Concert Review of Scorpions and Ratt

On July 25, 2010, in Concert Reviews, by admin

Been a while since we took in a concert. I took the opportunity to join good friends to see Scorpions and Ratt at the Verizon Theater in Grand Prairie, Texas.  A midweek concert worked well for my schedule.  I honestly expected a somewhat sparse crowd for a mid week event. Of course, I am not the biggest Scorpions fan and somewhat more of a Ratt fan, but still, neither are on my top group radar. It all proved to be an interesting enough night.

Venue. Briefly, this venue holds about 6,000 total in three lower sections and a fairly massive upper section.  Between the sections are several suites for the true party types….but that is what you get, a party, cause you are not close to the band.  Our seats for this event were not nearly as close as I usually get. The venue is somewhat pie shaped from stage outward.  Good sound for the most part.  The extreme sides can be challenging, and this where we were for the seats

Crowd. Here was my biggest surprise.  I estimate the crowd to be around 4500. This is what I consider very good for these bands on a Wednesday night.   The average age of the crowd was easily close to 40. Conservative looking for the most part, and really controlled in the audience response. Ratt was trying to get more out of them, but the Geritol age had apparently kicked in. I estimate the crowd 60% male.  Nearly half were in more professional looking attire (I being one them since I drove in straight from work).

Ratt. Ratt: The punctual band. They fell right in line with the corporate rock requirements.  Started right at scheduled 8:00, and played exactly 3 minutes over what they were supposed to.  Now thats calculated and friendly to the corporate rock word of  timed contracts. This was the 8th time seeing Ratt, the sixth with Stephen Pearcy at the helm.  For those of you not quite familiar with this outfit, Pearcy is the original lead singer.  But this unit is prone to bouts of moodiness and outright  asshole attitude made him difficult as a band mate and not accepted by the audience.  In the current years, however, we have seen a more mellow Pearcy. Still quite cocky, but that is OK. He engaged the audience fairly well.  He was gracious for the most part….but he did give the impression he was not all that into the show.  Every time there was a musical bridge, he walked backstage during the lead solo. There was no interaction between Pearcy and Warren Di’Maritini, the long time guitartist. There was interaction between Pearcy and the other band mates, most specifically, the guy who came over from Quiet Riot (do not know his name) after Kevin DeBrow kicked. The sound was not mixed very.  Guitars far overshadowed vocals, and even the drums. The band was moderately tight, but nothing special. They did many more background vocals than I remember them doing in other outings. Overall, decent, not great, just decent.  Pearcy needs to stay on stage and look like he is engaged.

Scorpions on Stage in Grand Prairie Texas Scorpions. What is it about midgets with booming voices? Like the recently departed Ronnie James Dio, the lead guy for the Scorpions, who stands maybe 5′ tall has a voice that just soars.  Not as good as Dio’s was, as he was at the top in my book, but a great set of pipes, nonetheless. Admittedly, I am not a big Scorpions fan.  This is the third time that I have seen this German outfit. I am not sure if there music was overplayed back in the day or what, I am just not that big of a fan. The show tonight was the best that I had seen out of the three outings I have witnessed.  This show was set with an interesting stage where the drummer rose far above the stage. Well lighted, it was a good set and more dramatic than that I have seen in the past. The Scorpions made themselves sound and act like headliners.  There was much energy in the show, and the crowd embraced it for what they could being their age and Texas roots conservative pussy roots. There was great interaction between all of the original members of this band.  Hell, you do not even know they are German except for two things:  Lead singer slurs his words as if he is liquored up (he was not); as English is not his main language, although I am sure much better now than when they started 25 + years ago. And the second was lead guitarist Rudolph Schenker….not that boy looks and acts German….almost like the Hans and Frans act from Saturday night live many years ago….what also impressed me about Rudolph was his array of guitars.  He easily carted out 8 different guitars, one being a cool looking Fly-V acoustic.  I want one.  Was not close enough to get brand, or it may have been made especially for him.  He was his usually energetic self, running wildly across the stage. Scorpions act also incorporates calculated photo ops….this is where the band gets together and plays next to each other so the audience can shoot pictures. Klaus (lead singer, re3member now fist name, not last)  was his usual drum stick throwing self, easily tossing 100 sticks into the audience.  Hell, I bet some in the front got multiples.  (yes, I have a drum stick from Scorpions on another outing…he throws so many, you can hardly miss)

They played from 9:40 until 11:10, popping the corp. suits requirements by 10 minutes over.  They were tight and together.  Overall very good.  The few new songs they played I liked as well, including the one ballad. (Takes balls to play a ballad on new music minutes, but that is part of their signature)  But speaking of ballads, my one disappointment was they left off two crucial songs from the set :  Still loving You (yes, that power ballad) and Rhythm of  Love. Especially the missing of Still Loving You, because this song, with his voice, is just pheonominal.

Business. I estimate this concert took in revenues in excess $380,000.  4500+ people, at average of  $60 per ticket (yes, they were expensive) and at $20 average concession spend, and $20,000 for the parking robbers.  Not bad for a Wednesday night

I think this is a decent show to go see.  It really comes down to how much you want to spend for these groups……peace

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