Show Review: Scorpions with Cinderella at Concord Pavilion, 8/1/2010

by Gordon Elgart on August 2, 2010

He's 62, still rocks hard, looks great, why retire, Rudolf? Why?

The Scorpions are too famous for their giant hit song, “Rock You Like a Hurricane,” and not well respected enough for their rest of their catalog. Filled with shiny gems of pop metal, the German legends have a huge list of hard-but-not-too-hard rock songs to choose from as they continue touring for the last time. They’ve said the tour will run through 2012 or 2013, so whether this is their last stop in the Bay Area or not is still a question. If it’s not, though, you’ll see me in the audience for the next one. These guys still have their stingers.

Opening up the show was Cinderella, an ’80s hair metal band that I never really cared for all that much outside of “Coming Home.” The band still comprises 4/5 of the line up that was together during their most popular period, an absolute rarity for a band of this ilk. Lead singer Tom Keifer looked like a scary carnival clown in his red frilly outfit, and still turned on a dime from singing to shrieking, like time hadn’t passed at all. Other than some audio problems at the outset, Cinderella sounded really good. Again, as I had back then, I found myself not really caring much for the material, but I did jump out of my seat to sing “Coming Home” along with the band.

The Scorpions dropped the house lights at 8:30 (pretty early for a summer shed show), and immediately jumped into “Sting in the Tail,” the title track off of their new album. Immediately, I was floored by a couple of things. One, Klaus Meine sounded amazing. Two, Rudolf Schenker can’t possibly be over 60! This is an inspirational thing, as a man approaching 40, to see 60-year-old guys jumping around on stage like they’ve just started the band. (It’s the European metal bands that still kick ass late in life; too many drugs in the American bands, I guess.) The outfits looked straight out of some German club in the late 70s, and a rock show was on.

Always the coolest guy in the room

The early set was littered with fan favorites like “Bad Boys Running Wild” and “Holiday,” and they filled in the set with some new material that sounded absolutely in place along with the old stuff. On a farewell tour, a band adding new material is surprising, but based on the crowd sing-a-long to “The Best Is Yet to Come,” welcomed. The fan response was tremendous throughout the night, with joyful whistling and singing to “Wind of Change” as my personal highlight.  (During this song, they kept showing the crowd’s reaction to it, and I was amused at the close-ups of people who clearly didn’t know the song at all.)

The show had a lot of the hallmarks of the arena-rock period: lots of front-of-stage lineups of the band, swaying in time to the music; a drum riser that rises to the top of the stage so that the drummer can play a drum solo (for way too long), and then when he kicks into “Blackout,” the rest of the band emerges underneath the drum riser to perform the song, with Rudolf Schenker actually wearing a mask so that he looks like the guy on the album cover; and Matthias Jabs played a solo guitar number that was basically shredding, “Eruption”-style, at the front of the stage. This was a bit of wasted time, especially since he’d proven himself to be totally freakin’ awesome as a soloist throughout the show. But the crowd loved it, so it worked.

Kottak Attack!

Finally, the encore came and we were treated to the twin classics, “No One Like You” and “Rock You Like a Hurricane.” I’m one of those people who likes to argue that the former is the better song, but the shouts of “Here I Am!” from the crowd were much louder than those of “No One Like You!” Still, a great two-song encore, although they had been playing “Still Loving You” in other shows, and it was skipped tonight.

During the main set closer, “Big City Nights,” the backdrop behind The Scorpions displayed a city street scene that was illustrating the big city. And for flavor, they had added in the name of the big city they were in tonight: Concord. It’s nice to know someone was taking it literally because Klaus Meine kept yelling “San Francisco,” and the tour t-shirts said the same. Yes, that’s what a concert in the suburbs can be like. But tonight, Concord did a great job standing in as a big city, and the Scorpions did a great job of making it feel like a Big City Night.

The Scorpions Set List for 8/1/2010:

Sting in the Tail
Make It Real
Bad Boys Running Wild
The Zoo
Coast to Coast
Loving You Sunday Morning
The Best Is Yet to Come
Wind of Change
Raised on Rock
Tease Me Please Me
James Kottak Drum Solo
Matthias Jabs Guitar Solo
Big City Nights
No One Like You
Rock You Like a Hurricane

Thanks to Emily Anderson for her photos.

Gordon Elgart

A music nerd who probably uses that term too much. I have a deep love for bombastic, quirky and dynamic music.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Tony August 2, 2010 at 8:17 pm

Another great song. I was a big Scorps fan in the early days, mainly due to my 13yo love of their album covers. I always considered ‘..Change’ their biggest song but maybe that’s a British thing.


Tony August 3, 2010 at 7:35 am

Of course I meant “Great Review”


Rob September 15, 2010 at 11:00 am

You didnt care for Cinderella? You are an idiot.


Gordon Elgart September 16, 2010 at 10:56 am

Of all the reasons I’ve been called an idiot, this one bothers me the least.


Scorpman January 24, 2011 at 2:58 am

Great review. My favorite band since 82. Saw them in Roseburg Oregon,aug 2010, a small burg of a town but they drew an over capacity crowd 12,500 ! They rock. The final us leg of the tour will be in late 2011 or summer 2012 ! Look for it !


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