Around this time year last year, DEEP PURPLE took us back to the early days of Heavy Metal with their time machine. Came February 2007 and ROGER WATERS dazzled to the bright side of the moon – taking us beyond time and space in psychedelic mode. In disbelief we watched IRON MAIDEN releasing their Heavy Metal thunder in March – Wow, you had to be there to believe it, you had to pinch your skins to make you believe that it was the Gods themselves. AEROSMITH enthralled us yet again in June. SEPULTURA took the metal maniacs for a ride with their Brazilain thrash/death Metal. Few nights ago, SCORPIONS rocked us like a hurricane - with new songs and many classics - Always somewhere, Wind of change.. first few songs with which I learnt the guitar, can still recall learning the plucking of "When the smoke is going down" from my brother, as we hurried back from school....
I was born on the dawn of a new society
And I feel lucky that my eyes could see
People standing up and being who they want to be
People made the music and the music made them free
If the road gets rough, I pick up my guitar and play
It’s always been right by my side to help me on my way
Now I don’t need to worry about tomorrow
Ain’t anticipating what’s to come
And I don’t need to worry about tomorrow
Long as I got rock and roll I’m forever young
Shillong is the place for the music, wish we were there along with those 45 thousands screaming fans on Dec 12, and what more can we ask, even the great GREAT SOCIETY regrouped for that day. B'lore and Mumbai crowds were a let down, just some few thousands turned up, shame on the big cities.
|Members of the rock band Scorpions are welcomed at Ri Kynjai Resort by people belonging to the Khasi, Garo and Jaintia tribes in Shillong, Meghalaya, after they arrived from Portugal
Picture Courtesy: Times of India. http://epaper.timesofindia.com/
Regardless of the small size of the audience in Bangalore and Mumbai, Scorpions rocked, and still rock like the way they used to, which even had Bon Jovi left amazed by the stamina and power of this German band during the tours together in the 80’s. Here are some accounts from some friends of mine who were there for SCORPIONS in Mumbai and Bangalore:
|Scorpions at Palace Grounds, Bangalore. Picture Courtesy: Carlos De Sa
Could not get the chance to see the great Cannibals/Phoenix/Dark Krusaders..
I grew up in the 90's (was in class X in 1999), when the boys-band were dominating the rock n roll scene. It was those days when Backstreet Boys, Moffats, Britney Spears were the talk among the girls in my high school - Little Flower. I had every song of the Fab Four – The Beatles on my lips. Often I was the odd one out, cos I would sing “Let it be” and “Yesterday”.
2006, I was in Chennai for my final year project; news came flying that Bryan Adams and Uriah Heep will be performing at Bangalore on 5th Feb and 8th Feb. Ran up and down the whole of Chennai to get a ticket (for bus or train) to Bangalore but unfortunately I couldn’t get even a single. But I had made up my mind that somehow I should reach Bangalore so at night I boarded a train, that too in general ladies compartment and yeah I made it, I was there!!.
This December when the Scorpions came, I rushed early from office, to beat the traffic of Mumbai and reach the venue in time for the gig of the fathers of Heavy Metal. When I reached the venue, I had a heated argument with the ticket counter guys just for credit card verification for collecting ticket L, but somehow I managed to get the tickets. Scorpions Mumbai concert was amazing, it amazed me, how after all these years they still can deliver the sting with the same intensity. I took one of my fren who has never ever heard an English song in her life and one word she told me at the end of the concert “Thank you Supriya” for making it happen in her life, that too with Scorpions. Screamed, danced like a once in a while life time opportunity to the fullest from 8.15pm to 10.30pm. The next very day downloaded all the songs and kept it in my daily playlist. I did not quite listen to Scorpions while growing up, but I have started listening to them – their timeless classic and the new ones. Black Eye Peas, Shakira and Beyonce must have performed in Mumbai, but I do not give a damn for them, cos “I love Rock N Roll” (remember Joan Jett?). Maybe I am reincarnated from the 60's flower child :-)
- Supriya Shijagurumayum (Mumbai)
Back in 80's, my bro bought the “Best of scorpions” cassette from Chennai. From school days the savor of scorpions was always in my vein.. As I picked up my first guitar, the first melody I learnt to play was 'Holiday'. Seeing it live, Klaus singing in front of me made my heart throb faster and filled with excitement. God!!! Finally we got a chance to see them performing live ..We were jumping, screaming to our joy and glory!. The moment we cherished on Sunday night will last forever. Now do I call this nostalgic or my dream come true or am I truly sent an angel.
