Concert Pics & Review: Scorpions & Queensryche

Tom Leu | 15 May 2016 | Concert Pics & Reviews | 0 Comments    | 301 Total Post Views
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Concert: Scorpions & Queensryche >> May 10, 2016, Fabulous Fox Theatre, St. Louis, MO

Photo by Tom Leu

Rock icons, the Scorpions packed the Fabulous Fox Theater in downtown St. Louis on May 10th. Currenty on their 50th anniversary tour, the Scorpions stacked the bill with the legendary Queensryche opening the show. The 4,500 seat Fox was wall-to-wall with enthusiastic rock fans young and old.

The Scorpion’s set covered a kick-ass cross-section of older and newer material spanning the band’s half-century career. Not surprisingly, the highlights of the show that garnered the biggest audience responses, were the classic tunes from their commercial peak represented on the Animal MagnetismBlackout, and Love at First Sting albums. These three classic records are arguably unparalleled in hard rock history. Crowd favorites such as “Make It Real,” “The Zoo,” “Blackout,” Dynamite,” “No One Like You,” and “Big City Nights” had fists pumping, and are exactly what everyone came to hear. The band brought things way down with an acoustic set of well-known, but softer Scorpions tunes in the middle of their set. Ballads such as “Always Somewhere,” “Eye of the Storm,” Send Me an Angel,” and the big hit, “Winds of Change,” used to bring out the lighters, but now bring out the cell phone lighter-apps.

Photo by Tom Leu

Lead vocalist Klaus Meine’s voice is still very strong, and he hit the well-known high notes that the audience expected, when they expected them. It’s hard to believe that both Klaus, and founding member and guitarist, Rudolf Schenker are 67 years old each… Rudy appears fit as a fiddle, and still plays his fiddle with a frenzied energy on-stage like a man half his age. Guitarist, Matthias Jabs is the constant, melodic lead master he’s always been. His solos were spot on, and his stage moves were just like they were in the classic Scorpion’s videos from the 80’s, sans the striped spandex. Bassist, Paweł Mąciwoda brings a refreshing level of showmanship to the band. His enthusiastic stage-presence brought an energy to the band that his predecessor never did. Finally, temporary fill-in drummer Mikkey Dee, famously and formerly of Motörhead, was an extremely solid and entertaining performer! The Mikk’s 80’s-style drum solo was complete with an elevating riser, and enough smoke to gag even his old boss Lemmy… may he rest in peace. Speaking as a drummer, the guy was seriously impressive combining the ability to hit thunderously hard, while still maintaining precision in his playing.

It was as appropriate as it was predictable that the Scorps would come back out to perform their final two encore songs “Still Loving You,” and “Rock You Like a Hurricane” to close out the night. An exuberant guy behind me kept yelling that this was the “greatest show of his life” at the top of his lungs… and perhaps it was.

Queensryche performed an impressive, although surprisingly short 8-song set for a band of their caliber and long history. Songs included classic tracks spanning the band’s 34 year career: “Operation Mindcrime,” “Best I Can,” “Empire,” “Jet City Woman,” “Queen of the Reich,” “Take Hold of the Flame,” and “Eyes of a Stranger.” Only one newer track from the 2015 Condition Human album,  “Guardian,” made it into the set.

Queensryche’s current line-up features founding members: Scott Rockenfield, the exacting, kit-craftsman on drums; the stoic, but poundingly-solid Eddie Jackson on bass; and the understated guitar-wizard, Michael Wilton. Guitarist Parker Lundgren, adds additional flair, energy, and personality into the mix, along with impressive licks that seem to give new life to the classic QR arrangements. And lastly, lead vocalist Todd LaTorre commanded the stage and performed as if he’s been fronting this band all along. Queensryche’s stellar catalog of now classic hard rock music sounds as good as today as it did back in the day.
 
This piece was originally published in RockRevolt Magazine, May 2016
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