Copenhell - 2016

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Germany had a strong day at Copenhell. Blind Guardian opened the day, and the country's pride and joy, Scorpions, was the headlining act, and why not?
Just last year, they celebrated their 50th anniversary as a band, and during that time, they’ve released several hit albums, singles, and spent more time touring round the world than some of us have been alive! If anyone’s earned their right to be here, Scorpions is certainly in the group that have.

On the other hand, age does not a great show make. More than that is needed, and Scorpions came with more. They brought one heck of a long setlist for one thing, including a drum solo from their current stand-in skin-whipper – Mikkey Dee. They brought a massive lightshow in the form of the video screen backdrop. They also brought the world’s probably most well-known rock ballad, Wind Of Change.
See, now we’re beginning to line up for something big.
I must admit, I was really looking forward to this concert, it might even have been on my top 5 most anticipated shows of the festival (I haven’t done the exact math, so don’t hold me to it too literally). Sure, Scorpions isn’t really a band I’ve ever delved into, but I have, and still do, love their hit ballads, and a few of the rocky tunes as well. In addition to this, I’d never seen them live before, even though we’ve been at the same festivals a few times in the past.
And things seemed to be going really well for the band. They kicked off with Going Out With A Bang, a song I might not know, but you can’t argue with that title in combination with opening track, can you?
In addition to this, the band seemed quite energetic – Klaus Meine was happy to use the large catwalk that had been added to the Helvíti stage for the first time, and especially the two guitarists, Rudolf Schenker and Matthias Jabs were really energetic and rocking hard.

Scorpions did however have some things in their bag of tricks, things that didn’t really help them along the road to expected epicness.
They had brought along one heck of a long setlist for one thing. Knowing only four songs out of a show lasting some 90+ minutes doesn’t need to break it, but it certainly doesn’t help it either. And they had included a drum solo from their current stand-in skin-whipper – Mikkey Dee. Can I be the first one to say this about drum solos – kill them! Kill them with fire! And it’s not like Mikkey Dee is known for holding back when it comes to length either…
The video screen was nice, but Scorpions wasn’t the only band using it, and they weren’t the best at it either.
Wind Of Change was of course a delicious trip down nostalgia lane, but when you’ve created one of the world’s probably most well-known rock ballads, why in poo-perfect-hell would you hide it away in the middle of your setlist? On top of that, why place it right next to your second best known ballad, Send Me An Angel, instead of spreading them out in the set? The dynamics it could, and should have had was completely killed.
I must admit, I was really looking forward to this concert, but I’m afraid this ended almost as quickly as the show began. Klaus Meine couldn’t sing for one thing, and his frequent use of the large catwalk, which brought him even closer to the audience than the stage could, only made it all the more obvious that he wasn’t nearly as energetic and enthusiastic as the two guitarists behind him, and I never felt that he was present in the show.
Rudolf Schenker and Matthias Jabs were actually really good, but they had so much stacked against them, that it would be unreasonable to think that they could lift it all on their own.

On top of all of this, the Scorpions show was plagued by the worst weather of the entire festival. Sure, this isn’t the band’s fault, but it certainly didn’t do them any favours, and favours was something they sorely needed.
If you haven’t guessed it by now, this show did not live up to my hopes. I don’t know what I had expected, but it didn’t live up to that either. In fact, it didn’t live up to anything at all. Except worst show of the festival. And that’s not really something you’d like to aim for, is it?
50+ years as a band is still impressive, but sadly, Scorpions just proved that apparently you can get too old to rock n’ roll. Germany's pride and joy did not live up to its reputation, but how about that Blind Guardian show, ey?

Setlist (incomplete):

Going Out With A Bang
Send Me An Angel
Wind Of Change
Solo (Mikkey Dee)
Still Loving You
Rock You Like A Hurricane

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