Just witnessed your
best live gig?.. send us a review!
Impact Arena, Bangkok, Thailand 10 February 2011
take you far away...You like a holiday', so sang the Scorpions on their
1978 classic album 'Lovedrive', and yes I most certainly do like a
holiday far away in the land of smiles of Thailand. A country I've
been visting each year for the past seventeen years and when I saw that
the Scorpions were playing a one-off Asian date especially for the Thai
people I was on that plane quicker than it takes to get rocked by a
Scorpions are by far the biggest heavy rock band in Thailand, selling
more records than the likes of Metallica and AC/DC and as for Iron
Maiden, the Thai's think Eddie is a tourist in Koh Samui.
ballads rather than the rockers that the Scorpions are so well known for
in this country. Almost a day dosn't past where you'll be sitting in a
restaurant or bar and you'll be listening to the Scorpions with the
locals singing along.
Even in the
most remotest village, people will know the music of the Scorps if not
lucky to get more than three rock acts a year playing in the big city
nights of Bangkok, but the city of angels is starting to rock with big
names such as Eric Clapton, Deftones, Eagles, New Found Glory, Santana,
Zakk Wylde, Slash all making plans to rock the capital in the first part
of this year.
This is the
very last time the Scorpions will play in Thailand and this date is part
of their 'Get Your Sting & Blackout Farewell Tour' ending what has been
an electrifying 40 year career for the band.
think that playing in a city that is infamous for it's bad ladyboys
running wild that the Scorps would opt to play 'He's A Woman(She's A
Man) in dedication to the much observed and loved 'katoey', but the
Scorps don't do crass anymore, these days the band have much more class.
In fact they
are the ambassadors of the heavy rock community. Earlier the band
paid a visit to Government House to have an audience with Thai prime
minister Abhisit Vejjajiva where they presented him with a fully signed
Flying V guitar. (Cool,now if only I was a prime minister
Arena is a little smaller than Wembley Arena. Outside the atmosphere is
reaching fever pitch with many lining up to have their picture taken
with a giant Scorpions poster. There's food stalls aplenty selling spicy
food and Chang have specially made Scorpions cans of beer for sale which
go down a treat. All this whilst a live band outside keeps us
entertained with some rock classics.
arena I was amazed how easy it was to get near the front. The Thai's are
a polite society and don't seem too happy later on once the gig starts
when some other 'farangs' push their way to the front barging everyone
out of the way, especially when Johnny come lately is considerably
taller than the lovely Thai ladies standing next to me (Well to be
precise, I was standing next to them.) but 'mai pen rai' as they say in
this relaxed carefree country.
Scorpions explode onto the stage with the title track of their latest
album 'Sting In The Tail' . No expense is spared as the band have
brought their full stage show to the appreciative crowd. Despite a forty
year career , the furthest the band dip into their catalogue are tracks
from the hard hitting classic 'Lovedrive' including the instrumental
'Coast To Coast' and the riff-tastic 'Loving You Sunday Morning'.
The band are
as energetic as ever, making full use of the stage and running up the
ramp into the crowd to a ecstatic reaction to those near the front.
Rudolf Schenker with his deadly six string sting throws all the shapes
that puts men half his age to shame.
electronic backdrop illuminates with the words 'THE ZOO' in big capital
letters which gets all hands in the air. Singer Klaus Meine does his
usual trick throwing out many drum sticks for fans to clamour over,
trying their best to grab hold of one of this prized souvenir gems.
show I did wonder if the band would play all those ballads which are so
well known in this country, and if they did, would they dilute the set?
have worried because the Scorpions are true professionals at the top of
their game. I was surprised how many here knew the words to new song
'The Best Is Yet To Come' which ensured the first sing-along.
a song that you'll find in any popular karaoke bar here is warmly
greeted. 'Wind Of Change' finds more voices joining in, and although the
Thai's have trouble twisting their tongue's to the Western language,
they sing with compassion.
rock out with a explosive 'Dynamite' followed by James Kottak's drum
solo which impresses everyone, he even splits the arena in two to see
who is the loudest. Kottak was on fire tonight.
emerges with his head bandaged with forks covering his eyes recreating
the iconic image of 'Blackout' ,another headbanging delight before
ending a pulsating set with 'Big City Nights' with Bangkok emblazoned on
the neon screen.
Time for a
breather for the encore and boy did we need it. 'Still Loving You' is a
power ballad classic. I was singing every word to this number and was I
rewarded by having my ugly mug broadcast on the big screen behind the
band. Classic stuff.
A song the
band haven't played for a while was especially performed for the Thais.
An acoustic 'Always Somewhere' was sublime. It was during this number
that bizarrely a Common Moorhen (A bird lager than a pidgeon.) fell
flaplessly from the roof and landed smack in the middle of Kottak's drum
kit, not that the drummer noticed a thing. The bird happily stayed there
until the band stormed into 'Rock You Like A Hurricane' when the bird
swiftly fluttered off just above a very amused Matthias Jabs head off
into row Z.
gig had it all, and Bangkok demanded more. 'When The Smoke Is Going
Down' ended an emotional night. I'm man enough to admit that evenIi had
a tear in my eye at the end, but at least I wasn't pouring my heart out
like the dedicated female Japanesse fans in front of me who also made
the trip here.
and plectrums were being thrown out by the band as they soaked up the
applause. Schenker constantly threw plectrums at me until I managed to
catch one in reward for my headbanging duties tonight.
Thailand will never see the Scorpions again but their music will live
on. Luckily for me I will be seeing them again in Europe in the summer
and when they do announce UK dates you'll be a fool to miss them because
the Scorpions are ending at the top of their game.
show I remained outside the Impact Arena soaking up the atmosphere. The
beer garden was flowing and the local band played rock classics on
through the night. This was how it should be done. This was a gig that I
will treasure for ever.
Set list : Sting In The Tail / Make It Real / Bad Boys Running Wild /
The Zoo / Coast To Coast / Loving You Sunday Morning / The Best Is Yet
To Come / Send Me An Angel / Holiday / Wind Of Change / Raised On Rock
/Tease Me, Please Me / Dynamite / Kottak's Attack / Blackout / Six
String Sting / Big City Nights... encores... Still Loving You / Always
Somewhere / Rock You Like A Hurricane / When The Smoke Is Going Down