REVIEW AND PICTURES BY MARKO SYRJÄLÄ
Kotkan Meripäivät is not such a festival where you can see too many metal or hard rock bands. Still, sometimes the deviation approves all rules, and this year the legendary Scorpions were headlining this three-day festival. Scorpions continue to tour support for the band’s latest release, HUMANITY VOL 1, which came out over a year ago. In fact, it was less than two months since Scorps last time played in Finland when they co-headlining Sauna Open Air -festival in Tampere but an almost sold-out audience in Kotka proved that there’s a huge demand for Scorpions in Finland.
The show was about to start at midnight but because I was at the venue almost two hours before I had a good time to catch sight of this festival more than I usually do. First of all, it was funny to notice that age distribution was really wide at this concert. People were starting from age 18 to 75 years there, but that was probably because of the manner of this festival where other artists include such names as Remu and the Hurriganes, Havana Black, Teräsbetoni, Yö, Popeda, and Kari Tapio. What also was conspicuous was the fact that there were a lot of Scorpions fans coming from other countries. There were fans from Russia, Sweden, Estonia, and Italy, just to mention a few here, but now it’s time to go into the Scorpions show!
The set kicked off with the title track of the band’s latest HUMANITY HOUR 1 album, followed by the classic “Coming Home.” “The Zoo” was played next, and during the song, Klaus Meine was throwing dozens of drum sticks for the audience. It was funny to notice that most of the crowd didn’t seem to know a major part of the songs, but they still kept a loud noise and at least tried to sing along with the band on choruses. Rarely played FACE THE HEAT track “No Pain No Gain” was definitely one the highlights of the show. “Coast To Coast” included great jamming with Klaus on the third guitar, but it was the next two songs that almost caused pavilions’ roof to blow up, and those two were, of course, ballads: “Send Me An Angel” and “Holiday.” Especially during “Holiday,” people were singing so loud that the band was barely heard, and they seemed to be a little confused but in a positive way. Two less often played songs: “Loving You Sunday Morning” and “Make It Real,” sounded good, although many people started invasion towards beer tents during that time. The same movement did continue during another HUMANITY track, “321,” but fortunately, classic “Dynamite” quickly changed the direction, and the atmosphere started to get better again. What was coming next was James Kottak’s drum solo. Usually, I skip over all kinds of solos because they’re simply boring and a waste of time, but it must be said that James did a great job here. The essential solo part was quite short, and it started to convert into a great “percussion show” when each member of the band joined James’s show, and they all were beating their drums around the stage. That was a somewhat impressive part, and when the band next headed into “Blackout” and then “Big City Nights,” everybody was screaming their voices off.
The main part of the show was then over. The band did thank the audience and left from the stage. After five minute hiatus, they, of course, returned and started to play their biggest hit to date: “Still Loving You,” which briefly altered the concert hall to look like a dance pavilion. It seemed that many older couples especially forgot that they were in a rock concert and started to dance and drive younger people away from their way. It has to be said that it was quite confusing for five minutes. But fortunately, things turned back to normal when the band next headed into “Humanity” and “Rock You Like A Hurricane.”
In summary, it can be said that Scorpions once again proved that they’re true professionals who can still rock with no sign of tiredness or being entrenched. Klaus’s vocals were in top shape. Rudolf Schenker was still jumping around like a maniac, and the rest of the guys were also quite energetic. The setlist was a good combination of the band’s biggest hits and material from the latest album, but why on earth didn’t the band play anything from their previous UNBREAKABLE album, which is one of their best albums to date? Also, the complete lack of material of SAVAGE AMUSEMENT and only one track from CRAZY WORLD was a little disappointing. Not to mention that there was hardly anything played from their 70’s era? Understandably there is not enough time to please everyone, and of course, there are several songs which are a must to play but still, hopefully, the band will play more non-obvious choices the next time?
Humanity Hour 1
No Pain no Gain
Coast to Coast
Send me an Angel
Loving you Sunday Morning
Make it Real
JAMES KOTTAK -drum solo
Big City Nights
Still Loving You
Rock You Like a Hurricane
FOR MORE INFO, GO TO: WWW.THE-SCORPIONS.COM
MORE PICTURES FROM SCORPIONS KOTKA SHOW !!!