Scorpions and Thundermother at Oakland Arena
“Rock Believer World Tour” in support of their first studio release in 7 years.
Thundermother kicked the evening off with a raucous set that channeled the likes of AC/DC with their balls-out rock and roll that fit perfectly on the arena stage. Largely unknown in the US, these Swedes have apparently been around for well over a decade and are finally getting some appropriate attention here thanks to the Scorpions inviting them along for the ride.
With Whitesnake dropping off the bill due to David Coverdale’s health issues, the Scorpions were ready to take the stage at the early hour of 8:15 pm and looking at the packed arena, no one seemed particularly fussed over any early bedtime on a Tuesday night. Vocalist Klaus Meine and guitarist Rudolf Schenker have been playing together in the Scorpions since the 1960’s and it was clear that a good number of those in the crowd were able to count their fandom in decades, not just years!
A scrim with “Scorpions” emblazoned on it was raised after a few tries and applause from the audience, giving the crew to clear out the temporary wall that hid much of the stage during Thundermother’s set. The scrim finally dropped to reveal … another scrim! … a brief but humorous moment before the stage was revealed in its full glory as the band tore into “Gas in the Tank,” the first track off of “Rock Believer.”
Clearly the Scorpion fans knew what was up and were more than happy to rock along to the new tunes, especially the dudes front row center with the big banner saying, “Scorpions Rockin California Like A Hurricane,” who were loving every second of the performance. Whatever those guys paid for their seats, they were clearly getting their money’s worth. No one in the arena was more stoked.
Actually the dudes on stage might have been more stoked. With a new album and a packed arena these guys are clearly still having fun on stage and the addition of Mickey Dee behind the kit definitely has put a bit more punch behind the band. Schenker, not letting those 74 years on planet earth slow him down, repeatedly sprinted to the end of the stage extension to rock out in front of the crowd. Always a bit understated in relation to Schenker, Matthias Jabs inexplicably did his shredding with a golf glove on his picking hand.
Klaus continues to hit the notes and please the Cal-i-for-ni-a fans, peppering the front rows with fistfuls of drumsticks and offering up his mic to get the front rows’ help on backup vocals. And while the new material was incredibly well received, there’s nothing like the classics with “Blackout” being a personal favorite over “Big City Nights” and “Rock You Like a Hurricane” in spite of the fact that Rudolf’s V looked like someone had attached a still-smoking stolen catalytic converted to it.
Not surprisingly the set ended with an encore of the two songs the band can likely never get away with not playing but that’s a-okay when it comes to the fans that have come to expect it. And how great was it to be out of a show and on your way home before 10 pm?!?!
- Gas in the Tank
- Make It Real
- The Zoo
- Coast to Coast
- Seventh Sun
- Bad Boys Running Wild
- Delicate Dance
- Send Me an Angel
- Wind of Change
- Tease Me Please Me
- Rock Believer
- New Vision (bass and drum solos)
- Big City Nights
- No One Like You
- Rock You Like a Hurricane
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