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Scorpions & Tesla Live in Los Angeles

By Tokemaster General, Contributor
Tuesday, December 28, 2004 @ 12:19 AM


Scorpions & Tesla Live at the

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REVIEW BY: Brad D.

Although I've seen both Tesla and the Scorpions in the last year, I couldn't resist seeing them together at Universal (not a bad seat in the place) Amphitheatre. The Scorpions are quickly catching up to Pantera as the band that I've seen the most times live, because they are still together after all these years and I never leave a show disappointed. As for Tesla, I met the band about 6 months ago; pretty much every band member spent a few minutes chatting with me. After that night, I vowed that I would always support them. It's nice when not only do you enjoy a band's music, but you also know that they are all good guys who appreciate their fans.

We chose to hang out outside and sip our $12 Coronas rather than watch the opener, Keith Emerson. From what I heard, it sounded pretty progressive, heavy on keyboards in the vein of Yes. Once that ended, we took our seats and waited about 15 minutes for Tesla to come on.

What strikes me the most about both Tesla and the Scorpions is how professional they are. Both bands come out every night and put on a solid show, throwing in a few surprises along with the old standards. However, each band is tight and sounds fantastic live. That made this a really enjoyable show.

Tesla kicked off with “Into the Now,” the first song on their new album. It's also a great song to start a rocking show with. They spent the 60-minute set jumping back and forth from some of their partial acoustic songs like “What U Give” and “Signs” to the heavier electric guitar of “Song & Emotion” and “Heaven's Trail (No Way Out).” As always, the highlight for me was seeing guitarists Frankie Hannon and Tommy Skeoch trade awesome acoustic guitar licks during the extended intro to “Love Song.” Tommy looked no worse for the wear, having spent some time in rehab since I saw them last. Actually, he looked exactly the same, including his dyed red hair. The singer, Jeff Keith, was energetic, bouncing around the stage as he sang. Troy Lucketta and Brian Wheat provided solid drumming and bass to perfectly compliment the guitar-oriented rock sound that is Telsa. They finished with my personal favorite, “Modern Day Cowboy.”

After a short 20-minute break, the lights went down and the Scorpions came on. Now, if there is any criticism of the Scorpions, it's that they are fairly predictable in concert. You know they'll play about 1 hour 45 minutes and that they will certainly play “Rock You Like a Hurricane” towards the end of the show. However, as a long time fan, with CDs as far back as Taken by Force and earlier, the Scorpions always manage to play some old song or two that I've never heard them play before and only a fan for many years would recognize. The last few times I've caught them, they've played such great old songs as “In Trance,” “We'll Burn the Sky,” “Animal Magnetism” and “When the Smoke is Going Down.” Tonight was no exception. Although they had to make room for 4 songs from the new album, they did throw in “Loving You Sunday Morning” from Lovedrive, which is a tune I've never heard them play live before.

Anyway, the band kicked off with two new songs, “New Generation” and “Love 'em or Leave 'Em,” from their album Unbreakable. Although I think the days of their best work, (Lovedrive and Blackout in my opinion) are behind them, I found Unbreakable to be their best album in quite a while. It's got quite a few good to decent tunes and several of them worked just great live. As always, vocalist Klaus Meine sounded exceptional. Guitarists Rudolph Schenker and Mattias Jabs continue to perfectly compliment each other, as Rudy jumps all around the stage like a wildman, while Jabs is content to play perfect note for note leads and solos throughout most of their songs in a more subdued manner.

Next, we were treated with “Bad Boys Running Wild” and “The Zoo.” This was really giving the crowd what they wanted, two of their most popular songs, with “The Zoo” being an extended jam which is always one of their best live songs. After a few more songs, drummer James Kottak did a decent drum solo, which seemed pretty run of the mill until Tommy Lee came out to join him. Ultimately, Tommy just spent a few minutes doing a dual drum beat with Kottak, but it was a fun treat to see him there too and the audience of course went crazy to see Tommy there.

The obligatory ballads, “Wind of Change” and “Still Loving You” were played at appropriate times, in between more rocking songs like “No One Like You,” “Blackout” and “Tease Me, Please Me.” All told, there were a total of 4 songs from the new Unbreakable album. I always really enjoy the fantastic instrumental from the Lovedrive album, “Coast to Coast.” This kicked into “Loving You Sunday Morning,” and eventually a decent guitar solo from Mattias.

Of course, the Scorpions "could not leave tonight without ‘Rocking You like a Hurricane.’” As always, a great show with a few surprises and the old reliable standards played to perfection by a tight professional band.

I don't profess to remember this set list in the exact order, but this is pretty close:

Tesla:

Into the Now
Signs
What U Give
Caught in a Dream
Song & Emotion
Heaven 9-11
Love Song
Heaven's Trail (No Way Out)
Modern Day Cowboy

Scorpions:

New Generation
Love 'em or Leave 'Em
Bad Boys Running Wild
The Zoo
Deep & Dark
Drum Solo
Wind of Change
Coast to Coast
Loving You Sunday Morning
This Time (I think...it was definitely from Unbreakable)
Guitar Solo
No One Like You
Tease Me Please Me
Blackout

Encore:

Still Loving You
Rock You Like a Hurricane



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