Tour diary: From a hailstorm at Pedreira to the ecstasy of Rock in Rio (Part 3 - final)

Foto da visão geral do palco iluminado em verde e amarelo. Show do Scorpions no Rock in Rio.
Rock in Rio. Foto: David Araújo
The passage of Scorpions through Brazil was, literally, a hurricane. Those were some unforgettable days, from the hailstorm that hit us in Curitiba to the ecstasy of the historical return of the band to Rock in Rio 34 years after the first edition in 1985. And our review will not be only about concerts, but also about the great adventure it was to follow these guys around Brazil. Take a seat and read on.

Leia em português aqui.

Part 3 (final)
(Part 1part 2)

October 4th - Rock in Rio
(Metal Day on Palco Mundo stage: Sepultura, Helloween, Iron maiden and Scorpions)

Pati’s tickets were a big problem, a bus from Porto Alegre to Rio de Janeiro would take 26 hours, and the plane tickets were extremely pricey, because of the festival. After many crises of “I’ll go / I won’t go”, she went for the credit card installments and embraced Rock in Rio.It was the best thing to do because Rock in Rio was going to be unforgettable. 

David, Bela, and I took a plane until São Paulo, and from the airport, we went straight to the bus station to get on a bus to Rio de Janeiro, because direct flights were too expensive. David and Bela passed out on the bus soon after eating the meal we took an hour to buy (Rock in Rio was packing airports and bus stations all over Brasil). I stayed awake until we arrived, all through the night. The next day would need a lot of Red Bull…

As we arrived at the bus station, after some horrible traffic, we met Pati, whose flight had arrived half an hour before. That way, we headed to our Airbnb, where Caue and Erich (more friends thanks to Scorpions) were already staying. 

After failing to try to sleep for at least one hour, it was time to leave for the City of Rock. Uber cars couldn’t get very close to the City of Rock, we had to get off the car and walk for more than two kilometers to get our tickets. Already tired from walking and with our feet sore, we managed to get our bracelets. My ankle was throbbing since I had an accident in 2016 and never fully recovered. In fact, the whole tour was a big challenge for my foot, my dear foot that puts up with me all day… 

Roberta, Pati, Bela e David fazendo uma selfie em frente ao letreiro Rock in Rio.
Roberta, Pati, Bela and David
After passing through the gates, we went separate ways to meet friends who were already inside. I met Fábio, my friend from Rio. Among the crowd, we lost each other for the rest of the night: David and Bela to one side, Pati went on to see Helloween, Fabio and I were lost in the crowd that was going mad waiting for Iron Maiden. In fact, one thing to consider is that there were only Iron Maiden products being sold outside the City of Rock.

I saw the first Iron Maiden concert of my life. I must say, despite some annoying fans trying to put up a fight with people sitting on the ground between one concert and another, the experience was fantastic. Maiden is not a band I usually listen to, their style does not please me, however, seeing them live is a different story, what a performance, what a stage! It’s theatrical, visceral, it’s impossible not to get involved and jump with them. But the thrill of the night hit when Scorpions took the stage. As soon as Iron Maiden finished their performance, many fans left their place, but unlike what many were saying, they weren’t leaving the show, they were leaving to get some water, go to the bathroom, get more beer...Space was opened for Scorpions fans to get close to the stage, which I couldn’t do very well, because I had never seen a Scorpions concert from so far away, and yet, it was a unique experience. Did some people leave? Yes. Just as others were coming in just to see Scorpions. Overall, the public stayed put, as far as the eyes could see (literally! You couldn’t see the end of the crowd).

Foto de Rudolf Schenker levantando sua FLying V e Matthias Jabs tocando a icônica guitarra verde e amarela do Rock in Rio 85
Foto: David Araújo
When the intro began, my heart started beating stronger, and when they finally got on that stage, all the excitement exploded into screams. Those were the Scorpions at Rock in Rio! Thirty-four years after the legendary performance in ‘85. The setlist was the same from the tour, except for Cidade Maravilhosa, an expected surprise, and Klaus sang it wonderfully, in a sweet and emotional way, with his pronunciation of “shidade” and a nice accent to it, building a bridge to the past to when he sang the same song on the first edition of the festival. The green guitar with small Brazilian flags in Matthias’ hands was also in charge of making that connection with the past. 

