Well - Just arrived back from our trip to Riga so here are our thoughts of the night.
First of all it was great to meet with Ari, Anu and family - all scorps fans and really nice people. Made the trip more special to get to hang out with you all - a really cool family.
We arrived just after 6pm - it was freezing cold (to us anyway). Had a small problem right away as they wouldn't let us in with a camera and had no facilities for storage. None of the staff were interested that we were 20 minutes from our hotel so had no options. Ended up hiding it behind a bush! I've never known a venue to stop you taking small cameras since the nineties - doesn't make sense as most people have a camera on their phone now. So sorry - no pictures or vids from me!
Riga Arena is a nice venue, large but not too big and fairly modern with good facilities and excellent acoustics. Most seating was around the perimiter with a relatively small number of seats on the floor area. We had a good seat in row 7, centre stage.
There was no support band. The show started about 15 minutes late. The orchestra took their seats (not a full size orchestra) and tuned up then lights down and Rock You Like A Hurricane was the opener. Very odd to us that no one was standing up. I suppose that is the nature of the concert but its not the same watching the Scorps with everyone sitting down. Initially the sound balance was too much guitar & drums and you couldn't hear the orchestra but that was quickly sorted out. Rudolph also had a problem with his guitar and had to swap it a couple of minutes in.
Rudolph was also sporting a see through shirt unbuttoned to his belly button - he obviously was not as cold as me!
So - a great opening song, lots of energy from the band and orchestra. But then came the big problem for me - 90% of the crowd seemed to be dead - a muffled applause, no one stood up. Riga - you are at a ROCK concert not a funeral. In fact I thought the woman next to me was a wax dummy she sat rigid and never even clapped between songs. Perhaps the cold had frozen her to the seat. There were a few people really enjoying themselves front row to the left but actually got told to calm down by security.
We were very impressed by the quality of the music between the band and the orchestra considering they must not have had much time together to rehearse - most if not all the songs had their arrangements adapted. Matthias' guitar tone was outstanding with the arena's acoustics and great sound quality! As Ari mentioned, Klaus sounded great and his voice worked really well with the orchestra.
Poor James was locked away in a perspex cage. The conductor was about 7 foot tall and blocked our view of James most of the time.
Despite the sitting / sleeping crowd, Klaus continued with the tradition of throwing his drumsticks out. I was very amused at one which came in the direction of some guy in front of us, he made no attempt to grab it and it just bounced off his head - he still didn't even blink.
Great to see some songs never done this year (as far as I know). New Generation, Send Me An Angel, We'll Burn The Sky.
When they played Wind Of Change I thought surely the crowd must react to this as it represents such an important and positive time for them. And I was pleased to see that they did join in and people started to get to their feet - STEADY ON
. I wonder if most of the crowd were not Scorpions fans but only recognised that song? At last we could get up, wave our arms and get some circulation going. Then they sat down again
Good old Klaus soon got most back up again for the encore of Rock You Like A Hurricane (yes they played it again but it is a tradition). At last the crowd clapped and cheered all the way through it - yes this it, this is why we come, isn't it fun - we are all alive!
So that was the end of the show. We really loved the performance and it was special to see the band with an orchestra but as you may guess we were disappionted by the lack off appreciation from some of the crowd. We still wouldn't have missed it for the world and rounded off a great tour and personal adventure for us.
We also enjoyed Riga, very nice city with superb architecture and friendly people.
We'll Burn The Sky
We Don't Own the World
You and I
Send me an Angel
Big City Nights
Moment of Glory
No-one Like You
Still Loving You
Battle of the Giants / Deadly Sting Suite :
- He's a woman
Wind of Change
Phill & Ashlie