- Geeta Achar Paonam (Bangalore)
"They say when u are stung by the scorpion you have no relief, that was what I felt when I saw the band performing right in front of me, for so many years in my childhood I have grown up listening to their songs and now Klaus Meine singing in front of me was like magic, yes MAGIC is the right word to express it, you swoon, you jump whatever you do you feel nothing is enough for those magical numbers they belted out, wind of change, still loving you, rock you like a hurricane, ...etc, etc., everything seemed so ethereal and divine...fantastically magical !!!"
- Sanad Aribam (Bangalore)
It must be 5 years back when Scorpions first performed in Bangalore. I was doing my graduation at that time some thousand miles away. My roomie went all the way to catch the Scorpions in Bangalore. I wished to but, the distance to travel and my hectic college schedule stop me. Many of friends went for the concert. Many years down the line till now also they still talk about that special night of Scorpions. Perhaps, that particular night/concert has become the benchmark for any concert in India. I still have repentance for missing that concert.
So, when the news of Scorpions coming to Mumbai I made up my mind not to miss this opportunity. Hoping that I can relief those repentances of missing it once long ago.
When I saw the report of the Humanity tour of Shillong which happened few days before was really good my excitement grew to a new height. Report says more than 45,000 spectators turn-up for the very night. The very concert is dubbed as a Monster Rock Show by the organizer and the concert stands upto it.
But, the concert at Mumbai drew a different picture for the same tour. The Humanity Tour of Scorpions in Mumbai is very much less than what I expected, less than that picture which I have in my mind after hearing so many stories of their past performance particularly in India and the particular report of Shillong.
But, the fault for such a forgettable night doesn't lie with the band. Scorpion stands upto its name. They have done best what can be done with. They sung almost all their classic track and their performances was lively and full of energy and enthu but, this enthu didn't last long as the Mumbai crowd failed to respond. It can be remembered that the beauty of any concert mainly lies with the audience response. But, with so much less audience (lesser than 2000) this was bound to happen.
The fault lies with the event organizer for the Mumbai ie Rams Relationship. Rams relationship who is in-charge of organizing the event has failed to make it a night to remember for the audience and both the band who had travel so far to be with us. The tickets were priced 1000/-, 1500/- and 7500/-. The 1000s and 7500s almost drew a empty audience. Their was no such big advertisement on a large scale except for few hoardings in upmarket places and very few advertisement on tv / radio so many people were unaware particularly in Mumbai. In fact I came to know about the concert from a friend of mine just few days before not from any of the advertisements. No wonder many people were unaware about the concert night and number of people turning up for crowd was far lesser than what had expected. Perhaps, next time there will be bigger ads, awareness, more crowd, more enthu.
Anyway, Scorpions still rocks like hurricane in Mumbai also at the end.
- Khuman Ngakpa Oinam (Mumbai)
It was a month back when brother Ringo came and told me that Scorpions will be coming to Bangalore, I wasn’t that interested in going for the show. When It was just two days to 16th of Dec, I heard the about the supernova that happened in Shillong. I began to think about the days when I used to go bicycling singing ‘Wind of change’, never knowing why it was sung for. Quickly I downloaded ”Humanity” Wow man what a lyrics ‘You are a drop in the rain... a needle in the Hay’ , was pilling my mood up. Took a home delivery ticket for Bro Ringo and I. All set ready we move for the show.
I said, “damn people” the moment I saw just some few heads around. Finally the field was jam packed and everyone was lost in the classic. The moment they sang their numbers I tried joining them in every number, my pipe chock but I never quit singing and shouting ”Remember people this is the song we grew up with, the song we heard when we were in the cradle”. Bangalore was taken by their classics, the clean, bond etching sound of the acoustic guitar held everyone’s pipe to sing it out. After floating in the wave of music with Humanity, Dynamite, 321, Wind of change, Still loving you, Send me an angle and many more, they left us back home with “When the smoke is going down”. Scorpions were the earliest band that I ever heard; they are among the greatest that I will listen to. Led Zeppline sang in UK , Scorpions sing it for us.
