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Scorpions crank it loud as pure Rock Believers on current U.S. tour

In the middle of their Rock Believer 2022 world tour, the Scorpions backed up their claims of being true rockers with a blistering set at the UBS Arena at Belmont Park in downtown Elmont, New York, on September 7.

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Photos and review by Frank White

The Scorpions, in the middle of their own Rock Believer 2022 World Tour, appeared at the less-than-a-year-old UBS Arena at Belmont Park in downtown Elmont, New York, on September 7. The beautiful new arena is located right next to the Cross Island Parkway for a very convenient entrance and exit of this venue. The 19,000 seat arena (for concerts) was not filled to capacity for the Scorpions since the tour was originally a dual headliner with Whitesnake. Since Whitesnake's cancellation, the Scorpions have headlined the entire tour.

Scorpions rock their show with many lights and visuals, including a giant metallic scorpion on the back screen.

Scorpions rock their show with many lights and visuals, including a giant metallic scorpion on the back screen.

Scorpions released their latest studio album Rock Believer in February of this year, and when vocalist Klaus Meine, guitarists Rudolf Schenker and Matthias Jabs, bassist Pawel Maciwoda and drummer Mikkey Dee hit the stage it was with the energetic Rock Believer song "Gas in the Tank." The stage lit up with an amazing amount of lights and visuals — a giant black metallic scorpion and a huge pile of TV sets appeared behind drummer Mikkey Dee (who replaced longtime Scorpions drummer James Kottak). 

The band would go to their 1980 release Animal Magnetism for back-to-back songs, "Make it Real" and "The Zoo," as the twin axe-attack of Jabs and Schenker made itself known at the end of the band’s extended stage that reached 10 rows into the seated crowd. Bassist Maciwoda would then take over for Jabs, jamming with Schenker. Meine wandered around, hitting his tambourine, and tossing drumsticks out to fans surrounding the front part of the stage. Then "Coast to Coast" kicked in, representing the band's 1979 release, Lovedrive.

Singer Klaus Meine tosses drumsticks into the crowd.

Singer Klaus Meine tosses drumsticks into the crowd.

The Scorpions would continue on into their latest release with the singles from Rock Believer: “Seventh Sun" and “Peacemaker," then back to their 1984 release Love at First Sting with "Bad Boys Running Wild." The band would have a good part of the UBS arena on their feet during "Bad Boys Running Wild." They followed this up with a tune from their MTV Unplugged in Athens (live) release, "Delicate Dance." Another couple of slower songs followed: “Send Me an Angel” and “Wind of Change.” Meine encouraged the UBS Arena crowd to sing parts of the popular “Wind of Change.” Schenker began the first part of the song on an acoustic guitar, as visuals of flying lanterns and birds appeared on the back screen, with a round peace sign intermittently flashing (Klaus Meine wore a denim vest during this part of the show with the same round peace symbol on the back of it).

Lead guitarist Matthias Jabs cranked out the leads

Lead guitarist Matthias Jabs cranked out the leads

The Scorpions kicked it back up a couple notches with a 1990 favorite from the Crazy World release, “Tease Me Please Me.” During the song, Jabs cranked out the leads while Rudolph did Pete Townshend-style windmills with his guitar. Jabs, Meine, Maciwoda and Schenker then lined up on the side of the stage for one of their famed performance poses, heading into to the title song “Rock Believer” — a song dedicated to all their fans, as Meine pointed out to the crowd a giant metallic hand with horns surrounded by Marshall stacks and guitars. Maciwodal made the transition to the instrumental “New Vision,” leading Mikkey Dee to a powerful drum solo, which ended with an eruption of cheers from the Scorpions fans.

Rudolf Schenker and bassist Pawel Maciwoda rock the power of the Scorpions' rhythm section

Rudolf Schenker and bassist Pawel Maciwoda rock the power of the Scorpions' rhythm section

Scorpions would start their next song and title track of their 1982 album release Blackout. Running out to the edge of the extended stage, Schenker came out crankin’ the opening notes with his smokin’ tailpipe flying V guitar filling the space around him, and Jabs in a thick amount of smoke, as both of them would move around the stage and the smoke would continue pouring out from Schneker’s guitar throughout the song. This led into the hit “Big City Nights” to end the set.

As the band came back onstage for an encore, vocalist Klaus Meine said, “What can I say after all these years. We love you, America! There is ...'No One Like You'." and the band launched into one of their biggest hit songs. The crowd became very amped and shouted out the chorus of the song with everything they had. To begin their final song for the night, “Rock You Like a Hurricane,” Maciwoda joined Dee on the drum riser, getting the crowd to keep the clapping going while smoke filled the stage floor. Jabs and Schenker cranked out the opening riff as the song title flashed in big words on the back screen. Lights, smoke, visuals and all the last-minute insanity the band could throw out to the Long Island crowd (like Schenker running to end of the stage taking a leap into the air, landing on the stage and pointing into the crowd) ended this incredible night of Scorpions entertainment.