Hey everyone, this is Obiron coming at you for WeirD Dragon Music and More. I am a guitar student, shop handyman, house drummer, occasional employee, and now beat reporter. I was kindly asked to do a live concert review of the Queensryche / Scorpions concert I attended on Friday the 14th.
The venue was Amalie Arena in downtown Tampa. Great place to see a concert in mid-September. Nice and cool inside with a great selection of food and drinks. The opening act, Queensrÿche took the stage right around 8:00 pm. The ‘80’s powerhouse heavy metal band from Seattle came out with a bang. They opened with “Best I Can” off their Operation: Mindcrime release. The best compliment I can give these guys is to say they sounded just like they do on the albums. And that’s saying a lot being that vocalist Todd La Torre replaced original singer Geoff Tate in 2015. He flawlessly hit all of the notes and fit right in with the energy that Queensryche brings to the stage. The lights were adequate for an opening act. I especially liked the LED displays on the front of the bass drums. Their set included such favorites as Empire, Silent Lucidity, Jet City Woman, Queen of the Reich, and more. All in all, an impressive opening act leading into the mighty Scorpions.
After a break between sets, the lights went out and the Scorpions were about to take the stage. A short intro titled “Crazy World” and the lights came on and the band broke into “Going Out With A Bang.” A fitting song for a group that’s been around for over 50 years. The stage was visually stunning. It had two tiers, one high with the drum set and one on the main floor with a runway that led out into the crowd. On the back wall of both tiers were big HD LED screens displaying graphics and video footage of the band and audience. There were two more screens on each side of the stage as well. The next song they played was “Make It Real” and at 70 years of age, that’s exactly what lead singer Klaus Meine does. He gives me the inspiration that you’re never too old to rock. His vocals are still spot on. A couple of songs later they played one of my favorites “The Zoo.” Following that they went into their instrumental jam “Coast To Coast” during which Klaus picked up a guitar and played with the rest of the band. The middle of their performance featured an acoustic set beginning with “Send Me An Angel” The rest of the band minus the drummer all came out on the runway for a more intimate gathering. They followed that song up with the power ballad “Winds Of Change.”
The highlight of the evening came when the Scorpions played “Ace OF Spades” as a tribute to the late, great Lemmy. Then came the drum solo by: Mikkey Dee who was a member of Motörhead from 1992-2015. He rocked the house. His drum kit rose high above the crowd and he had us totally enthralled. As if that wasn’t awesome enough they went right into “Blackout” and “Big City Nights.” Then after a short break that left the audience begging for more, they played an encore including “No One Like You” and “Rock You Like A Hurricane.” There are certain shows that you walk out of and say “NOW THAT WAS A ROCK CONCERT!” This was certainly one of them. Two great bands, a great venue, awesome crowd, and one amazing evening.