It's hard to believe I find myself writing another review and one more on the way (Munich). It's been a crazy year for me seeing the band in so many different places - I didn't think I would make it sometimes, but I'm glad I did. My credit cards will hate me for a long time to come, but the great memories make up for it.
With no further ado...here is my Oberhausen review:
Oberhausen is a strange town, I call it a sleeper town but apparently during the Christmas season it comes alive just like Manhattan, New York on a business day - crowded with people and shops. I'm not a big Christmas person ever since my Mom passed away nor am I a the "Spend the day shopping" type. It was quite the experience though, with plenty of good food and interesting stuff for sale until we were over-run by the crowds.
Yeah yeah, I'm sure no one really cares about my touristic experiences!
Lucky for me, my hotel was almost across the street from the arena in Oberhausen. I believe the 3 of us (Susan, Beth and I) headed over there for around 11:30am to see if anyone was already in the queue. Lucky for us there wasn't anyone yet - so we had a chance for some food and walking around the Oberhausen Christmas markets.
Beth found a friend she knew and they both headed over to wait in line while Susan and I did some walking (and eating). We swung around the back just in case we caught a glimpse of Ben to say hi. I'm sure he is sick of me by now, but Susan had never met the legend.
Speaking of legends, that is where we met Cameleon and it was one of my first of many encounters of "Hey you're Joanne right?" We lucked out and Ben was awake and came out to chat with us awhile, causing trouble with the local security - good ole Ben, always keeping me laughing. We headed back to the queue where more folks were massing and that's where I met Curry for the first time. Also Adriano and Catarina and Beate and holy crap - so many people. Ron had wanted a gift bag since he wasn't going to be in Munich so we headed back to my hotel where he could see the crazy amount of luggage we had with us. I'm sure he found the experience quite amusing and it took longer than expected for our little "Rondez - vous." That's because I packed my luggage too good.
We headed back to the arena (a little late - sorry Ron) and that's where I lost everyone for awhile. Susan went back to the hotel for awhile to get out of the cold, Ron disappeared, Curry was nowhere to be found. Delphine was on her way. Then things happened fast, we were suddenly all there in the queue waiting to be let in. Then Delphine quick as a flash handed me a wristband and along with Susan we were running around the arena to find a different entrance. Delphine rocks, there is no doubt. I'll say it a few times I bet.
We met with a bit of trouble from security but with my big mouth we managed to get someone to walk us in before the doors opened. Turned out the doors didn't open for quite awhile. I was positioned in the front of the catwalk towards the right side corner (Matthias' side). Of course there I found my lost friends and we were all reunited happily.
It was quite the experience to be surrounded by the Scorpions family - all in arm's length there was me, Marina, Curry the Birthday Girl, Cameleon, Delphine, Adriano and probably about 6 other people that my brain hasn't processed yet.
The opening group - which I hadn't heard of before was okay. I don't understand German enough to understand what they were saying, but we had far too much fun during a song that I will forever remember as "Fish Sticks"
The audience was pretty calm and relaxed - kind of what I was expecting from the German crowds. The venue was pretty small so for me I found the "pit" area to be a vacation in comparison to lets say Russia.
Anyways I should concentrate on the concert more now right? Sorry but I think meeting all these people and celebrating the Scorpions with them is just the best energy in the world and to me that's just as important as talking about whether there was a guitar solo or not.
Oh and yes there was a guitar solo.
To me the band was in good form for the most part. Oberhausen and Munich were completely different shows in terms of energy and performance. I'm not trying to compare them, but I think everyone noticed the difference.
The one thing that we all seemed to agree on after the show was - Was Pawel there? Maybe he wasn't feeling good, but we didn't see him very much or the eye contact wasn't there or something.
Anyways getting ahead of myself as always...
The first thing I noticed in Oberhausen was Matthias - there was something different about him that night. He seemed more "natural" than I have possibly ever seen him. He came out on stage and rather than all those cutesy poses that we love him for...you could see him looking out far into the crowd and absorbing the energy. For me I could almost see what he was seeing through his eyes. He would stare out there and almost be whimsical or just grabbing a snapshot in his mind to remember it. He was very relaxed with a lot of interaction with the crowd. I'll never forget him looking out into the crowd just absorbing it all.
Anyways - I wasn't expecting anything different in the set list that night, but I was pretty surprised when they played "We'll Burn the Sky." I had a feeling they would play it in Munich but I wasn't expecting something extra for Oberhausen.
The sound was spot on. One of the first times in a long time that my ear plugs weren't even really necessary (I always wear ear plugs after coming out of a concert years ago and was completely deaf for about 6 hours - scary stuff!)
I could tell that James was a bit off that night, but he looked more tired than anything else. I miss the old kottak attack but at the end of the tour these guys have gone through so many injuries and just fatigue sets in.
Rudolf was in rare form - well I say that in comparison to the 2 France dates I went to in November. He was rocking out and in great shape. Still wearing those awesome shoes and sunglasses so you can't tell exactly where he is looking - sneaky devil. I do think he looked at me a few times just to laugh at me and I'm okay with that.
I thought Klaus was right on as well. He seemed to have more energy than usual, but finally I managed to hear him miss a little bit of "whistle" in Wind of Change. Sorry Klaus, for awhile I thought you were a whistle machine because I have no whistle left when it's time for that song.
As I mentioned - the one thing all of the fans agreed was Pawel was there but wasn't really there. It's possible he wasn't feeling well either or maybe it is just an emotional time with the tour coming to the end.
A funny thing happened to me during the concert - I kept on thinking what FOS Daddy would do.
Peter Amend was hanging around watching the show with some other people. At one point he started handing out drum sticks that didn't reach the crowd because security wasn't helping with that. He came over to me and handed me one - I imagine it was a Klaus one. So yes my friends, I now have a drumstick given to me by Peter Amend...I think I should send it to Fos Daddy.
Turns out to be the only thing I caught in Oberhausen/Munich haha.
Personally I thought it was a "good" show in Oberhausen, definitely stronger than the recent France ones I went to. I wouldn't say it was the best - but it was a well rounded happy concert that I got to share with friends from around the world.
After the show I lost some of my friends again, no idea where they shuffled off to, but I'm sure it was to important places!
I have no doubt that I have forgotten many things, it's hard to believe this was all one week ago already. But there you go!