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Scorpions Honor Ronnie James Dio In Los Angeles

Frazer Harrison, Getty Images

With most of the members in their early 60s, Germany’s teutonic titans Scorpions have already announced their current world tour will be their last. And while the band is receiving lots of love on the road, at their sold-out show at Los Angeles’ Nokia Theater they spread the love around, paying homage to fallen friend Ronnie James Dio, who passed away earlier this year from stomach cancer.

Before ‘Send Me an Angel,’ which frontman Klaus Meine dedicated to Dio, he spoke of the late metal icon, calling him “one of the great singers in rock ‘n’ roll and a close friend of ours.” In L.A. where Dio was just honored with a public memorial his legacy, the impact is still greatly felt, and the crowd shared Meine’s sentiments, breaking into an impromptu Dio chant as Meine encouraged them, first holding his hand to his ears to yell louder and then tapping his chest multiple times as the chant grew.

It was a beautiful moment in a night that was all about celebration. In their 45-year history, Scorpions have enjoyed a great deal of success in L.A. and surrounding areas, including an appearance on the metal day of the 1983 U.S. Festival in nearby Devore, Calif. and a sold-out gig at the Forum in 1982 with a then-young Bon Jovi opening. And fans came out in droves — including many who couldn’t get in and stood in front of the theater box office looking for last-minute tickets — to say farewell to one of metal’s greatest acts.

The Scorps may feel ready to move on — and after 45 years of service and monster albums like ‘Blackout,’ ‘Love at First Sting,’ ‘Lovedrive’ and more, the band has earned a gold Big Ben clock on retirement — but they proved they can still rock, delivering hits like ‘The Zoo,’ ‘Loving You Sunday Morning,’ ‘No One Like You’ and ‘Blackout’ with the same musicianship, energy, passion and, most importantly, enthusiasm, they showed when they were a top 10 band in the ’70s and ’80s.

The show ended appropriately with ‘Rock You Like a Hurricane,’ and Scoprions had done just that, leaving some great last memories in Los Angeles.

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