SCORPIONS steamrolled into Brooklyn, New York’s Barclays Center in celebration of their 50 years of pure energy of sound. Along with a new album in tow Return to Forever the band showed us an evolution in their approach. The Scorpions mastered the art of the Jean- Baptiste Alphonse Karr’s quote ” The more things changes, the more they stay the same.”
This was evident with the new as well the opening song, “Going out with a Bang”. It looks like the band has not only reinvented their sound but at the same time they are making it modern. “Big City Nights”, “Make It Real” and “The Zoo” were a fine representation of their classic catalog alongside new tunes “We Built This House” and “Rock ‘n’ Roll Band.” They covered all the basics tonight , including an amazing drum performance by James Kottak dubbing his performance the “Kottak Attack” after which the band tore into “Blackout.”
SCORPIONS have been at it since 1965 and the blitzkrieg tone of Rudolf Schenker’s rhythm playing only gets better and relevant for the future generation of musicians. Before closing the night we were treated with a glimpse of that future in the form of a 12-year old guitarist Brandon Niederauer, playing alongside Klaus Meine and Matthias Jabs one could not help but cheer this boy on. He tore into “No One Like You” with such rawness. The band let the world know that the future of our beloved rock music is in good hands.
The night ended with goose bumps as they played probably one of the Top 10 rock ballads in the form of “Still Loving You”. Of course they ended the evening with the staple hit “Rock You Like a Hurricane” and rock the entire arena they did.
Opening up the show, QUEENSRŸCHE have gone in a new and vibrant direction with the not-so-new singer Todd La Torre. With him on the mic I will go out on a limb and say that this was be the best performance I have ever seen by them. The band is celebrating their own anniversary of 30 years and I can see them going for another 30. No kidding, from the onset of “ Anarchy X” the audience fed off of the energy of this band.
Like technical pro wrestlers QUEENSRŸCHE swayed us with their uncanny ability to take the music to new heights. One of the highlights of their set list was them doing songs from Rage for Order like “Walk In The Shadows” and “Empire” the title track from the album of the same name. The latter was sung with a meaningful flare. Other key cuts included “The Needle Lies” and “Eyes of a Stranger” from the massively successful Operation: Mindcrime and perennial showstopper “Queen of the Reich.”
The new album Condition Human will be out on October 2 via Century Media Records. We were treated to one song from the disc with “Arrow of Time”. Unfortunately we will have to wait til the album drops for more. The new direction is not only needed but important for the genre to stay alive. The band that wrote the song “Revolution Calling” is doing so in a bold and wonderful way.
LIVE WORDS AND PHOTOS: ANYA SVIRSKAYA