- Rishi Keisham (Bangalore)
.....being a die-hard fan of SCORPIONS and having heard almost all of their songs (leave out Humanity) for the last couple of decades, it's indeed a heartfelt experience to see them performing live right in front of us. Our day started off very fresh as we were almost occupied with SCORPIONS and ready for the concert.
We are a bunch of friends from the same class of the same school with whom we use to share Scorpions audio cassettes. The concert kicked-off with songs from their new album, Humanity. We enjoyed each song and their power riffs; however I was looking forward to see Rudolf Schenker with his trademark "goggles" and "V" guitar. By the time they started Always Somewhere and.... Still Loving You, Holiday, etc..... the crowd gone wild, singing each and every word of the song. What touches most is, being with my old school friends and singing the same old songs seeing the same old SCORPIONS LIVE!! I couldn't define the moment... it will linger on forever.
|From the School of Rock, here we are at Scorpion’s Humanity Tour.
- Krishnakanta Leiphangbam (Bangalore)
Sometimes dreams come true in a moment!!
It was a night of nostalgically out of tunes....and I lost my voice for three days after the night of that night!! Still remembered those days......pressing rewind and play button for many times that dad had to take the old record player for repair.....writing down those lyrics with blue Reynolds ball pen....and singing every songs out of tunes....you know how one can be so shameless........but I was lover of the music.. no matter ... whatever...I was enjoying my singing with my record player with my most fav band.........
Then.....they came out and sing for me.....words are same....and music is so real...yeah...some guys have all the lucks and this time, I am among them....thank you "Scorpions"....you guys sang the best song for me....wonder...they are still in very good shape even after so many years......
- Sukumar Elangbam (Bangalore)
This is what the Scorpions had to say in an interview by Times of India Bangalore Edition:
TOI: How’s your Indian experience been?
Scorpions: Incredible. It’s like they’ve been waiting for the Scorpions after listening to us all these years. People here are intense. Shillong was unforgettable. The audience was singing along with us. We haven’t had that experience before, and that too, in North-East India. Mumbai was great. And we’ve known Bangalore will respond to us. If India loves us so much, we wouldn’t want to wait for six years to come back.
TOI: 1988-89 was a key moment for the band. The Wind of Change hit the charts. What was the mood and events leading up to the song?
Scorpions: In 1988, we performed behind the Iron Curtain. We were at Leningrad and we performed at 10 shows for audiences over 150,000. People from all over Russia, even Siberia, were there. It was astonishing. We were called in again and were back in Moscow a year later for the peace festival. We performed for two nights to an audience of over 100,000 on both days. At the concert, Russian soldiers took their caps off for us.
It was unbelievable; soldiers saluting us with caps. Then, people in the audience too took their caps off too. We thought then something was in the air, something new. Was this really happening...? That was exactly when we decided on Wind of Change. We understood suddenly that the Iron Curtain was falling and Communism was coming to its end. Four months later, the Berlin Wall fell. It must have been the most peaceful revolution in history.
TOI: Coming to your music, what do you make of bands like Led Zeppelin, Metallica, Bon Jovi, Van Halen, Iron Maiden...How do you see yourself in light of your own success?
Scorpions: Early on, we liked the Rolling Stones and Beatles. Of course, Led Zeppelin inspired us and then maybe we inspired Bon Jovi! Van Halen performed on the same platform with us, and then, performed our songs too. Metallica is a great band, very friendly. We’ve been in touch with Kirk Hamett. But we ploughed our own way and gave people rock music and ballads. We realised that we had to create our own style, our own personality and here we are, the Scorpions, giving people what they enjoy.
MEGADETH and MACHINE HEAD headlining Rock In India
Come March 14th, 2008, and MEGADETH with be performing at Palace Grounds Bangalore. Come hell or high tides, be there for the show
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* The above write-up is a collection of various reviews and feedbacks by Ringo Pebam and his friends. The names of the reviewers are given along with their feedback / review above. This article was webcasted on December 26th , 2007.