Review - Scorpions @ the Oakland Arena (10/18/22)

Scorpions @ the Oakland Arena (Photo: Sean Reiter)
Scorpions @ the Oakland Arena (Photo: Sean Reiter)

Scorpions Sting Oakland Again!

Taking the stage to “Gas in the Tank” – the opening song of their recently released Rock Believer album, Scorpions brought the personas and energy that audiences have been thrilled by for nearly 40 years to the Oakland Arena this past Tuesday night. For those longer of tooth it was easy to drift back to 1985 when the Scorpions headlined a massive Day on the Green next door at the outdoor coliseum. On that day, the band was supported by Ratt, Y&T and a young Metallica and enjoying the success of their huge concert movie "World Wide Live." Decades later, their big three was still front and center and surprisingly looking nearly the same: Lead singer Klause Meine still hits impossible high notes and wills on audience participation, Matthias Jabs rips guitar solos with a permanent nice guy smile as fellow guitarist Rudolf Schenker adds the energy with non-stop running, jumping and windmilling.

Klause Meine of Scorpions at the Oakland Arena (Photo: Sean Reiter)
Klause Meine of Scorpions at the Oakland Arena (Photo: Sean Reiter)

After the new song opener, Scorpions went back to their deep well of hits with “Make It Real” and a driving version of “The Zoo” – featuring Jabs’ legendary talkbox backing while Schenker cranks out a driving rhythm guitar. From there they went all the way back to 1979’s “Coast to Coast” before double dipping into the new album with “Seventh Sun” and “Peacemaker.” The crowd enthusiastically appreciated the new album material, but the many longtime fans had come to regale in the memory-filled hits of the 80’s. “Bad Boys Running Wild” was met with a roar and delivered with the same energy that filled the Coliseum decades earlier.

The crowd at the Oakland Arena for Scorpions (Photo: Sean Reiter)
The crowd at the Oakland Arena for Scorpions (Photo: Sean Reiter)

Jabs instrumental “Delicate Dance” led into the ballad portion of the night. Meine referenced the Day on the Green and said that on that day he had asked the crowd to light up for that song. “Now, everyone can use their cell phones.” Schenker and Jabs strapped on acoustic guitars for “Send Me An Angel” with Meine demonstrating he has kept every drop of this singalong leading skills. Meine dedicated “Wind of Change” to the people of Ukraine and delivered the spine tingling opening whistle while the crowd once again joined in filling in the chorus.

Matthias Jabs & Pawel Maciwoda of Scorpions at the Oakland Arena (Photo: Sean Reiter)
Matthias Jabs & Pawel Maciwoda of Scorpions at the Oakland Arena (Photo: Sean Reiter)

Scorpions threw in a quick rocker with 1990’s “Tease Me Please Me,” and visited the new album for the last time with the title track “Rock Believer”. Bassist Pawel Mąciwoda led the way on bass and drum instrumental “New Vision” – essentially a rare-these-days bass solo– supported by drummer Mikkey Dee. After Mąciwoda got the concrete of the arena tremoring, Dee took over with an extended and powerful double bass drum solo. Given his prior experience with Motörhead and King Diamond, Dee can of course drum loud, hard and fast and the audience ate up every minute of it, recognizing him with one of the loudest ovations of the night.

Rudy Schenker of Scorpions at the Oakland Arena (Photo: Sean Reiter)
Rudy Schenker of Scorpions at the Oakland Arena (Photo: Sean Reiter)

The full band returned to the stage to close with four gargantuan hits of the early 80’s - beginning with a raging “Blackout.” The 1982 hit was delivered at a frantic pace and capped by Schenker’s scream ending before they launched into 1984’s “Big City Nights.” The first set closer elicited the largest roar of the evening as the crowd chanted for more. Returning for the encore, Meine thanked the Oakland crowd and then led the band into a double encore of “No One Like You” and “Rock You Like A Hurricane” to cap off an impressive return.

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Scorpions Setlist Oakland Arena, Oakland, CA, USA, Rock Believer World Tour 2022

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