Veteran rockers Scorpions' energetic 50th anniversary tour performance in Singapore on Friday (Oct 21) - a classic rock showcase, complete with all the bombast - would put many younger rock bands to shame.
Like the well-oiled machine their compatriots are famous for producing, they proved they very much still had drive and performance, delivering a stellar 90-minute set to a sold-out crowd of 7,000 at the Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre.
Whether Scorpions played a classic number such as Always Somewhere or a newer track such as We Built This House, most of the crowd faithfully woah-oh-oh-ed along.
The audience - which included middle-aged men and women, as well as 20-somethings decked out in tour T-shirts - were largely an enthusiastic bunch who at points during the concert literally made the ground shake with their foot stomping and cheering.
But no matter how much the band tried, they could not get the seated audience in the venue to stand and join in the party that was happening in the standing-only section.
Even then, they did an excellent job of playing to the adoring mass, with lead singer Klaus Meine frequently throwing drumsticks into the crowd and guitarists Rudolph Schenker and Matthias Jabs throwing down face-melting licks with plenty of style. Wind Of Change, as was to be expected, saw the most spirited interaction between the band and the audience, with the energy in the room immediately lifting as the crowd sang along on the classic in full voice.
Drummer Mikkey Dee in particular was a scene stealer with his mop of grey hair flailing as he thrashed away on the drumkit. There was a nod to his former band as the Scorpions performed Motorhead’s Overkill, which segued into a blistering five-minute drum solo that ended with the stage screens filled with all the Scorpions’ album covers. It was one of many triumphant moments on the night that culminated in an encore of Still Loving You and Rock You Like A Hurricane.
Scorpions, who had played here in 1994 and 2001, belong to a small group of old-school bands who are still going strong after decades. Like The Rolling Stones and The Who, they proved on Friday night exactly why they have such longevity - they can put on a rocking good live show.
One may think it cheesy that Meine’s leather vest was emblazoned on the back ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Forever’, but they are living out the truth of those words.
Their tale still has sting.