Concert Review – Megadeth & The Scorpions (Live at the L.A. Forum)

Last Saturday was a good one.  Of course, any night is a good night when you’re seeing Megadeth followed by The Scorpions.  Sort of an unusual duet of pleasures.  But when you see both bands perform back to back it makes sense that they would tour together.  Both groups have a relentless amount of energy.  Despite coming from different schools of metal.  Both of which each band strongly contributed to creating.  And it’s that energy and innovative ways to play heavy music that make them so similar, yet so different.  Here’s a review of the show.

Alright, bad stuff first.  The disappointing element of the night was the fact that The Scorpions played the same set as they did for the ‘Return to Forever’ tour.  That was two years ago!  Not only that but they didn’t even bother to call it a second leg of the tour.  They named the tour ‘Crazy World Tour’.  Which indicates that they are going to play a lot of songs from what many consider to be their best album ‘Crazy World’.  But they didn’t.  They only played ‘Send Me An Angel’ and of course, ‘Winds of Change’.  It was somewhat of a let down.  I really wanted to hear the band do ‘Tease Me, Please Me’, ‘Hit Between the Eyes’, ‘Don’t Believe Her’ and it would have been amazing if the opened with the title track ‘Crazy World’.  That song is more prominent than ever!  Not that it wasn’t a good show.  There were a few changes.

Which leads us to the good.  First off, Megadeth was amazing.  I actually saw them three years ago at a venue near USC.  They sounded awful.  It was the height of Dave Mustaine’s weight gain and he had totally lost his voice.  The songs were down tuned so low that some of them weren’t even recognizable.  But something changed.  Not just the line-up either.  Mustaine lost the weight and I don’t know what he did to his voice.  I don’t know if he got surgery on his vocal chords or started taking voice lessons.  But his voice is back!!  Sure, they were tuned down a half step from their original standard.  But that’s not a big deal at all.  The songs still retain their energy and are recognizable.  And speaking of energy, they had a fuck ton of it!!  And the screen art was perfect and on time with everything.  Each clip fit the song.  Fantastic show.  Can’t wait to see them on a headlining tour.

And The Scorpions were also great overall, despite hearing the same set list that I heard two years ago.  The stage was upgraded for sure.  There were more lights and the light choreography was significantly better.  And having Mickey Dee on the drum set instead of James Kottak was an upgrade as well.  He’s a great drummer and a lot of fun to watch.  Not that Kottak isn’t. It’s just that Dee is exceptionally awesome.  Powell was in fine form as always.  And Rudolph Schenker and Mattias Jabs showed absolutely no signs of age.  I mean, watching Schenker run from one side of the stage to the other without any seeming fatigue and never dropping a note.  It’s an experience.  He’s 68 for crying out loud!  His passion floods the crowd creating a very connecting heavy metal concert.  And finally, Klaus Meine, one of the finest voices in all of rock and heavy metal.  His voice was in fine form from the opening ‘Going Out With a Bang’ all the way through ‘Rock You Like a Hurricane’.  He really did sound as good as he does on ‘World Wide Live’.  But there was something off in his movement.  Yes, he’s 68 and has slowed down considerably, but it wasn’t that.  He was literally just standing and kind of leaning a lot.  But he seemed determined.  And as it turns out, he went on stage quite sick that night.  He’s a trooper, a real professional who was giving his all times a million.  And it took it’s toll and the band has had to cancel the rest of the tour.  It’s sad indeed.  But he didn’t let his laryngitis get to him that night.

‘Make it Real’ sounded terrific.  Plus, it’s a song I can listen to over and over again.  ‘The Zoo’ is so much better live.  I always thought the song was quite boring.  But seeing the band perform it gives the song new life.  Then the band went down the 70’s road which I personally don’t understand seeing as how their ’79 album ‘Lovedrive’ was the first to gain attention in the U.S..  They really sacrificed playing some great hits like ‘Rhythm of Love’ and ‘Bad Boys Running Wild’ in favor of their 70’s songs.  I was a little disappointed, especially since it was the same set list as two years ago.  But when they got back on the heavier material of the 80’s such as ‘Blackout’ and the less heavy but still driving ‘Big City Nights’ all was well.  ‘Big City Nights’ is one of Los Angeles’ anthems so it has to be played.  And the encore was predictable but also terrific.  It’s what you want the encore to be:  ‘Still Lovin’ You’, ‘No One Like You’ and of course, ‘Rock You Like a Hurricane’ in which the band showed weather map clips of this seasons hurricanes on the jumbo tron.  But what was really great was the donation option the band put on the big screen whilst performing ‘Still Lovin’ You’.  It was really touching.  And The Scorpions are really a band who give a shit.  That’s why Klaus Meine’s illness is such a let down.  Because you know he wanted to finish the tour strong.

I hope Meine can get better and get back out on the road for a few more dates in the near future.  If not, I may have seen the last Scorpions show.  If it was indeed their last concert (fingers crossed that it is not), then they truly did go out with a bang.  And gave it their all until the end.  And that’s what it’s all about.  Here’s to hoping that Klaus gets better and gets back on track.

3.5 out of 5 stars.  Very good show.

Great opening set from Megadeth.

Excellent.

Amazing drum solo and Motorhead cover.

 

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