James that brings to life several of the group’s classic album covers. The drum solo was flashy yet simple and it’s high spots were playing off of some rather humorous footage included in the accompanying video. "Blackout" was next and kept the party atmosphere looming over the AT&T Center in full effect. Matthias Jabs took center stage at this point and let loose into "Six String Sting" an aptly named five minute long guitar solo that put the spotlight on one of hard rock’s most revered gunslingers.

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The stage’s massive video screens transformed into an urban nightlife playground for "Big City Nights" from 1984′s "Love At First Sting" and served to close out the band’s initial performance. After two or three minutes of "Scorpions" and "One More Song" chants, the band returned to the stage to perform their eighties monster ballad smash hit "Still Loving You" which was added to the group’s current setlist in favor of the recently axed "Winds Of Change". During "No One Like You" video camera teams patrolled through the audience and focused in on several different sections of the crowd singing the chorus and displayed them on the big screen video backdrops. "Rock You Like A Hurricane" was the final number of the band’s three song encore and closed what was an extremely memorable and enjoyable concert by Scorpions. Will it truly be the last time we hear Scorpions sting San Antonio? It’s difficult to say, as many bands continue well past their supposed farewell tours but factoring in the age of the bandmembers I suppose anything is possible. With that in mind, you don’t want to miss Scorpions when they sting a venue near you.

 

1. Sting In The Tail

2. Make It Real

3. Bad Boys Running Wild

4. The Zoo

5. Coast To Coast

6. Loving You Sunday Morning

7. The Best Is Yet To Come

8. Send Me An Angel

9. Holiday

10. Raised on Rock

11. Tease Me Please Me

12. Dynamite

13. Kottak Attack

14. Blackout

15. Six String Sting

16. Big City Nights

17. Encore:

17. Still Loving You

18. No One Like You

19. Rock You like A Hurricane

www.the-scorpions.com

www.myspace.com/officialscorpions

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