If heavy metal had its own version of the Rolling Stones, it would be the Scorpions. They have weathered every shift in musical tastes and survived the decimation of a music industry gasping its last breaths. The German rockers enter their sixth decade as a band this year, and to celebrate they will be releasing a new DVD, Scorpions: Live in Munich 2012. The DVD commemorates the band’s massive Final Sting World Tour which culminated with this homecoming event in Munich on December 17, 2012. The concert was meant to be the final performance of a historic career that began in 1965 when young guitarist Rudolf Schenker pieced together the initial line-up.
The Scorpions found their voice in 1969 when Klaus Meine joined the band. His unique style is one of the most readily recognizable in heavy rock. On Live in Munich 2012, Meine sounds as vital as he ever has as he delivers his signature vocals on 20 tracks which span the band’s iconic career.
The show opens with the title cut from the Scorpion’s 2010 album, Sting in the Tail. Schenker and six-string counterpart Matthias Jabs stalk the stage, with drummer James Kottak sitting high on his throne some 30 feet in the air. From the new record they also perform “Raised on Rock” and “The Best is Yet to Come”. Old school Scorpions fans will be excited for classic 70s tracks like “We’ll Burn the Sky” from 1977’s Taken by Force as well as four songs; “Is There Anybody There?,” “Coast to Coast,” “Loving You Sunday Morning,” and “Holiday” from 1979’s seminal Lovedrive record.
Delving into the Scorpions massively successful era 80’s era, the guys performed monster hits like “Make it Real,” “The Zoo,” “Big City Nights,” “Blackout,” “No One Like You,” and “Rock You Like a Hurricane,” most of which served as part of the band’s 5-song encore set. They also served up 90’s hits “Tease Me, Please Me,” “Send Me an Angel,” and “Wind of Change”.
James Kottack beats his kit senseless during his drum solo, “Kottak Attack,” and bassist Pawel Maciwoda anchors the entire show. Kottak has since stepped down, paving the way for Motorhead skinsman Mikkey Dee, making this concert a celebration of his time with the band. Schenker, who is now in his late 60s, never slows down, moving about like a teenager playing his first show.
What stands out most during this dynamic performance is the chemistry between the band members and their comfort level on stage. Every song is delivered flawlessly. The Scorpions have been one of rock’s premiere live acts, for decades, and Live in Munich 2012 is a template for why they are revered globally. With over 100 million records sold worldwide, the Scorpions still deliver an electrifying sting.