Photography: Adam R. Harrison
Words: Adam R. Harrison
Fittingly named after the eleventh of their astounding eighteen album discography, the legendary Scorpions brought their Crazy World Tour to Toronto on Friday night to bring the summer concert season to an end at the Budweiser Stage.
Opening what seemingly could have been a double-headlining evening were heavy metal icons, Megadeth. Lead by the one of metal’s deities, Dave Mustaine, the band opened their set with the epic “Hangar 18” from their famed 1990 album Rust in Peace. For the next 50-minutes it would be non-stop head-banging classics such as “Sweating Bullets,” “Symphony of Destruction” and “Peace Sells,” where Mustaine let the fans take lead for the chorus line “If there’s a new way, I’ll be the first in line, but it better work this time.”
When addressing the crowd, Mustaine was quite soft spoken, but when it came to his gnarled croaky vocals, he delivered as expected, with his signature snarl. Megadeth returned for an encore. Mustaine stated “you can listen to this instead of the news,” before launching into the frantic marathon of “Holy Wars… The Punishment Due.”
Scorpions kicked off their 120-minute set with “Going Out With a Bang” from their latest record Return to Forever. The German rockers were full of energy and in great spirits to perform in front of a full house after more than 50 years as a band. Guitarists Rudolf Schenker and Matthias Jabs showed off for the fans with windmill strums and classic rock poses, while singer Klaus Meine threw out drum sticks to those in the pit while he tapped on a cowbell.
The first classic Scorpions tune we would be treated to was “The Zoo.” But it quickly became an evening of greatest hits and sing-a-longs. About midway through the main set, the band set up a mini stage on their cat walk to serenade us with a couple ballads including the beautiful, “Send Me an Angel.” As a transition back to full production, Scorpions performed their anthem “Wind of Change.”
Scorpions’ latest drummer is Mikkey Dee, who came from the now defunct Motörhead. As a tribute to the deceased metal icon, Lemmy Kilmister, Scorpions performed a cover of Motörhead’s “Overkill.” Dee then continued into a lengthy and impressive drum solo that concluded with Scorpions’ eighteen albums pictured across the jumbo screens.
Scorpions must believe in saving the best for last because their encore consisted of what is debatably their most popular songs. Starting with “No One Like You,” followed by “Still Loving You,” and closing out the evening with one of rock n’ roll’s all-time greatest hits, “Rock You Like a Hurricane.” Even after 50 years together, Scorpions show no signs of slowing down and truly engulf the spirit of rock n’ roll ‘til I die!