German hard rock veterans SCORPIONS performed in Paris, France on November 24, marking the first time the band has played the city since an extremist group orchestrated a terror attack on Paris that left 130 dead.
The sold-out concert at the Bercy arena included an emotional moment when SCORPIONS drummer James Kottak beat the rhythm of the French national anthem, “La Marseillaise”, which the crowd sang a capella.
Speaking to Christian Platz of Agentinnen.net, SCORPIONS guitarist Rudolf Schenker stated about the band’s decision to carry on their French tour (see video below): “I mean, for us, we called the promoter, the French promoter, and asked him what he thinks. And he said the people will go to the concert. Maybe five percent [will decide against] coming [to the gig] because [of continued terror threats] and stuff like this, but it would be very important if we go back to a normal life. And also, for us, it was important to please our fans. Because, we said, ‘Okay, after this tragedy, we have to stick together and music is a bridge which can help people to overcome this tragedy.’ It was like that — people were singing together. And it was not an easy decision, but, for us, it was important, especially [since] we have a very strong connection to France and [we wanted] to please [the fans] and be there. It was an amazing concert, and also Strasbourg and Lille, all the French concerts were fantastic. The people are looking for a new future and they wanna really go over it. And I think music is the best bridge to help people, and that’s what we felt when we played there.”
SCORPIONS singer Klaus Meine told DPA ahead of the concert: “Our France tour is overshadowed by these sad and terrible events. Of course we’re also here to deal with the situation… this tragedy, respectfully.”
He added: “We all feel threatened, we all feel attacked. This has hurt all of us.”
However, he explained that people shouldn’t live their lives on the knife’s edge, somehow persuaded that a terrorist’s bomb or bullet has their name on it.
“It’s a rock show,” he said. “We simply want to have a wicked night with our fans and make a statement in favor of life.”
The new fully authorized SCORPIONS documentary “Forever And A Day” wrapped up its theatrical run and will come to DVD, Blu-ray, and digital platforms on November 27 (in German with English subtitles). The movie takes a look at the German hard-rock legends’ long career, while focusing on the band’s “Final Sting” trek, which initially was intended to be a farewell tour.
SCORPIONS recently completed the 2015 U.S. leg of their 50th-anniversary tour, which also is in support of their latest studio album, “Return To Forever”.