Scorpions, Queensrÿche, The Forum, October 3, 2015
Celebrating their 50th year as a band, the legendary Scorpions made their way to the States to unleash what was easily the rock and roll event of the year. In the midst of a triumphant worldwide tour supporting their 18th studio album entitled Return To Forever, the Scorpions played a dynamic sold out show at the iconic Forum in Inglewood, CA on a raging Saturday night. Looking around the venue, one could feel the excitement and anticipation from music fans of all ages awaiting the arrival of the German based collection.
Opening their set with a ferocious rendition of Going Out With A Bang from Return To Forever, the modern day Scorpions are surely at the very height of a brilliant career, still ready to rock your world in a vast and wondrous way. Time travel back to 1980 was in order next, as the Scorpions launched into the one-two punch of Make It Real and The Zoo from the Animal Magnetism album. Then it was time to go on a Lovedrive when the Scorpions rendered a scorching rendition of Coast To Coast. And showing just how rock solid the current album is, the Scorpions unleashed the autobiographic We Built This House, which had many in the audience singing along.
Vocalist Klaus Meine was in top form, and appeared very humbled by the fact that there were so many in the crowd in attendance, passionately sharing a milestone year with the Scorpions. The dueling shredding machine of Rudolf Schenker and Matthias Jabs brought the songs to an ultra-vivid life while Paweł Mąciwoda and James Kottak made for a tremendously tight rhythm section. One of the stunning highlights of the night was when the Scorpions broke it down acoustically, performing the trio of Always Somewhere, Eye Of The Storm, and Send Me An Angel – captivating all at The Forum within the most delicate yet impassioned moments of the set. And speaking of glorious highlights, even those who detest drum solos were absolutely blown away by the superb performance of James Kottak. With his drum riser levitating high in the air, Kottak told his inspiring story about his time with the Scorpions and then launched into a solo performance – the Kottak Attack – that was simply mesmerizing! Blackout and the radio hit No One Like You were extremely well received towards the end of the set, followed by a supremely infectious version of Big City Nights from Love At First Sting.
Back for a well-deserved encore, the Scorpions returned to the stage and played Still Loving You followed by their massive hit single Rock You Like A Hurricane. By this time, the entire Forum audience was standing up and singing along, the entire room transfixed by the euphoric refrains of the Scorpions most revered song. The entire show was filled with magic and intrigue – and is destined to be remembered with tremendous admiration for the rock and roll ages ahead.
Opening the set was the almighty Queensrÿche, providing perfect support for the Scorpions. Having their own grand celebration with the release of Condition Human – their 15th studio recording – Queensrÿche is another long running band whose live shows still pack a devastating punch to the senses. Opening with the dazzling Anarchy-X from Operation: Mindcrime, it was certainly clear that many of the early arrivals were Queensrÿche fanatics of the highest order. In addition to the crowd favorites, Queensrÿche presented a new song entitled Arrow Of Time from Condition Human – and judging by the audience reaction, this one is destined to become a staple in the Queensrÿche catalog of live epic artistry.
For those who have not heard yet, new vocalist Todd La Torre unleashes astounding vocals, breathing fire and depth into the Queensrÿche classics. Outstanding musicianship remains Queensrÿche ‘s crowning achievement, featuring the exhilarating contributions from Michael Wilton on guitar, Eddie Jackson on bass, Scott Rockenfield on drums, and Parker Lundgren on guitar. The crowd gave a standing ovation during closing song Queen of the Reich, showing their massive respect for the royal legacy that is Queensrÿche. A powerhouse kick-off to what would be an unforgettable evening of timeless rock and metal!
(Review by Ken Morton – Photos by Jack Lue)