- August 2, 2002 - Coors Amphitheatre - Chula Vista, CA
One does not take preparations for a classic
hard rock show like Scorpions/Deep Purple/Dio lightly. This triple
threat involves careful planning to put you in the appropriate mood to
enjoy the festivities to their fullest. Plug in your lava lamp while
you are getting ready. Squeeze your big butt or beer belly into your
old leather pants or your tightest, ripped up jeans and choose a shirt
that displays just the right amount of attitude. Your hair has to
be either very straight and flat or very big and nasty. Throw on
a bunch of clunky silver jewelry, make sure there’s plenty of juice in
your zippo lighter and if you are brave enough, tuck your joint in your
sock for later. You are now ready to dive deep into the 1970s and
80’s hard rock culture and let your mind expand with the force of some
of the mind blowing sounds that forged many of the great bands of today.
sound explosion started the night out with Dio. Ronnie James Dio
is a wonder of nature. For the life of me, I can never figure out
how such a tiny guy can create such an awesome, explosive sound.
Ronnie has all the components down right. The shroud of black everywhere,
the leather, the smoke and dragons. It makes me proud to be a classic
rock fan. Not only is his voice still powerful and mesmerizing, but
his band is TIGHT and the dark guitar rock is showcased to perfection by
his new guitarist Doug Aldrich. Each song in the set was a 10 minute
epic that left you almost too drained to clap when it was over. Hits
like “Long Live Rock & Roll” with a pummeling guitar solo, “Holy Diver”
and “Man On The Silver Mountain” made this concert worth the price of admission,
along with new works like “Push” off their latest album, Killing The Dragon.
has it that the Scorpions and Deep Purple were switching off the headlining
spot on this tour. This night, the Scorpions were up next and they
took the momentum from Dio’s set and took it even further. The Scorpions
do not know the meaning of “subtle,” much to the delight of their audiences.
Picture this: there was a light rig around the drum riser that was
so bright when it flashed that you could toast sandwiches in the first
three rows. It was a mandatory SPF 45 concert from that point on.
The Scorpions are so unapologetically eager and energetic and their music
is so contagious that you can’t help but get to your feet and feel like
you want to be a part of it. From “There’s No One Like You” to “Big
City Nights” there is fist pumping and head bobbing everywhere you look.
Even so, the band had the audience in their power enough to slow them down
with a mellow “Still Loving You” (I know I bought my lighter for something)
and rev it up again for the final “Rock You Like A Hurricane.” There
was also a patriotic moment for us Americans when drummer James Kottak
performed a marathon solo and ended by jumping to the top of his kit and
displaying an American flag on his shirt while screaming “God Bless America!”
Finish all this off with Klaus’ familiar “Thaaaaaaaank Youuuuuuuu!” and
you have a kick ass Scorpions set.
up was the classic enigma Deep Purple. I was unprepared to see what
I saw after two hard-hitting, guitar-splitting sets that preceded this
one. When Deep Purple took the stage, there was lead singer Ian Gillian
wearing white pants and a Hawaiian shirt. All I could think of was
who let Jimmy Buffet in here? This is a hard rock concert.
Now, I’m not saying that Deep Purple didn’t have their musical chops on
display, because guitarist Steve Morse was so on the mark it wasn’t funny.
He was turned on and tuned in and letting the riffs fly. There were
also some brilliant solos by keys man Don Airey and the whole band rocked,
but I couldn’t get past Ian’s get up and even their great rendition of
“My Woman From Tokyo” couldn’t bring back my hard rockin mood. Maybe
its just me, but I don’t like to mix milk with a tequila shot.
More Deep Purple
Debbie Seagle is the Special Features editor for Rocknworld.com and
the iconoFAN Network
photo by Debbie Seagle
Copyright 2002 - Groove Quest Productions
Iconoclast Entertainment Group
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