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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Scorpions with Cinderella live review - Clarkston (Detroit) 1st July, 2010

The Scorpions with Cinderella live at DTE Energy Music Theatre, Clarkston, MI.
Thursday 1st July, 2010

(Just in case you wondered whose gig this was! Photo: Alun Williams)

Wow! You know every year when summer rolls around, it’s like it’s the 80’s all over again!
Based on the success of all the bands that broke through at that time and their ability to continually tour through each summer, with massive US / Canadian tours packing out venues it really does speak volumes that the 80’s was possibly the most enjoyed period of music ever!

I mean seriously, how many successful 60’s – OK, maybe they’re a little old or …, dead. – or 70’s act’s or even 90’s act’s, do you see doing anywhere near as well as 80’s acts do out on the amphitheater circuit?
Anyway, enough on those facts … Let’s get on with the show, so to speak!

Cinderella I must say, did seem to only have a brief period of success albeit very reasonable – Gold and platinum albums don’t lie! – Even if it was towards the end of the 80’s, but here they are the original members all here, plus a keyboard player. – Who I don’t know at all?

(Cinderella live at Pine Knob / DTE July 1st, 2010 - Photo: Alun Williams)

The band open’s with ‘Somebody Save Me’ and although there’s not many people in the venue at the time they hit the stage there’s no doubt that the crowd likes it. Although Tom Keifer’s voice does sound like he’s struggling a little.
Oh and his first guitar change of many starts right here from the off!

Another track from their debut release in 'Push, Push' is next and Keifer is really trying to get the crowd to make more noise, but come one Tom, there’s not many in yet and you guys have it cranked up! LOL!

Title track 'Night Songs' of the aforementioned album is next and gets the biggest scream so far from the crowd, but Mr. Keifer has to change his guitar again … He’s clearly not happy with things and seems to walk by Jeff Labar indicating as much. Labar seems to laugh, although he certainly keeps it together with some nice licks.

(Left picture: Tom Keifer and Eric Brittingham. Right picture: Jeff Labar and Fred Coury. Photo's: Alun Williams)
Song wise, they are doing no wrong with ‘Falling Apart At the Seams’ next, but Keifer doesn’t look happy – Is he ever? – and the guitar goes again ... Maybe it’s a way of distracting the crowds’ attention from his vocal tonight?

Then it’s to the more blues driven ‘Heartbreak Station’ and then ‘Coming Home’ follows next in the set.

By now Keifer has discarded the guitar as the band guitar tech steps in to play out the rest of the bands set, although with next song ‘Shelter Me’ Keifer picks up the sax for a nice solo mid way through.

The rest of the band are tight and look like they’re enjoying themselves, although you wonder about the validity of the keyboard guy, as the sound comes and goes and isn’t always obvious even if the guy looks like it should be.

(Tom Keifer live with Cinderella at DTE, Clarkston, MI. 1st July, 2010. Photo: Alun Williams)

‘Nobody’s Fool’ now gets the biggest cheer of the evening and it’s good, but closer ‘Gypsy Road’ next wins hands down as favorite of the set. Certainly it’s my favorite here tonight, but Keifer does shows signs of struggling a little again.

The band leave the stage, but even with limited calls for more do come back out and there’s a baby grand piano for Keifer to start ‘Don’t Know What You’ve Got (‘Til it’s gone)’ and yes, best reaction tonight is drawn from the crowd.
They wrap things up with ‘Shake Me’ and you’d think it was an AC/DC song as everyone is singing along. They were not bad, not great.

The Scorpions are a different prospect altogether with a career that stretches back to the beginning of the 70’s and now they tell us that they are finally calling it quits on touring and since both Klaus Meine and Rudolf Schenker are 62 this year and this tour is scheduled to run the next 2 – 3 years, they seriously do not see themselves doing another album and tour after this at the age of about 66!

(Klaus Meine with The Scorpions at DTE, Clarkston, MI. 1st July, 2010. Photo: Alun Williams)

To be honest I did wonder if this show would go ahead, as the band had cancelled their last 3 shows due to Klaus getting sick, but go ahead it does!

The show starts amid dry ice and bright white lights and the drum riser being raised along with an intro tape building up and then boom! The band comes running out!

They open with the title track of the latest album, ‘Sting in the Tail’ and they look like they are ready to go out with a party bang!
The stage set is impressive, the huge screen across the back drop area relays black and white images – for the most part – of the band as they perform, interspersed with some older live footage of the band through their career and more.

The classic ‘Make it Real’ is next before ‘Bad Boys Running Wild' and it’s just great! Rudolf Schenker is grinning constantly like a Cheshire cat and joins Matthias Jabs in running a marathon around the stage throughout the evenings set. Phenomenal!

(Left picture: Rudolf Schenker with James Kottak behind. Right picture: Matthias Jabs. Photo's: Alun Williams)
You wouldn’t know Klaus had been sick as he is clearly enjoying himself here ...!

