Scorpions and Megadeth
Tacoma Dome, Seattle, WA
The aptly-named “Crazy World Tour” finally came to a sold-out Tacoma Dome and looking around at the beautiful faces of metal fans in the packed arena was a sight to see. Rock is NOT DEAD in the least. It is alive and well and still sells out arenas.
When this month long, 17-date tour was first announced, I was more than excited to see these two classic bands perform together for the first time. While some might call it an odd pairing, for these two musical titans, it actually worked.
Megadeth’s “Dystopia” tour package, supporting their 2016 release of the same name, provided a solid, hour-long set. Performing before an elaborate video wall and backing screen, the band kicked it into high gear, opening with “Hangar 18,” “The Threat is Real,” and “Take no Prisoners.” It was a constant barrage of crushing riffs and thundering drums.
The video wall was impressive, adding to the spectacle of light and sound on stage while constantly changing, being driven by the music and story with sometimes-graphic imagery and animation. But the music did the talking as Megadeth presented a diverse setlist spanning their 34-year career.
Lead vocalist/guitarist Dave Mustaine is often outspoken and opinionated but rarely spoke during this show. When he did, it was classic Mustaine with comments like, “Aren’t they tearing this place down? Well, they should. It sounds like shit.” He asked himself, “How many words have I said tonight? Trying to keep it at a minimum, ah, I have said too much already.” Thanks, Dave.
Bassist David Ellefson laid down his iconic signature riff for “Peace Sells” as guitarist Kiko Louriero and drummer Dirk Verbeuren finished off an incredible set with “Holy Wars… the Punishment Due.” As the band waved goodbye and the set change began, it seemed like Mustaine stayed on stage waving and bowing for another ten minutes.
Then the curtain fell bearing a massive “Crazy World” logo of the Scorpions. As it fell, the band took the stage through smoke and lights to massive applause and screams. The stage revealed an even more elaborate screen set up than what Megadeth had, the band visible on the screens all the way to the back of the arena.
Scorpions opened with an energetic “Going Out With a Bang,” from their latest 2015 release, Return To Forever. Considering their youngest member is 50 years old, it was amazing to see these legends still performing and sounding fantastic.
With such a legacy of music from one of Germany’s best-known rock exports – having formed in 1965 and still going today – I can’t imagine how they choose a set list from their 18-album catalog.
It was incredible to see the interaction on stage with founding guitarist Rudolph Schenker and bassist Paweł Mąciwoda trading dance moves and circling each other. Vocalist Klaus Meine’s voice still sounded amazing and the man is nearly 70 and still rocking. Guitarist Matthias Jabs still ripped out the riffs as he and Rudolph took to the catwalk several times to get closer to the crowd.
Meine introduced new drummer Mikkey Dee who sat high above the band. “We have toured so many times with Mikkey, Lemmy, and Phil that we decided to do a Motorhead song. Let’s see what we have for you…take it away Mikkey…” A thunderous drum intro and they played “Overkill” while images of Lemmy displayed behind Dee on the giant video walls.
When the song ended, it segued into the drum solo as Dee and his kit were elevated up into the air on chains towering above the stage. What a drummer. From all angles, you could hear the ferocity of his playing and just a mass of hair, as it seems the man never sweats. It was a living, breathing, and monster hair commercial watching him perform.
During “Still Loving You,” Meine said, “We are still loving you Seattle, with your help we can help.” “Rock You Like A Hurricane,” one of their most famous songs, was up next, and on either side of the stage, screens displayed graphics reading, “Support Hurricane Relief text Give Rock to 80077 to Give $5.00” through the last songs.
What a great night of music from both bands. Looking around the arena and seeing all the smiling faces for this once in a lifetime tour package said it all! It was a “Crazy World” indeed and at least we had a chance to escape it with like-minded rock fans!
Scorpions Set List
Going Out With a Bang
Make It Real
Coast to Coast
70’s Medley (Top of the Bill, Steamrock Fever, Speedy’s Coming, Catch you Train)
Be Built This House
Acoustic Medley (Always Somewhere, Eye of the Storm, Send me an Angel)
Wind Of Change
Rock ‘ N Roll Band
Overkill (Motorhead Cover)
Drum Solo – Mikkey Dee
Big City Night
No One Like You
Still Loving You
Rock You Like A Hurricane
Megadeth Set List
The Threat Is Real
Take No Prisoners
Tornado of Souls
Symphony Of Destruction
Peace Sells, But Who’s Buying
Holy Wars… the Punishment Due
Review and photos by Neil Lim Sang