Rock ‘n’ roll has always been an integral part of the Great Woods Summer Series, and it was there this year too when a triple bill of the Scorpions, Great White, and Aldo Nova fed their audience with a large helping of loud and raunchy blues-rock and heavy metal on July 24th.
Opening act Aldo Nova was, well, just an opening act. The band performed like your average formula-rock band. The songs were standard MTV fare, even if some were co-written by Bon Jovi, especially the inane “Blood on the Bricks.” Even after nearly a decade, Aldo Nova has gone nowhere, and maybe in the future they will break away from the mold and form their own identity.
The middle slot of the evening was held by the blues-rockers of Great White. Lead singer Jack Russell is a skilled vocalist, and he played the crowd well, keeping them awake and on their feet throughout their set.
Only $13.90 / page
The guitarists served up a feast of riffs and solos, amidst a thunderous rhythm section of drums and bass. Opening with “Call it Rock ‘n’ Roll,” Great White proceeded through new cuts from their recent LP “Hooked,” and of course, it was the encore of “Once Bitten, Twice Shy” that the crowd enjoyed the most, especially with the spicy piano playing. Their sound mix was clean and smooth, and Russells’ wailing vocals came out perfectly. After their set, the members of Great White gathered backstage to meet-and-greet with members of the press. All were thrilled to oblige with the requests of the backstage crowd, taking pictures, answering questions, and signing autographs.
One of the most popular hard rock bands in the world, the Scorpions were the main event of the evening. Opening with “Tease Me, Please Me,” the quintet got the audience back on their feet, rockin’ the night away. Decked out in leather, lead singer Klaus Meine howled like an animal, while guitar duo Rudolph Shenker and Matthias Jabs produced the unique Scorps rock sound. Their songs weren’t anything special , simple shout-along tunes with catchy hooks , but it was the way they delivered it. This was maximum impact, go-for-the-throat rock An’ roll, and the Scorpions didn’t hesitate to let loose onstage.
Highlights of the Scorpions’ set included “The Zoo,” during which the band produced various animal sounds, the thousands of lighters during “Wind of Change,” the blinding lit staircases onstage and the sing-along acoustic ballad “Holiday.” However, classics were saved for their encore, during which Klaus and crew pumped out the hits “Big City Nights,” “No One Like You,” “Still Loving You,” and “Rock You Like a Hurricane.” There is no one like the Scorpions, and after two decades in the music business, they are still loving it. On July 24th, the Scorpions rocked Great Woods like a hurricane, and proved they can do it all over again. n