Saturday September 16th
Madison Square Garden, New Your City
Review & photos by Robert Cavuoto
The legendary Scorpions have just kicked-off a North America tour with 17 shows between September and October for their Crazy World Tour. Their second stop on Saturday September 16th was the world-renowned Madison Square Garden in the heart of New Your City. On this warm September evening the Scorpions were clearly feeling the excitement from the crowd as they exploded onto the stage performing “Going out with a Bang” to a fury of stunning lights and images displayed on the massive video screen.
Intermixed into the set were two newer songs from their 2015 release, Return to Forever; “Rock n’ Roll Band” and “We Built this House.” Both songs fit nicely with their classics and lyrically share the band’s struggles to make it in America. The basic elements of hard rock music are ingrained in the iconic German hard rock band’s DNA. As with every release they manage to redefine their signature sound and build songs that not only resembles the characteristics of the past but of the present too. Unfortunately, there were no songs played from, Sting in the Tail, which is another outstanding CD; with so many great songs in their armamentarium, I’m sure it’s a challenge to pick.
Before the show I asked Matthias about picking songs for the set list, he told me, “The fans want us to play the classics. If we play two hours than we have to play 10-12 classics or the audience will be disappointed.” Rudolf added, “These 10-12 songs are the foam on the cappuccino.”
Tonight fans did not go home disappointed and got exactly what they came for; a chance to relive the classic 80’s songs that are so etched in their brains, like, “Big City Nights” “Blackout”, “Rock You Like a Hurricane,” “Still Loving You,” and “No One Like You.” All played with the same passion and ferocity as when they were released 35-40 years ago, timeless songs that still embody the band and their music.
There were also two sets of medleys, one from the 70s with Uli Jon Roth era songs; “Top of the Bill,” “Streamrock Fever,” “Speedy’s Coming” and “Catch Your Train” and the second was an acoustic medley with, “Always Somewhere,” “Eye of the Storm,” and “Send Me an Angel.”
Matthias and Rudolf tirelessly ran from one end of the stage with their Teutonic twin guitar attack; feeding off the energy from the crowd. Rudolf had an arsenal of Flying Vs and seemed to have a different one for every song. One resembled a Ferrari’s grill, and another looked like the stick shift console out of a Mercedes. He even used an acoustic Flying V for “Winds of Change.”
Mikkey Dee of Motorhead recently joined the band on drums following the departure of James Kottak. Prior to Mikkey’s monster drum solo the band paid homage to Motorhead and Lemmy Kilmister by performing “Overkill.” The bass and drums during that song were chest crushing and reminiscent of how Lemmy played; kudos to bassist Pawel Maciwoda.
All Scorpion shows have their trademark moments during “Blackout” Rudolf comes out with a guitar that bellows smoke into the arena, Klaus hammers a cowbell and tosses drum sticks into the crowd, and Mikkey’s drum kit elevates!
Klaus by far has the best and most recognizable voice of all the hard rock bands from the 80s. He ultimately owned the stage and whipped the crowd into a frenzy while sharing insights into many of the band’s songs.
The Scorpions do not show any signs of slowing down as many of the members are in their mid-to-late 60s. The band comes to the US like clockwork every two years, so catch them on this Crazy World Tour to see one of the best rock shows of the year!