Scorpions, Megadeth, The Forum, October 7, 2017
The legendary Scorpions made their way across the States on the Crazy World Tour 2017, with a stop at The Forum in Inglewood, California. Along for the cross-country ride was another iconic collective, the one and only Megadeth, providing outstanding support for what is clearly becoming the tour of the year not to be missed. The double-bill was absolutely captivating, with fans of both bands packing The Forum to the rafters – ready to rock to two very different styles who music, bringing the generations together in an exciting way.
With the Scorpions on tour for the critically acclaimed Return To Forever endeavor and Megadeth just being awarded a Grammy for the recent Dystopia magnum opus, these highly acclaimed bands brought on a ravishing night to remember for the rock and roll ages ahead. Timeless music would be theme of the evening, and you could feel the excitement in the air as the fans arrived to witness what would be the concert of a lifetime!
The almighty Megadeth took over the Forum stage at promptly at 8PM, kicking off their set with a brutally intensive rendition of Hangar 18 from their iconic Rust In Peace manifesto unleashed in 1990. From The Threat Is Real, Take No Prisoners, She-Wolf and well beyond, the world renowned thrash metal collective held their hometown absolutely captivated with a wildly blistering set. Megadeth 2017 remain a mighty force of auditory intensity to be reckoned with, headed by the one and only Dave Mustaine, whose stage presence and guitar playing is dynamically impassioned. Right by Mustaine’s side is longtime bassist David Ellefson, whose handles the shattering low end with a grand amount of style and professionalism. The two newer members of Megadeth unleash absolutely inspiring performances, with Angra’s Kiko Loureiro shredding away with a skilled precision on guitar and former Soilwork member Dirk Verbeuren slamming it all into the stratosphere with his supreme drumming assaults. Mustaine and his crew seemed genuinely excited to be performing a sold out show at The Forum opening for the Scorpions, and their stunning songs and lively visuals really made for quite a landmark presentation.
In addition to a few songs performed from their Grammy award winning Dystopia album, fan favorites such as Mechanix, Symphony Of Destruction, and their infamous masterwork Peace Sells sent The Forum into a rage of fist pumping and rabid adoration. For a very well deserved encore, Megadeth returned to the stage and concluded with the pummeling Holy Wars… The Punishment Due. Where this reviewer was seated, Megadeth fans were all around and absolutely losing their minds during their one hour opening set. The modern day Megadeth remains one of the most compelling thrash metal bands on the planet. And opening for the Scorpions was an inspired way to spread their legacy to a whole lot more of the unconverted ready and willing to thrash this planet into the stratosphere!
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The Scorpions would be make a historic return to The Forum in Inglewood on a raging Saturday night, bringing their own iconic brand of hard rock and heavy metal to the City of Angels. Opening with the triumphant refrains of Going Out With A Bang from their most album Return To Forever, the excitement and energy emitting from the stage was radiantly electrifying! And the hits kept right on slamming through, with vibrant renderings of Make It Real, The Zoo, and Coast To Coast shining throughout the cavernous Forum. And what a treat it was to hear more obscure 70’s songs such as Streamrock Fever and Catch Your Train being belted out by the modern day Scorpions. Newer cuts such as We Built This House and Rock And Roll Band also received a good deal of applause, showing that fans were very familiar with selections from Return To Forever.
From the stage, vocalist Klaus Meine took off his sunglasses and spoke about the concert shootings in Las Vegas and the profound effect it had on him and the other members of the band. Another tremendously poignant yet very rock and roll moment of the night was when the Scorpions honored the late great Lemmy with a scorching rendition of Overkill, made all the more powerful because it featured former Motorhead and current Scorpions member Mikkey Dee on drums! And speaking of a fierce and wondrous lineup overall, Scorpions 2017 are at the very height of their musicianship, performing with a staggering amount of passion and conviction. Klaus Meine is in top form, delivering the songs with a striking sense of passion and urgency. Longtime guitarists Rudolf Schenker and Matthias Jabs exude a stunning amount of energy and expertise, filling the vast auditorium with an exhilarating wall of sound. Paweł Mąciwoda sent the room spinning with his superb bass interludes. And Mikkey Dee proves once again why he’s one of the greatest living drummers on the planet, supplying the muscular beats to the modern day Scorpions assault.
For a well-deserved encore, the Scorpions unleashed three fans favorites – No One Like You, Still Loving You, and the grand finale Rock You Like A Hurricane. Right before they would launch into their final massive radio hit, Meine acknowledged his hope for all of the hurricane survivors throughout the United States and had donation information available on the wide screen throughout the song. With such a fantastic performance, no one even suspected that Meine was ill with laryngitis. This would unfortunately be the last show on the North American run, as the remaining tour dates would be cancelled per dire instructions from a local doctor here in Los Angeles. It was an honor to see the Scorpions in their finest hour, and he’s hoping for a speedy recovery for the amazing Klaus Meine!
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(Review by Ken Morton – Photos by Jack Lue)