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The Scorpions - July 5, 2010 - Trib Total Media Amphitheater, Pittsburgh, PA

By: David E. Gehlke

Scorpions circa 2010...not concerned with Children of Bodom's awesome cover of "Don't Stop At the Top"...

Initial thoughts for the July 5th Scorpions date in Pittsburgh:

-Wow, it's really hot out;
-Some people are stuck in a time-warp (possibly Blistering) and;
-Leather pants should only be worn by chicks

With the above in mind, Blistering strolled into the Trib Total Media Amphitheater to the sounds of opening act Cinderella and one of their numerous gems, "Little Shelter." Vocalist/guitarist Tom Keifer and his big 'ole lips sounded quite vibrant, as the Philly boys doled out a virtual "best-of" set that included "Nobody's Fool," "Gypsy Road" (the band's best song), and "Don't Know What You Got Until It's Gone," (complete with Kiefer on the keys). Let's face it: Cinderella and the various heritage acts from the 80s will forever have an audience. These songs have aged, but not as poorly as some initially suggested when grunge shoved everyone out the door in the 90s. People just want to have fun...and get ridiculously drunk and sunburnt, which makes one wonder why these bands don't tour like this every summer.

Some downtime between sets afforded Blistering the chance to mingle with various veterans of the Pittsburgh hard rock/metal scene, in addition to witnessing this scribe's near-drunk bass player consume a gyro in a minute flat. Such a tactic merely prolonged his inevitable angry drunkenness during the Scorps' set, as yours truly was elbowed right in the gut by said bass player during "The Zoo." Good thing we didn't eat or drink anything (alcohol ain't happenin' here) or there would be a zoo of Gehlke vomit all over the place.

Dubbed as their farewell tour, the Scorpions are also out in support of their Sting in the Tail swansong, with the added bonus of choice songs from Blackout to boot. The core of the band (singer Klaus Meine, and guitarists Rudolph Schenker and Matthias Jabs) are well into their 50s and 60s respectively, but looked in spry form, especially Schenker, who is about as waxed and crisp of a German as one can be. Meine (who had a bout of the flu leading up to this show) sounded as good as a man of his age can sound, limited range and all. Set choices were a tad suspect, with four selections from the new album ("The Best Is Yet To Come" was oddly placed in the set) comprising the early portion of the evening.

Mandatory numbers like "Holiday," "Send Me An Angel," "Tease Me, Please Me," and "Big City Nights" were just what the doctor ordered, as were "Bad Boys Running Wild," and instrumental "Coast to Coast." Drummer James Kottack (better known as Tommy Lee's brother-in-law) played a starring role in the set, unnecessary and tacky drum solo and all, leading up to the trifecta of "No One Like You," "Winds of Change" and totally played-out, "Rock You Like A Hurricane."

If this indeed is the Scorpion's final run through the U.S., then it's a reassuring to see the Germans go out while they can still pull it off. Whether this really is their last 'go-round is up for debate (see: KISS), but on this unbelievably hot and muggy night in Pittsburgh, the Scorps did in fact, rock the crowd like a hurricane...especially the burnt and trashed attendees.


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