Scorpions @ Royal Arena, Copenhagen (DK)

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SCORPIONS / PRETTY MAIDS

Date: 29th November, 2017
Venue: Royal Arena
Tickets: 480-580DKK (€54-76/$75-80)
Promoter: LiveNation.dk
Photos: Erika Wallberg


The best thing with seeing Danish bands in Denmark is that you know they will get a good support no matter what. I was still surprised to see PRETTY MAIDS as an opening act though. But for sure, it is good exposure to a new crowd opening for a legendary band such as SCORPIONS.

But, since this was an opening gig it came with the downside these gigs usually do. Where I was standing, and it was definitely not the ultimate spot to judge the sound. All I had to refer to was my perfect place on the terrace for QUEEN a few days before this gig, but it sounded weak from where I was standing in comparison and that's not the PRETTY MAIDS I'm used to. Ronnie Atkins' vocals drowned in the music for both “Mother Of All Lies” and “Kingmaker”, which was the main issue. It got a lot better for “Red, Hot And Heavy” and “Rodeo” whose nature is more airy and basic.

No matter what, PRETTY MAIDS delivered a fantastic show. It's so much fun to see them play, this time too. They radiate joy and everything is very cheerful. I actually thought it would be the old school songs going down the best for the SCORPIONS' crowd but I was wrong. Everyone knows PINK FLOYD's “Another Brick In The Wall” of course and happily joined into singing with the band for that one. That's a trick PRETTY MAIDS do, include it in the “I.N.V.U.” track from 2010's “Pandemonium” album. It worked and the crowd enjoyed it. But it was “Please Don't Leave Me” that won when it comes to crowd-response. Even if Royal Arena kept filling up during PRETTY MAIDS set the volume coming from the crowd was massive and it's so cool to hear it. Set closer, “Future World” is my favorite but that one sure works much better, as the other old tracks, on a smaller place. It didn't reach the same frenzy it normally does when seeing PRETTY MAIDS play their classic tracks.

Apart from the sound PRETTY MAIDS delivered a very good show, just as they always do. But I still prefer to see them on their own gigs where they have everything on their side, including the time allowed on stage.

PRETTY MAIDS setlist:

01. “Mother Of All Lies
02. “Kingmaker
03. “Red, Hot And Heavy
04. “Rodeo
05. “Another Brick In The Wall” / “I.N.V.U.”
06. “Bull's Eye”
07. “Please Don't Leave Me” (John Sykes cover)
08. “Future World”


When SCORPIONS played at 'Copenhell Festival' in Copenhagen in 2016, I was totally blown away by their performance (and absolutely certain that Rudi Schenker would slide off the stage catwalk during one of his stampedes out to the edge as it was pouring down at the time). This made me look forward to their show at 'Sweden Rock Festival' this summer very much. And I must say I was surprised, nothing seemed to click for them at that time. The intensity wasn't there in the same way and they gave a rather confused impression.

So, I definitely didn't know what to expect in this case. I was hoping for a rerun of the 'Copenhell' concert of course, and that the set would feature a lot of cool tracks since it was mentioned this could be the last round on the road for the band.

If the plan was to “Going Out With A Bang” it sure worked. The sound was on, the lights were definitely on and it all sounded amazing from the first note. And to get two from fantastic “Animal Magnetism” in “Make It Real” as second and third song out didn't slow things down. And then “The Zoo”! The latter one is a favorite and works perfectly in a live situation despite its complexity. I mean, people know it by now, it's been out for 37 years now.

Then I appreciated “Coast To Coast” very much. I do prefer the MICHAEL SCHENKER FEST version of it, since it's more neat and tidy but to hear a great song in a completely different version is also interesting. It wasn't bad, just special and felt almost like another song than the MSG one, taste is taste... The fun thing though, I thought one reason to get this one into the set was to give Klaus Meine a break. Ok, he took a break from singing but not a pause from the show as he picked up a guitar and joined in with the rhythm section instead.

It was a very smart move to do a medley of some of the '70s hits (“Top Of The Bill”, “Steamrock Fever”, “Speedy's Coming” and “Catch Your Train”), first to squeeze as much music into the set as possible but this also slashed up the tempo for the show. And with this it was definitely 'Copenhell' standard again. I really wished they would have done the same with a few up-tempo songs from the '80s and '90s too, snippets like that should have worked very well. And, especially if this is the last round it's a shame to neglect the fantastic things SCORPIONS released in the '90s. (“Face The Heat” and “Pure Instinct” rocks).

Halfway through the set, the break came for Klaus as well as Rudi with Matthias Jabs guitar-solo part. And it was for sure tasteful to incorporate it in a song. Again, the rhythm section stayed in place and to strengthen things up also Matthias guitar-tech, Ingo Powitzer entered the stage. That “Delicate Dance” track sure is nice, great melody and I don't think I've ever realized how damn good Mr. Jabs are. His tone is outstanding and he's got a great sense for melody.

There was actually another jumble, but it didn't raise the pace this second time. Instead it was a ballad as well as acoustic medley. SCORPIONS are the ballad-kings and this section was what many in the crowd had been waiting for. To make it more intimate the whole band moved out on the cat-walk, including Mikkey Dee. He'd gotten an electronic drum-kit out there. He overdid it a little getting out there though as he, in the middle of the mellow acoustic and delicate songs tried to get the crowd to cheer for him. But it worked, as did the musical arrangement, especially “Send Me An Angel” went down really well. It's awesome to hear a massive venue like Royal Arena sing together. But SCORPIONS isn't really doing it easy for the crowd. That song is both a complex melody and high-pitched. It still sounded fantastic and all the lights around the place, that's hard to beat. Ok, for “Wind Of Change” it got even louder. I hated the song when it came out back in the early '90s but nowadays it works better, especially live. And it becomes hilarious when a bunch of (very) drunk Danish middle-aged gentlemen more or less growls or brutally scream their way through the song.

Then I do understand the reason why Mikkey wants to have a MOTÖRHEAD song featured in the set, to keep the brand alive. And by all means, it feels honorable and heartfelt. It also sounds better than 'Sweden Rock Festival' and works perfect as an introduction to Mikkey's fantastic drum solo. I still rather would have had another SCORPIONS original.

To wrap things up, the hits which ended the show worked and there are other comments to those. SCORPIONS played for about 2 hours and it sounded great from start to end. So, if this was the end, they sure went out with a bang. If they decide to do another round and deliver the same type of show, bring it on! I'm definitely up for one more round before they throw in the towel for real...

SCORPIONS setlist:

01. Into - “Crazy World”
02. “Going Out With A Bang”
03. “Make It Real”
04. “The Zoo”
05. “Coast To Coast”
06. “Top Of The Bill” / “Steamrock Fever” / “Speedy's Coming” / “Catch Your Train”
07. “We Built This House”
08. “Delicate Dance”
09. “Always Somewhere” / “Eye Of The Storm” / “Send Me An Angel”
10. “Wind Of Change”
11. “Rock 'n' Roll Band”
12. “Overkill” (MÖTORHEAD cover)
13. Drum Solo
14. “Blackout”
15. “Big City Nights”
16. “Still Loving You”
17. “Holiday” (excerpt)
18. “Rock You Like A Hurricane”

SCORPIONS

Scorpions @ Royal Arena, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Scorpions @ Royal Arena, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Scorpions @ Royal Arena, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Scorpions @ Royal Arena, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Scorpions @ Royal Arena, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Scorpions @ Royal Arena, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Scorpions @ Royal Arena, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Scorpions @ Royal Arena, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Scorpions @ Royal Arena, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Scorpions @ Royal Arena, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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