By Patrícia Camara
I left home in Porto Alegre early to catch a bus to Florianopolis. The six-and-a-half-hour journey was peaceful, and I arrived in the Isle of Magic (as Florianópolis is called) at around 3 pm. I immediately met David and Bela, who had just checked-in at a hotel near the city center, where I also met Bruno Felipe Menta, the guitarist of the band Heart Sting band. He and his family were staying at the same hotel, and we got to know all of them and they were super excited for the show.
Usually, the Scorpions Brazil's followers think we have all the information about the band, including their hotels, but this time we made reservations in all the wrong hotels. When we tried to find out the correct hotels for the rest of the tour, we were informed that the band wanted more privacy and was indeed staying in different accommodations than in previous years. There was nothing we could bu but respect their wishes. So we took the opportunity to take a walk along the shore an, in the late afternoon, we headed to Hard Rock Live, the venue.
With a bit of bad luck, we were caught in the heavy rush hour traffic combined with the start of a long holiday weekend and the traffic for the show itself, but we arrived just in time to get our tickets and wait for the meet and greet. Hard Rock Live was already quite full about an hour and a half before the show, which was when we met the winner of the contest for the meet and greet, Kamila Marques. She was quite anxious and, of course, so were we!
|Kamila Marques, ganhadora da nossa promoção, no Meet and Greet de Floripa
In fact, I need to confess something here: Although I've been part of the Scorpions Brazil team since 2009, I had never joined an official meet and greet with the band. Yes, there had been other opportunities but, for some reason, I couldn't participate, such as in 2019 in Porto Alegre, when the local staff asked us to wait in a specific spot inside the venue until they’d come to pick us up for the meet and greet, but no one showed up. So yes, I was quite anxious and had the feeling of fulfilling a mission. And the wait for the meet and greet was a bit long; they took us to the venue's parking lot, which led to a small room where the band would be. Before we went in, they gave us the rules: Do not talk to the band, do not touch the band members, do not ask for autographs, do not take selfies. Shortly after, they asked us to leave all of our belongings on a table outside the room.
|Patrícia no Meet and Greet em Floripa
We entered the room and the band was positioned on a sort of platform that put them in a higher position than the fans. Everything was absurdly quick. If I spent 15 seconds in the presence of the band, it was too much. I walked towards them thinking "just smile", and then I was already leaving. Outside, while getting my bag back, Bela asked me, "Who was missing?" and I didn't even understand the question. Then I realized: only four Scorpions were at the meet and greet; Mikkey Dee didn't show up. We still don't know the reason for that. But it's okay, my mission was accomplished, I had joined in a meet and greet that lasted about 15 seconds.
David e Bela no Meet and Greet em Floripa
On the way out, we met Rosalva and Marcus who were late due to traffic and had the misfortune of being stuck in a traffic jam due to an accident that had happened along the way. But no more problems, let's go to the show!
The show at Hard Rock Live was my first on this tour. And I have to say that I was incredibly impressed with the stage production. I had never seen a Scorpions show so well produced and with so musically heavy as this one from the Rock Believer tour. The band really raised the level of delivery for the audience with a show of lights, interaction with fans, and weight in the setlist (which has not had any changes since Manaus and Ribeirão Preto). I loved the show from beginning to end! I longed for Seventh Sun live, followed by Peacemaker, and was surprised to see the big screens with excerpts from the lyrics of the latter. It became more dynamic, more engaging, and certainly more interesting for fans who don't follow the band much recently and were there just to hear the classics.
O solo de Mikkey Dee também foi uma novidade para mim, achei super divertido a temática que a banda já havia usado nos shows nos Estados Unidos no ano passado, e muito digna a homenagem ao Lemmy Kilmister. Após o show, voltamos ao hotel. Ao invés de ficar de plantão esperando a banda no lobby do hotel, dessa vez estávamos até um pouco aliviados por termos a liberdade de tomar um banho, arrumar nossas coisas e dormir para seguir viagem no dia seguinte. Bom, não chegamos a dormir, porque o David, a Bela e eu ficamos conversando até as 4h da manhã, sendo que eu levantei às 6h para ir para o aeroporto #QuemNunca. Mas o objetivo valia a pena, era hora de seguir para São Paulo para o Monsters of Rock!
Mikkey Dee's solo was new for me. I thought the theme that the band had already used in shows in the United States last year was so much fun, and a very worthy tribute to Lemmy Kilmister. After the show, we went back to the hotel. Instead of being on duty waiting for the band in the hotel lobby, this time we were a little relieved to have the freedom to take a shower, pack our things, and sleep to continue our trip the next day. Well, we didn't really sleep because David, Bela, and I were up talking until 4 am, and I had to wake up at 6 am to go to the airport. #WhyNot. But the lack of sleep would be worth it, it was time to head to São Paulo for Monsters of Rock!
