July 3, 2012
Molson Ampitheatre, Toronto -- July 2
By Jason MacNeil, Special to QMI Agency

The Scorpions perform at the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre in Toronto on Monday, July 2, 2012. (Ernest Doroszuk/QMI AGENCY)

In June 2010, on a night after all hell broke loose in downtown Toronto with the G20 riots, German hard rock band Scorpions were bidding farewell to Toronto on their farewell tour.

But somebody forgot to tell them the meaning of farewell, as the group was back at Toronto's Molson Canadian Amphitheatre on Monday night for yet another farewell show.

This time they mean it, I think.

Having released a covers effort, Comeblack, in 2011, Scorpions delivered a decent two-hour set that avoided Comeblack but reverted back to their late '70s to early '90s heyday. Led by the wee but well-maintained vocalist Klaus Meine and guitarist Rudolf Schenker, the group brought along some Nickelback-like pyro from the moment Sting In The Tail started.

Meine was a ball of energy at times, from repeated give-and-takes with the crowd filling up about three-quarters of the seats to tossing out drum sticks. Meanwhile Schenker, who looked rather daft at one point wearing a mask during Blackout, held his own throughout with guitarist Matthias Jabs often lending a hand.

After a short breather of sorts during Is There Anybody There? Scorpions upped the ante with The Zoo, a creepy little number which Schenker swaying back and forth as much as the men in the audience playing air guitar. Here drummer James Kottak also showed off his chops and his body ink with his surname proudly across his upper chest.


Rarely taking a breather between songs, Scorpions slowed things down with the first big highlight Wind Of Change. Following a brief history lesson by Meine, the crowd took over the song to the singer's delight as images of the Berlin Wall were displayed on the screens behind the quintet.

“Thank you!” Meine exclaimed afterwards, adding that it was a farewell tour “but we gotta go back to Canada, baby!”

A brief “acoustic” set ensued with the ballad Send Me An Angel and Holiday, the latter from 1979's Lovedrive album. The '80s rock flavoring was quite evident here as Schenker played on an acoustic V-neck guitar.

Perhaps the best moments of the night came quickly afterwards with a string of high-energy rockers like Raised On Rock, Tease Me Please Me and a punk-ish gem entitled Hit Between The Eyes, which deserved more fan appreciation.

What didn't deserve much appreciation was a tedious drum solo dubbed the Kottak Attack. Here Kottak drummed briefly before asking for more applause as video footage showed him on a journey through the band's album covers. Fortunately, Kottak didn't injure himself when he stood on his drum kit which was elevated high into the air.

Big City Nights wrapped up the main set before another trio of staples in the ballad Still Loving You, No One Like You and Rock You Like A Hurricane brought the encore to a close.

Auf Wiedersehen, Scorpions.

Setlist

Sting In The Tail

Make It Real

Is There Anybody There?

The Zoo

Coast To Coast

Loving You Sunday Morning

Wind Of Change

The Best Is Yet To Come

Send Me An Angel

Holiday

Raised On Rock

Tease Me Please Me

Hit Between The Eyes

Kottak Attack

Blackout

Six String Sting

Big City Nights

Still Loving You

No One Like You

Rock You Like A Hurricane