This has been a very good year for the Scorpions.
Even though the German hard rockers will have been away from home almost the whole year, they couldn't be happier about how things are going. The band truly loves the road; as guitarist Rudolf Schenker says, "We have fun. Because we have done many world tours already, we have good friends in nearly every city."
Nor does it hurt that "Crazy World," the group's latest album, is a worldwide success. "We have a Top-10 hit in Europe now with 'Wind of Change,' " he says, over the phone from Toronto. "In France, it's No. 1 for seven, eight weeks; in Belgium, the same thing. And in the other places, it's only Top-5 so far."
Here in the United States, things are a bit slower; "Wind of Change" has yet to dent the pop charts, though it's doing well with hard rock radio.
Schenker has noticed a distinct difference between American and European audiences.
"European people, they go into a concert to see a concert," he says. "American people, they go into the concert to have a party. That to me is not bad. They're enjoying the concert also, but the reaction is different. It's like the people in Europe are more into listening, and then enjoying it, while the Americans also listen, but they are emotional into it the whole time."
Does the band prefer one over the other?
"We feel both have good sides," he answers, diplomatically. "When we see the crowds, Americans are [always cheering], like a thunderstorm, you know? The European ones are a little bit shy in the beginning, but eventually go up to full power.
"It's like different women. You can't say, 'This one is better' or 'That one is better.' It's just different.
"That's the reason we can play songs like we do," he adds. "A song we've played 10,000 times already, we're still playing it. And we enjoy it, we play it every day differently. We're playing the same notes, but with a different audience, you feel a difference in the music.
"That's an important point of a musician. You have to open to the crowd. Then you have a different feel for the song in Knoxville, a different feel in Toronto. I think that's the big secret," he concludes. "Because then you can enjoy playing every day much more, because you let the people playing with you together."
When: Tonight, 7:30.
Where: The Capital Centre, Landover.
Call: 481-6000 for tickets, 792-7490 for information.