Scorpions, Queensrÿche to sting Tahoe

Tahoe Onstage

Todd La Torre wins over Queensryche fans in 2015 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
Tahoe Onstage photos by Kurt Johnson

There’s nothing like classic heavy metal in the heat of summer. The Scorpions and Queensrÿche will bring their Crazy World tour to Lake Tahoe on Friday, Aug. 31.

The rockers will perform at 7:30 p.m. at the Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Harveys, singing lullabies such as “Send Me An Angel” and “Silent Lucidity” — but bring some ear protection for the little ones. Tickets are $69.50, $89.50 and $149.50, plus fees and taxes.

Founded in Hannover, West Germany in 1965, Scorpions were part of the first wave of metal in the 1970s with their debut album, “Lonesome Crow,” released in 1972. The band rose to arena status with seminal releases “Lovedrive,” “Virgin Killer” and “Animal Magnetism.”

In the 1980s, Scorpions amassed a string of Billboard chart toppers from “Love at First Sting” and “Blackout,” including multiple Top 10 singles “Rock You Like a Hurricane” and “No One Like You,” as well a string of successful singles such as “Send Me an Angel,” “Still Loving You” and “Wind of Change.”

Celebrated across the globe, the iconic rock act has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide, and has received multiple honors, including a World Music Award, a postage stamp in Brazil and a star on Hollywood Rock Walk.

In February 2015, Scorpions released their 19th studio album, “Return To Forever,” the same year the band celebrated their 50th anniversary.

That same year, Queensrÿche entertained a sold-out Tahoe crowd in the intimate Vinyl showroom at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.  More than 400 energized fans, young and old alike, provided backup vocals throughout 90 minutes of heavy metal bliss at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Frontman Todd La Torre, who replaced Geoff Tate as lead singer in 2012 amid controversy, nailed lt.

“They played an amazing show,” said Zephyr Cove, Nev., resident Jason Fisher, a longtime Queensrÿche enthusiast, accompanied by his wife, Cat. “La Torre tore it up. He was on fire.”

Fisher said the couple had reservations about going to the show because of loyalties to the original band. He attended nine or 10 performances over the past 30 years, including concerts in Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona, and Detroit and Kalamazoo, Michigan.

“They played their hearts out (tonight),” Fisher said. “Queensrÿche is back. To anybody who used to hear or has never heard (the band), they need to listen. Queensrÿche is calling.”

“La Torre hit every single note, crisp and clear, and floored me with his vocal capabilities, said Fisher, a guitar player who once pounded out Queensrÿche songs in the front room while his now twenty-something kids were growing up. “… Todd La Torre has pipes, golden pipes.”

Cat Fisher, standing aside her husband, admitted she blew more than a few kisses to band members. A country-music fan when she’s not listening to her “all-time favorite rock and roll band,” she said “My heart just sank,” when Queensrÿche played “Silent Lucidity.”

Before the tune, seven pieces into an 18-song set, La Torre asked, ”Are you guys having a good time? We’re just getting warmed up. We’re going to slow things down a bit.”

“Silent Lucidity” is a lullaby by heavy metal standards.

Just ask Michael Morris (when he’s older). Morris celebrated his birthday on Friday – 8 months to the day. He managed to sleep through the last half-hour of the show, crashed-out but smiling as his parents reflected on the concert. Queensrÿche members, flanked by security, popped out a side door in the lobby and strolled by the baby’s stroller following the performance.

“Great show,” the infant’s dad, Adam, told the band.

“They rocked,” chimed in the mother, Rachel. The family moved to Lake Tahoe six months ago from Big Bear, California.

Young Michael already is a veteran rocker. “He went to Skid Row (at Hard Rock) a couple weeks ago,” Adam Morris said. “In 20 years, that’s what he’ll be doing (onstage).” On Friday night, though, “Silent Lucidity” was just the ticket.

“Hush now, don’t you cry / Wipe the teardrop from your eye/ You’re lying safe in bed/… Relax child, you were there/ … I will be watching over you/ I am going to help you see it through/ I will protect you in the night/ I am smiling next to you, in Silent Lucidity.”

-Randy Hashagen

Related story: La Torre wins fans over one at a time.

About Randy Hashagen

Tahoe Onstage copy chief Randy Hashagen, a former Bay Area journalist, walked away from his career to become a crazy cab driver. He's still barnstorming, but his wing-walking days are over. Lately, he has been watching the world flow through Lake Tahoe since 2012.

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