By popular demand (well okay 2 people requested reviews) my concert reviews are back! First up Reims, France.
Just to note - I was extremely exhausted for this concert. I had just arrive in France that morning (from Canada) and after some mishaps I ended up walking too far and eating far too little for the energy required to rock out at a concert. I pushed myself to the last bit of energy I could have. My reward? The only thing I could find to eat when the show was over - a Kit Kat bar! It was the best chocolate bar EVER, I could of probably had 12 of them easily.
Anyways - I'm writing this a bit jet lagged so please forgive any typos or random musings that appear. They may amuse you or not. Just be warned! Hehe.
A little background on why I was so tired - I arrived in Paris at 8:45am local time (2:45am my time) and then needed to wait around for a couple of hours until my train left for Reims. I got to Reims at around 13:30, found my hotel, took a shower to wash off the travel slime, then took a quick nap. Got up, got ready for the show, went down to the front desk and of course there was a strike for public transportation that day. I was set on taking a taxi, but the front desk guy said "Here is a map - it's only about a 30-35 minute walk." Feeling better, I decided to take the walk to explore a new town. That was a mistake. Not only did he give me wrong instructions, but I am also quite good at getting lost, so my 30-40 minute walk ended up being a marathon for close to 2 hours. Picture it: Me chomping down a quiche while lost in Reims - that was me! And that was pretty much the last thing I ate until midnight. Hah.
Okay I'm not going to bore you with all of my silly adventures - but all that to say I was very tired and grumpy. But you know how it is, you get inside and your troubles seem to go away as you are waiting for the show to start.
So I managed to get up on the right side (Matthias' side) all the way over to the side in front of the speakers. It was kind of crappy, but at least I was on the barrier - the place was pretty packed. I am admittedly spoiled, I want to be up front but it doesn't always happen.
The Electric Ducks was the opening group - they only played for 30 minutes. But I'll admit I did like their music, they weren't the prettiest to look at and I really didn't need to see the guitarist in full nudity bouncing (literally) on stage with angel wings on. But I did appreciate the music they played. A pity they had to do the nude angel thing - while I'm definitely no prude and for once it's nice to see males showing flesh instead of females all the time, I just don't think it was needed. Their music stands on their own. Or could...
On the right side of me I had some very nice people, who were very fun to talk with. I think they were intrigued by my Canadian accent and just like I had a hard time understanding their French, they had the same problem with mine. So it's very possible that the conversations that we had might not of been what we intended. They were nice enough to make room for me on the barrier and help me hold my flag on it. I have their e-mail address somewhere - hoping I find it within all my luggage! When I took out my flag, the press photographers took a photo and asked my name and age - I might be in a paper somewhere hah.
To the left of me - were a couple that were just very unfriendly. They were very unkind and wouldn't engage in a conversation at all. Whatever, live and let live. If they wanted to be grumpy - I surely wasn't. But little did I know their grumpyness would turn into my anger later on. More when I get to it!
I won't lie - standing up was killing me after that 2 hour walk. But I was a good Scorpions soldier and stood there waiting knowing what was coming up soon.
Alrighty - all that and I didn't get to the actual show yet - yikes!
The Scorps came on stage in great form, at the start at least. The set list was the same that I have heard <enter number of times> this year. No matter - the crowd was into it and enjoying it all of course. I found Klaus' voice to be in great shape - although I did notice that it was one of those nights that he would make the crowd sing just a little bit more so he could catch his breath. I don't blame him one bit, hell I needed to catch my breath too.
No guitar solo from Matthias - he started to - you know the intro "Da dun dun Dunp" and then suddenly it went into Big City Nights and the solo never happened. He seemed in good shape, lots of smiles and happiness from what I could see (but I think these guys are great actors sometimes!). But for whatever reason, so solo for him that night - maybe time? I'm not sure. They did seem to get on a stage a wee bit late.
I'm not sure what is up with the Kottak Attack drum solo. It has lost it's punch. The video that he plays has been edited and the momentum with it changed too, even James seems a bit lost with it. At first I thought it was possibly because they wanted to edit out his soon to be former wife from being up there (which makes sense) but she is still in some of the parts they show. I dunno, it just doesn't have the fluidity that it used to have. Don't get me wrong, it's still good and James does great with the crowd - it's just missing that extra oomph. Maybe it's because he is tired or injured and at this point in the tour, it could be both.
Pawel did really good at engaging with the crowd. I have to admit he has improved in that regard even in the last couple of months. He is moving around more and giving lots more eye contact and having fun on stage. It's great to see.
Rudolf is always Rudolf, the man is a machine. But I think he is a tired machine. I noticed more on the second concert but in Reims he wasn't moving as fluidly as he normally does. You know the side to side motions - but he was spot on - I mean this is Rudolf we are talking about here. But all things considered, he seemed to be less engaging with the crowd than normal.
The sound was odd, but then again I come from an audio background and standing in front of a speaker is pretty much the last place to get any kind of reasonable sound. It is almost like getting half of a concert. I could hear Klaus great and Matthias - but the rest seemed muffled.
Overall I thought their energy was kind of low. They enjoyed themselves without a doubt, but it felt more mechanical (sorry guys if you read this) than it felt personal. The personal energy you get from a Scorpions concert is like no other - and that night it didn't feel to me like it was as great as it usually is. I'm sure there are other opinions and maybe it was because I was stuck in front of the speaker...
Oh my anger - right. So I got lots of attention with my flag, from waves to hearts, to kisses. It touched my heart that even if they didn't really remember me, they remembered my purple flag and kept looking my way. To that end, the guys being as generous as they usually are, tried their best to throw me things. I would say at least 5 times from different members did they do the point and throw directly at me. That's where the jerks from the left stepped in. They didn't sing a song, didn't clap once, it looked like they were bored to death but if a plectrum or stick came in the vicinity they bolted to life. The guy next to me wasn't tall but he was pretty large. So I didn't have a chance and even though they kept on trying (Matthias even hopped on the speaker of the stage to try) I left empty handed.
Also in regards to stuff being thrown my way - of course I would love to catch them. But my previous concert was an Iron Maiden one in August where I literally got attacked (no joke - 2 huge guys picked on me because I am a girl at the front - not only did they use me as their barrier but they did their best to harass me in other ways) because of things being thrown in my direction. It got really bad and I ended up leaving the show with bruised ribs, I was hurting for about 6 weeks - so after that my natural instinct is to protect myself instead of trying to get an item.
Anyways after the show, I was knackered, exhausted, just completely spent. I was so very hungry, there was just nothing left in me. I contemplated how to get to my hotel and just started walking towards the door. That's when angels were looking out for me. I met up with two people who I am friends with on Facebook (but never met in person) and they were kind enough to give me a ride to the hotel when the traffic died down. They also were probably amazed to see someone eat a chocolate bar so fast (it was the only thing left that they were selling - well that or beer and I was far too empty for a beer)!
I got to the hotel and crashed - hard. To have to wake up 5 hours later to catch a train to Strasbourg.