Not every iconic rock group has the opportunity to celebrate their 50th Anniversary with a two hour performance for a sold out audience at the Forum in Los Angeles. Fortunately, the Scorpions are one of those bands and that’s exactly what happened during their recent visit to California.
This particular occasion served as one of the last dates on the Scorpions’ tour of the United States in support of their new album ‘Return to Forever,’ and just like the previous dates this show featured support from progressive metal heavyweights Queensryche. The band prominently features new singer Todd La Torre, who has evidently grown a strong following among the dedicated fans who witnessed this Los Angeles double bill.
Queensryche performed an abbreviated set of nine songs which opened up with “Anarchy-X” and ran into such seasoned favorites as “The Needle Lies,” “Walk in the Shadows” and “Jet City Woman.” The band also performed “Arrow of Time” off of their new album ‘Condition Human,’ which received nearly just as strong of a response as their biggest hits. Closing with “Empire” and “Queen of the Ryche,” Queensryche were obviously an excellent choice to open up for the Scorpions.
The multiple generations of fans within the packed arena all paid attention to the three large HD video screens which began to light the way for our headliners. A variety of images soon transitioned into the American flag, which served as the Scorpions’ curtain call as they began tearing into “Going Out With a Bang” off of ‘Return to Forever.’
In addition to such other new selections as “Rock ‘n’ Roll Band” and “We Built This House,” the Scorpions performed a compilation of hits and songs which rarely find their way into the live show. One clear highlight of this was a strong medley of “Top of the Bill/ Steamrock Fever/ Speedy’s Coming/ Catch Your Train,” which was sandwiched alongside bold versions of “The Zoo” and “Make It Real.”
One of the few times that the show was reduced in pace was for an acoustic version of “Winds of Change,” perhaps the definitive lighter ballad in the Scorpions’ arsenal. That energy was later fueled by the high octane songs “In the Line of Fire,” “Blackout,” “No One Like You” and “Delicate Dance.”
Even though the Scorpions are celebrating their 50th Anniversary, that age didn’t translate into a lifeless performance; in fact, it was quite the opposite. Lead vocalist Klaus Meine was tossing drum sticks to the crowd and belting passionately, whereas guitarist Rudolph Schenker was found racing across both ends of the stage while doing wind mills. Drummer James Kottack had his signature solo dubbed “Kottack Attack” where his drum riser towered above the stage in the middle of a thick cloud of dry ice steam and bright rotating lights.
Concluding with two encore anthems, “Still Loving You and Rock You Like a Hurricane,” it proved to be a great night of high energy rock music from both bands. The sting of the Scorpions may have been more potent, however it was still a memorable new chapter from Queensryche which should benefit the Seattle group in the future.
Scorpions Setlist 10.03.15 Inglewood, CA The Forum
Going Out with a Bang
Make It Real
Coast to Coast
Top of the Bill/ Steamrock Fever/ Speedy’s Coming/ Catch Your Train
We Built This House
Always Somewhere/ Eye of the Storm/ Send Me an Angel
Wind of Change
Rock ‘n’ Roll Band
In the Line of Fire
No One Like You
Big City Nights
Still Loving You
Rock You Like a Hurricane