Monsters of Rock in São Paulo
I arrived in São Paulo one day before the festival Monsters of Rock. For me, this was great because I had a day off from the tour and I could meet my parents who were visiting my mother's family. She was were born in the capital of São Paulo. Yes, my mother’s family questioned why I, having left Porto Alegre and being in São Paulo, wouldn't visit them too, but it would be very difficult. Anyone who knows São Paulo knows how hard getting around there is, it's almost literally like running against time. So I had lunch with my parents, updated them on the show in Florianópolis, and then met Roberta and we went to her place. There we spent the night talking, eating Doritos with cheddar dip (our tradition on all tours - definitely recommend it!) and printing Scorpions Brazil stickers and mini pamphlets. Did you find or receive any of these at the shows in São Paulo and Porto Alegre?
It's always good to rest a bit at someone's place during these tours. We feel more comfortable, eat better, do things more calmly, and leave some of the anxiety aside. But waking up the next day - the day of a concert, is a whole other story. I confess that I had hoped to see all the shows at Monsters of Rock, but it wasn't possible. The Scorpions staff sent out our tickets around 3 pm and the festival was already halfway through. We even thought they would send out our tickets later than that, so the rush to leave the apartment was inevitable.
We thought there wouldn't be anything special for us with the band at Monsters of Rock, but when we picked up our tickets at Allianz Parque, we saw the information that there would indeed be a meet and greet. And so we’re rushing around again. We had already met Newton Júnior from Curitiba (also known as Juninho) at the entrance of the vip area, so he and I went looking for where the meet and greet access would be, and soon found out the information with the help of the local staff. We all left together, but at this point, we were already a large group: Roberta, David, Bela, Junior, and me. Roberta and I managed to get lost for a few minutes and the running around became more intense. Luckily, we arrived backstage with time to spare, and I even accomplished an extra feat: when I entered the backstage area, quite short of breath and a bit disoriented, I bumped into Michael Kiske. For those who don't know, just like Scorpions, Helloween marked my teenage years, and during a conversation with Michael Kiske in 2019, he put me on the guest list for Rock in Rio. It was one of the craziest experiences of my life, being at the festival with my name on the Scorpions and Helloween guest lists! So, this year I had the opportunity to personally thank him for this favor he did for me. It was an emotional moment for me! But back to Scorpions, we waited a bit longer there in the backstage. It was at this moment that I met Larissa Catharine, with whom I had already been talking on Instagram and WhatsApp. And there, when we were finally all together as a team, we made her an offer: we wanted her to be part of Scorpions Brazil, and she accepted right away. So yes, our team has grown this year and we're thinking of many new things to do on social media to keep this connection with the rock believers always alive.
The wait is long and we received the same instructions again, not to speak with the band, not to greet them, not to take selfies, not to ask for autographs. Another meet without a greet. Fifteen seconds for the photo and it was over. This time the band was complete for the photo. After all that, we headed to the VIP area. We still had time to watch the end of Deep Purple's show, which was worth it. So we could relax a bit, have a beer, take selfies and pictures of our group, and look for a spot to watch the Scorpions show that started next. It wasn't easy to find a good spot, we couldn't get that close to the stage, and most of the fans around us seemed to be just saving their places for the Kiss show.
Fotos do Meet and Greet
A bit of a disappointment at Monster of Rock for those who know the band's shows was to see that the kabuki-style curtain could not be installed. The staff tried but had to give up halfway. In no way did this affect the band's performance, it's just something that we, who have seen so many Scorpions shows, know was different. Just like the stage runway, which was also not part of the structure that day.
Estádio lotado cantando o refrão de Wind of Change
Gravado por Patrícia Camara
As soon as Seventh Sun ended, I decided to take a walk around Allianz Parque and have different perspectives of the show. I went to the back of the crowd, where the premium area meet the rest of the public, I went to the sides and, from the resting area, I had a complete view of the killer audience doing the chorus of Wind of Change in unison! During that walk, I found an oasis. Our VIP pass gave us access to the Backstage Mirante of the stadium, an area on the seventh-floor with an open bar, lounge, and a heavy metal party. I wasn't even dressed for it, but what a find! From up there, a peripheral view of the packed stadium while the band played Still Loving You, but with no view of the stage. I went down to the VIP standing area again to see the end of the show, moved by the fact that the band had the opportunity to play for that audience that engaged in the Scorpions' biggest hits in history and surely created a fantastic memory for them.
|Scorpions no Mosnters of Rock | Por David Araújo
After the show, I called everyone from our group to Backstage Mirante, after all, we deserved to be there. For those who are curious (and able) to buy a ticket to the area, they served salmon poke, donuts, hot dogs, hamburgers with fries, açaí in a cup, popsicles, and mini pizzas. There were soft drinks, water, beer, whisky, coktails and wine available. It was also possible to rest at the outdoor lounge, with sofas and beans bags. The access to the Backstage Mirante also grants access to the VIP standing area in front of the stage, you can go upstairs and downstairs freely and the 7th floor stays open after the shows. It is definitely an experience worth having. We stayed there until they sent us away (lol crying) and even took some food home. #NoClass
|Scorpions - Palco do Monsters of Rock | Por David Araújo
Grateful for having a few days off before the next show, we all headed to Porto Alegre (and Larissa even met us in the city on the day of the show). Roberta and I came to my place and I even lived a normal life for a few days, working, cleaning the house, going to the supermarket, etc, but already preparing myself for the last show of the tour and taking in what we had experienced in these last few days. Porto Alegre still gave us more than we could imagine, but I'll leave that for David Araújo to tell in the next part!