The Amalie Arena in downtown Tampa, Florida is custom to raucous crowds as it has hosted the last three of hockey’s Stanley Cup championships. On Wednesday September 14, 2022 the house was absolutely rocking with the tour stop of the Scorpions “Rock Believer World Tour 2022.” The tour was originally billed with mega stars, Whitesnake, but health issues to vocalist David Coverdale sidelined the band from joining the tour. Without Whitesnake, it still brought the Swedish band Thundermother on the bill to introduce Nordic Thunder to North America!
Thundermother entered the Amalie stage to a warm welcome at approximately 7:00pm from a crowd still filing in to find their seats. Folks, this is a hardcore rock band with an AC/DC motorhead sound. Filippa Nässil started the band in 2010 and they have produced four albums to date. The band line up has been completely overhauled since it’s inception with guitarist Filippa Nässil being the only constant. Guernica Mancini vocals are a high point of the bands sound which is tied neatly together with the strong rhythm section of bassist, Mona “Demona” Lindgren and drummer Emlee Johansson.
This was Thundermother’s first trip to North America and we certainly hope it’s not the last as they rocked out their set and the fans at Amalie showed their appreciation in kind.
Filippa Nässil – Guitar
Guernica Mancini – Vocals
Mona “Demona” Lindgren – Bass
Emlee Johansson – Drums
The Scorpions banner hid the stage and when the house lights dimmed, the banner dropped. There was a second banner reading “Are You Ready To Rock” remaining that blocked the stage. The arena crowd just exploded answering categorically, yes they were ready. Then second banner dropped and the band is already on stage and started their opening song, “Gas In The Tank” from their 2022 release Rock Believer, the bands nineteenth studio album. In all they would play four songs off the new album in their 17 song set. Rudolf Schenker founded the band in 1965, that’s 57 years ago! In touring 80 countries and playing over 5,000 concerts, it’s hard to image anyone not having a favorite song from their vast catalog. The fans in attendance sang and danced the entire show to mega hits like “The Zoo,” “Big City Nights,” “Wind of Change”and finishing the night with a two song encore of “Rock You Like a Hurricane” and “No One Like You.” The most touching part of the show was the special rendition of “Wind of Change” with lyrics for Ukraine. Upon introducing the song, Klaus Meine asked the audience to fire up their lighters, then with a smile he said I mean your cell phones. As the song played, a video on the back screen showed a brick wall with barbed wire on the top, reminiscent to the Berlin Wall. The song progressed as sunlight shone from behind the wall and birds (a symbol of peace) flew over the wall destroying it brick by brick. I am sure most in the audience understood the symbolism of the wall that stood in Berlin from 1961 to 1989 stood for oppression. Any person present had to feel in their hearts for the people of Ukraine. The Scorpions, a German band, just reminded the audience of what they had experienced as citizens for so many years.
I have been a big fan of The Scorpions for the past 45 years and this was my first occasion to see them, much less review and photograph them. My evening was almost complete, except they left out one of my favorite Scorpion tunes, “Still Loving You”. That is something I can live with as Rudolf Schenker and Klaus Meine are both 74 years old and are still rocking like a hurricane. Thank you and God bless you both and the rest of the band!
Rudolf Schenker – Rhythm Guitar, Backing Vocals
Klaus Meine – Lead Vocals
Matthias Jabs – Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
Paweł Mąciwoda – Bass, Backing Vocals
Mikkey Dee – Drums
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