The public’s biggest engagement was during the long-awaited moment: Wind of Change was one voice in all City of Rock, and many tears to the sound of Klaus’ whistling, the emotion took over everybody. Still Loving You swayed the hearts in love and Rock You Like a Hurricane lifted more than 100 thousand people singing, shouting and jumping in one voice during the remarkable chorus that left a mark generation after generation. Klaus Meine’s voice. Klaus’ VOICE… what is that voice? It penetrates my soul, gives me the goosebumps, and sounds more perfect every year.

When the band left the stage the firworks began at Palco Mundo, it felt like this emptiness took over me, and I think many of those there as well. Pati, David and Bela, some other friends and I found each other after the concert, we were dead beat, but over the moon. The long-awaited Brazilian tour and the return of the band to Rock in Rio was officially over. And some signs of reality were getting to us. One day at a time, that night,t the magic of the moment was the only thing that mattered. We gathered at our meeting point and began our saga of walking over three kilometers to get an Uber and finallygo back to our Airbnb. It was 5 am when we finally got there. No sleeping beauties: a little before that we got the news that Klaus and Rudolf had signed the cards and pictures we left with them (some for contests) and that we should get them at the hotel before they left. We didn’t even sleep. Just a shower, a one hour nap and we were ready to get in that Rio de Janeiro’s traffic.

We arrived with our bags in the hotel, we had already checked out from the Airbnb. We got off the car. There were barricades all around the hotel, fans of different bands stood outside. “Good morning, are you here to check in?”. I did my poker face: “We are here to meet a guest”. And I gave the name of the band’s tour manager. “One minute, I will check”. And so we waited until our entrance was authorized. Thank god! It was so hot in that city, the air conditioner in the hotel was more than welcome. Alex greeted us and gave us the autographs, we thanked him, we talked a bit about the experience at Rock in Rio and we said goodbye.

Since we were already there, why not stay and say goodbye to the band too? We put our guest-faces on and hung out. I was thirsty, let’s buy something so we don’t draw any attention, right? I paid TWELVE reais on a bottle of water. Pati ordered tea that cost TWELVE reais. David and Bela didn’t get anything (tap water is free, isn’t it?). Ok, we weren’t outside and there was air conditioning. And we waited, we waited, we waited…. Part of us was hunger and exhaustion (48 hours without sleeping), the other part wanted to see the band and say a last goodbye. I think after four hours we saw the security guards moving around, luggage and staff. And there they were, coming downstairs. Rudolf and Klaus saw us, came to say hi and bye. Klaus, as he was leaving the hotel, tried to talk to some fans, two pictures and they rushed into their cars, and from inside, they waved. And so they left the airport, the tour was officially over. If at the end of the concert I felt empty, now I felt happy, empty, with a mix of nostalgia and the expectation for a new return. 

Scorpions at the end of Rock in Rio. Photo: David Araújo
And now we must eat pizza because hunger became us. Let’s sleep, because exhaustion became us. Let’s meet some other friends, go for a walk, enjoy the last minute in the wonderful city. And then let’s go home, each one of us in a bus, on a plane… on our way to Salvador, Porto Alegre, Cotia...each one from a different side of the country, on an incredible reunion that only Scorpions could allow us. 

See you soon, Scorpions!

Written by Roberta Forster, translated to English by Patrícia Camara.

Setlist Rock in Rio 2019
00. Intro 
01. Going Out With a Bang 
02. Make It real 
03. The Zoo 
04. Coast To Coast 
05. 70's Medley (Top Of The Bill, Steamrock Fever, Speedy's Comin, Catch Your Train) 
06. We Built This House 
07. Delicate Dance 
08. Cidade Maravilhosa 
09. Send Me An Angel 
10. Wind Of Change 
11. Tease Me, Please Me 
12. Drum Solo Mikkey Dee 
13. Blackout 14. Big City Nights 

15. Still Loving You 
16. Rock You Like a Hurricane