TVD Live Shots: Scorpions with Thundermother at
Viejas Arena, 10/1

I don’t know about you, but I love a good old-fashioned rock and roll show. On Saturday night, the Scorpions provided just that (and a whole lot more) in front of a near capacity crowd at Viejas Arena.  Joined by Thundermother, both bands crushed incredible sets that highlighted why live music is alive and kicking here in the USA. For the thousands in attendance, it was one incredible night of metal mayhem that rocked San Diego, well… like a hurricane!

Saturday evening’s Scorpions show was on my radar for quite some time. I’ve seen them countless times over the years and know that this legendary band always gives fans 110% during each and every performance. Scorpions shows are magnificent to say the least and include amazing set lists, incredible stage presence, and of course that unmistakable sound that is often imitated (but never duplicated) even to this day. These cats from Hanover have been kicking ass and taking names for over 50 years, and still perform with a reckless abandon that most up and comers can only dream of.

Opening on Saturday night was an all-female quartet from Sweden called Thundermother. While there have been many variations of this band over the years, the current lineup consists of original guitarist Filippa Nässil, Guernica Mancini (vocals), Majsan Lindberg (bass), and Emlee Johansson (drums). Their motto of “Thundermother don’t just play rock ’n’ roll. Thundermother are rock ’n’ roll!” initially seemed a bit arrogant and over the top to me. However, after seeing their opening set in front of their loyal fans, I can honestly say that phrase may have been the understatement of the year.

Outside of their incredible sound, what I loved about Thundermother the most was how much these ladies loved playing with each other. Throughout their 11-song set, each had ear to ear smiles that one could see from the nosebleed seats and beyond.  And their stage presence was a thing of beauty—flying around that stage like they owned the place—and for their hour on stage they surely did! They opened with “Whatever,” kicked it into overdrive during “Black and Gold,” and had San Diego “Driving in Style” when their set finally came to an end. Yep—these ladies are rock ’n’ roll, and I cannot wait to see them headlining in the not so distant future. Thundermother is the real deal.

Now it was time for the main attraction—the Scorpions. As we walked up to the stage area, I noticed it was shielded by a solid black “kabuki” with the band’s name emblazoned in their all too familiar trademark font. As the music cranked to an “11,” that shield dropped and another appeared with the words, “Are You Ready to Rock?” The crowd went nuts as the second screen finally dropped, and the show was now off and running. From the edge of the ramp, I watched excitedly as Rudolf Schenker (rhythm guitar), Klaus Meine (vocals), Matthias Jabs (lead guitar), Paweł Mąciwoda (bass), and Mikkey Dee (drums) took center stage and launched in to 2022’s latest, “Gas in the Tank.” Man, this one was going to be fun.

Over the next few hours, the Scorpions crushed a 17-song set that took fans on a wild ride across a masterful career that spans 50+ years (and then some). While I gravitated toward 1980’s Animal Magnetism with classics “Make It Real” and “The Zoo,” fans ate up “Winds of Change,” “Blackout,” and “Big City Nights.” Throughout the performance, fans were treated to a stage show filled with incredible graphics, near-perfect lighting, and of course the Scorpions trademark antics. Watching Schenker run back and forth down the ramp with that huge smile on his face highlighted to me, and the thousands in attendance, why this band is so special.

The Scorpions ended the show with a 2-song encore consisting of “No One Like You” and “Rock You Like a Hurricane.” These songs were the exclamation point on what turned out to be a rock and roll show for the ages—and one fans in San Diego will surely never forget. As lights flickered back on and I began the journey back to my car, I couldn’t help but smile at the show I had just witnessed. The Scorpions are simply legendary, and Saturday’s show highlighted why they are still, to this day, considered rock ’n’ roll royalty across the world.


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