Royal Arena, Copenhagen - 2017

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

So, a year after their visit to Copenhell, Scorpions was back in Copenhagen, ready to send a good old-fashioned stadium show our way. Let’s just say that I had been less than impressed at Copenhell, so even though they were getting another chance, I wasn’t going to let my anticipation run wild again. Still, that Pretty Maids support gig had lifted my spirits, and curiosity was sneaking in, little by little.

“God aften København! Går det godt?”
- Klaus Meine (vocals)

Scorpions was going for some easy points, picking up a popular local support band for the gig, having Klaus Meine speak to us in Danish (done well, by the way), having bassist Pawel Maciwoda wear a shirt with “København” written in bold letters (for the beginning of the show anyway) on it, and filling the large video screens with a Danish flag (for Make It Real), and finally having Meine don an actual Danish flag as a cape as he delivered Holiday as an a cappella track. But it worked. And we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

The show opened with a large curtain hiding the stage. On it was an odd looking logo, with a person in a short-sleeve straight-jacket, and a metal ball, or possibly a hot-air balloon, instead of a head. Across the planet Earth, the Scorpions logo was seen, and below it stood “Crazy World Tour”. Very well then. It didn’t have much to do with the Crazy World (1990) album, if that’s what you were thinking, except for the obvious inclusion of Wind Of Change and Send Me An Angel.
After the curtain was dropped, we got to follow along on a trip over the video screens, depicting a helicopter flying through a cityscape, ending in it lowering a platform, which was to become the platform on which the drumkit was standing on the actual stage. Things were looking up now, that was a good opening.

And so the band came out, and began playing Going Out With A Bang. Rudolf Schenker was on point, displaying energy and drive straight from the start, closely followed by Maciwoda who also rocked well. Matthias Jabs seemed happy, but was more laid back and relaxed in his delivery than the other two. Mikkey Dee, no longer a stand-in but rather a fulltime member, was generously welcomed by a cheering crowd, and proved to be a wildman behind his gear. Meine, hiding behind big sunglasses (as did Schenker, by the way), took the stage at a lenient pace and stood a bit stiffly behind the mic.
Here was the first indication of something going wrong. Meine, while hitting the notes, didn’t deliver vocally. It was soft, easy, held back. There was absolutely no rock in it at all, no power, no conviction. A muzak version of his earlier self.
All in all, this was quickly becoming what I feared the most, a copy of the Copenhell show - a band moving on a predetermined route, knowing exactly where to be and when. Not allowing for anything unexpected, and not seeming the least bit present in what they were doing here.

Opening with Going Out With A Bang, and then following with mostly older songs, a couple of medley’s and solo’s, even the setlist seemed like a carbon copy of that ill-favoured performance.
Then we reached Coast To Coast, the instrumental track from 1979’s Lovedrive. The musicians got a bit more into it, as this was truly their time to shine, and Meine even donned a guitar himself, and joined in the fun. This was quite possibly his most present and enjoyable time of the entire evening. Hell, he even dropped his sunglasses (Schenker kept his on for the entire show, making us wonder what he was hiding back there…)!
From here, the show actually began to grow. Slowly, but steadily, the band was clearly warming up. The show felt less and less stiff and by the numbers, and the entertainment value increased.

The crowd that I was surrounded by, smiling, some more intoxicated than others, all seemed to have a good time in the presence of the famous rock group. The band, and again (interestingly) especially Mikkey Dee, was cheered on vigorously throughout, and the accolades grew all the ore in intensity when the band reached their acoustical mash-up, including Always Somewhere, Eye Of The Storm and Send Me An Angel. This saw the whole group going out on the long catwalk at the front of the stage, Schenker don a large acoustical Flying V (the number of different Flying V’s this man has is ridiculous!), and Dee get a small, electrical drumkit placed right behind the other band members.
As you can imagine, Send Me An Angel also had an impressive sing-along section for the audience to show its strength - actually, it was nothing less than the loudest, most impressive sing-along I have ever heard. With all my years spent at various shows and festivals, that’s saying a lot!
Well, I say loudest and most impressive sing-along, but that’s not entirely true. Wind Of Change was up next, and that blew the roof of the building! Holy crap, that was impressive! That must have moved the band as well, no doubt about it.

The show wasn’t without miss-steps. I’ve already mentioned the stiff beginning, but for all the love that Mikkey Dee got, the other two major low-points involved him in one capacity or the other. The first (well, second chronologically), and most obvious one was the drum solo. I didn’t like it the last time, and I still don’t. Don’t get me wrong, Dee is a great drummer, and with all the variations he threw into it, it never got monotonous. Yet, with the sheer length of it, interest was bound to wane after a while. Visually, we didn’t see much of him, as the whole drum podium was lifted high up in the air. An ok effect, if not very imaginative at this point in history. It was supposed to be supported by a large smoke cannon placed beneath the podium, but this cannon did more harm than good - the smoke was quickly gone in the large arena, but the noise the cannon made when pumping it out deafened out the drumming. Talk about counterproductive.
The other thing, was Overkill. A Motörhead cover played in honour of Dee’s old bandmate Ian ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister. Now, the music was pretty much as it was supposed to be, but Meine’s weak and clean vocals completely killed it, and not in a good way. I understand and respect the intent, but also truly wish someone would have stepped up at some point doing rehearsals and said “Guys, this isn’t working. Let’s just leave it alone, yeah?”

With all this, I can only say that Scorpions really did deliver a good old-fashioned stadium show. For all the shortcomings, they managed to turn the ship around, and deliver an entertaining performance, that was just what I had hoped for, and more than I had dared to expect. I’m impressed, and I’m glad I am.


Crazy World
Going Out With A Bang
Make It Real
The Zoo
Coast To Coast
Top Of The Bill / Steamrock Fever / Speedy’s Coming / Catch Your Train
We Built This House
Delicate Dance (Matthias Jabs solo)
Always Somewhere / Eye Of The Storm / Send Me An Angel
Wind Of Change
Rock ‘N’ Roll Band
Overkill (Motörhead cover)
Solo (Mikkey Dee)
Big City Nights
Still Loving You
Holiday (a cappella snippet)
Rock You Like A Hurricane


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