(Klaus Meine with tambourine with James Kottak behind at DTE, Clarkston, MI. 1st July, 2010. Photo: Alun Williams)
Then we get the excellent ‘The Zoo’ leading into ‘Coast to Coast’ with the rest of the band allowing Klaus the chance for a breather, before getting back into things with ‘Loving You Sunday Morning.’

The band is then joined briefly by a 3rd guitarist as they play new track, ‘The Best is yet to Come.’ Who this is, I’m not sure?

For next track ‘Send Me An Angel,’ the band all gather at the front of the runway, with Rudy holding an acoustic Flying V and Matthias an acoustic Explorer, they both look great! James Kottak is perched on a stool with some shall we say, reduced percussion in front of him. This is very classy stuff and the crowd loves it!

They remain acoustically present for the classic ‘Holiday’ which sounds great. They really seem to have a great live mix tonight and I was over to one side, so how good is that?!

Another new song with the album’s opener, ‘Raised On Rock,’ which is killer as it’s almost a re-write of ‘Rock you like a Hurricane,’ so it is a real winner here.

(Left picture: Rudolf with Paweł Mąciwoda. Right Picture: James Kottak attacks the drums! Photo: Alun Williams)

Getting on track with the better known songs, ‘Tease Me, Please Me’ is next, with Rudy sporting a rather tasty cut away red Flying V, I believe his 4 guitar of the evening, although he’s not switching them around as Cinderella’s Tom Keifer was, mid sets!
The huge screen at the back portrays a dancing girl silhouette, ala the James Bond movie intro footage.

‘Dynamite’ next starts with the screen showing a stick of dynamite with the fuse just lit and as they jam the mid section of the song, Rudolf is skipping around the stage like a little kid, just enjoying himself, great stuff guys!

Then it’s time for the ‘Kottak Attack’ as the drum riser goes up in the air with James Kottak pounding away and he puts on quite the sideshow too. Ever an entertainer!

The band is then back out for …, ‘Blackout’ with Rudolf sporting headgear ala the album cover with bandage style ski hat and freaky sunglasses made to look like the forks as the cover portrays.
They are it seems totally just out to rock ‘til they drop!

Matthias Jabs takes a solo spot next with the ‘Six String Sting’ before the band reunite for set closer ‘Big City Nights,’ which is simply killer!

(Rudolf Schenker, perfect rock star pose! Photo: Alun Williams)
After many chants for more, they re-emerge and Klaus shouts out, ‘Detroit! There’s No One Like You!’ Cue music!

They take things down with possibly their biggest hit next, as they strike the sounds of ‘Winds of Change’ and Klaus has the whistle down to a tee and Rudy brings out the acoustic V again. Nice, very nice!
Now it really is the end as Klaus signs off by saying, ‘Detroit, we couldn’t leave without 'Rocking you like a Hurricane …’ And indeed that’s exactly what they do!

A really great set, yet so sad to think that it really is the last time we’ll see these guys live in Detroit.
Many people might say, ‘Well, they are getting up there …’
I’ll tell you folks, based on this performance, you wouldn’t know it!
Detroit, you have just been stung by The Scorpions! Thank you and good night!

Rating: 5 out of 5 - Yes, they certainly more than deserve that rating! Great show!


  1. Saw them the following night in Milwaukee at Summerfest. What a great show! Love these guys!

  2. Yep, certainly was a good show in Detroit too.
    Very good indeed. 3rd time I've seen them here in the US, about 7th time overall for me. - 4 other occasions in the UK.
    What an awesome band! Love 'em too my friend! :)

  3. it was such a great show! i only wish we could of heard some old stuff off of the first four albums . . .but it was awesome! Can't believe they're thru . .

  4. Ah well Mike, we can't have it all, now can we?! :)
    They do look in great shape for their ages - Rudy and Klaus! - Incredible!
    Great performance.

  5. 62 years old!
    I saw these guys for the first time at the Hammersmith Odeon on the Blackout tour when I was 14.
    Reverse those numbers. 41. I saw them again in July at Pine Knob (or whatever stupid corporate name they want me to call it) when I was 41 and they were no worse.
    Can I rock like that at 62?
    That was a great concert.
    Cinderella sucked of course.
    Scorpions were excellent.

  6. Hey Anon ... I first saw them on the 1980 Animal Magnetism tour, at Southampton Gaumont, aged 18 and yes, I too was at Pine Knob this year, after all, this review is THAT same gig! :)
    So I take it you're from the UK too then?
    I now reside in Sterling Heights, after growing up living in the Portsmouth area my friend and yes, I saw the Blackout tour too and yes once more, this show was awesome!
    Cinderella weren't great, but I wouldn't go so far to say they sucked. Guessing you just don't like them ... Al

  7. GUESSING i dont like them? GUESSING?
    I thought I was fairly clear. ;)

    I used to live in Surrey - Walton-on-Thames. Not anymore. Now I'm in Chelsea. Which is next to Ann Arbor.

    That concert was great! I was grinning. My friend and I paid too much for some tickets right at the stage.

    The beer was ridiculously priced but I figure its like air - you have to have some no matter the price.

  8. LOL! The beer has always been overpriced at Pine Knob ... No surprise there matey!