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Accept Live Review

Posted on Saturday, October 23, 2010 at 12:01AM by Registered CommenterChristian Graus | Comments12 Comments

At some ungodly hour, in my aisle seat, in economy, on an Airbus A380 bound from Sydney to Los Angeles, I woke, sat up, and thought to myself “I am going to the Key Club, to see Accept live.” Even then, it still seemed too good to be true. And at that stage, I still didn’t know just how great it would turn out to be.

A few days before, I had realised that a trip I had already planned got me in to LA one day too late to see the band I’ve eagerly followed since early high school. Songs like “Balls to the Wall,” “Princess of the Dawn,” “Metal Heart” and “Burning” played a big part in my teenager years and beyond. So, I paid the change fee, booked a hotel and bought a VIP ticket online (having no idea what VIP meant), and headed off. In LA, I met up with a handful of other members of the Accept forum, and spent a pleasant afternoon in the Rainbow, counting the pictures of Lemmy. We wandered over when we got a text to say there was a sound check going on and our friend was inside. We missed that, but then Peter (Baltes, the bass player) came out and chatted to us for a while. Afterwards, we went to the Rainbow, and Peter came and chatted again. Finally, we headed to the venue, and I found out that my VIP got me in early, and to a meet and greet. We also got first shot at the remaining merch (which was limited as it was the last night of the tour). I bought a hoodie, two T-shirts, a cap, etc, then was ushered in to meet the band. They had heard I was coming, in a radio interview, so we had a good chat, they signed my stuff, and then I raced off to get to the front.


The whole event was emceed by DJ Will from KNAC, who did a great job. A personal highlight was him saying “Where’s the maniac who came from Tasmania?!” and when he saw me, he said “Hey, I met you at M3.” Yes, he did. I love my metal. There were three opening acts, who all seemed to be reformed old bands that I’d not heard of. The first band, I don’t recall the name, but when the singer is in a Venom T-shirt, that has to be a bad sign. It was. The second band was called MX Machine, and they were pretty good, straight ahead metal. The last band, Ruthless, were also very good. The singer seemed to be able to do a decent high-pitched Rob Halford, but only did it for the start of a few songs. If I’d not blown all my cash and left my ATM card in my room, I’d have bought their CDs.


I had posted on the forum some of the songs I hoped to hear, and I’d given my list backstage and been told I may be in luck. When the setlist was taped to the stage, I could see I was in for a great night. The band opened with “Starlight,” not my favourite Accept song, but it was killer live. Then they played “Living for Tonight” and “Breaker” before launching in to two new songs, “Teutonic Terror” and “Bucket Full of Hate.” Accept is the only band I’ve seen that is making new music, where the new songs sound just as good as the old, and where the audience responds just as well to the new material, instead of going to the bar or the bathroom. Mark Tornillo sounds awesome, unlike David Reece, who sounded far too clean after the turbo charged gravel of Udo. Mark has enough gravel in his voice to make the classic songs sound ‘authentic,’ but has his own sound, too, which he uses to great effect on the new CD, and live. Classic followed classic as they played “Restless and Wild,” “Son of a Bitch,” “Metal Heart” and “Neon Nights.” Then the next song was “Bulletproof.” This is a later day Accept song, from the Objection Overruled album. During this song Wolf and Peter came forward and played a duelling guitar solo, with Wolf playing licks on the guitar, and Peter answering on bass. It was a definite highlight of the night.


The band as a whole was incredibly tight, both musically, and visually, with the three guitar players often getting into a line and moving in tandem to the music. In between, Wolf was the classic guitar hero, all over the stage as he played flawlessly. As I said, I was right in front of him, the band uses in ear foldback so there were no wedges on the stage, and the band played right up to the edge of the stage.


The band played “Losers and Winners” next, followed by two more new songs, “The Abyss” and “No Shelter.” If anyone reading this does not have the new album, Blood of the Nations, you need to stop what you’re doing, and go and order a copy. I buy a lot of CDs, and there’s only three in the past year or so that I’ve found myself going back to over and over again, and of those three, the new Accept is the best heavy metal album in my opinion. As I’ve said, the new songs fit in to the set flawlessly and were greeted with as much enthusiasm - and as much singing along - as the classics were.


The rest of the main set was “Up to the Limit,” “Monsterman” and “Fast as a Shark.” It was quite amusing to hear a room full of metal heads singing along to a melody I knew from my German grandfather’s record collection before I first heard Accept use it to start their proto thrash masterpiece. The encore started with another new song, “Pandemic.” It’s a metal disease, indeed. Then they played their two biggest songs, “Princess of the Dawn” (my favorite) and “Balls to the Wall.”


After the show, I tried to get a guitar pick, and ended up wrestling with five guys for it. I posted about it on the Accept board (mostly to suggest that they sell them as merch), and got a reply from Peter offering to send me a pick. All through this, apart from the killer show, the thing that has blown me away is how much they interact with their fans. Peter had told me earlier in the day that the tour has gone really well, and they’ve had all great reviews and are very happy with how the album and tour have been received. The music is killer, the show was flawless, but I do think that their willingness to interact with the fans is at least part of the reason they have been welcomed back with such open arms.


So, the show was over, and because of my pick scuffle, I had lost contact with my new friends. I later found out that they stayed behind and met the band again, who, despite being as jetlagged as I was (they’d just come in from Japan), came out to meet them. However, I had a flight in the morning, so I walked out, go into a cab, and went back to my hotel. It was a fair bit of work, and a bit of money to change my plans to see Accept, but it was totally worth it as I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I told the band that I’d come to see them, so they owe it to me to come to Australia, and they said that some talks are happening, and they are going to travel through the U.S. again next year, after Europe, so if you didn’t see them this time around, I recommend you do, because it was a great concert, no doubt about it.

Reader Comments (12)

Very Cool!! You're right, the new album is a total monster. Definitely top of the year list material.
October 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJack
Without a doubt, for me only Slash and A7X came close.
October 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChristian
Pfft! Talk about eating your own, Christian (review, that is)! They blow away Slash and A7X!

Excellent review. My ex-leadguitarist saw 'em in Baltimore a few weeks ago and described a very similar experience as you had in L.A.. I was headed there but my Dad became very ill so I had to skip it.

I did manage to see 'em in '92 at Hammerjack's with the original line-up for the "Objection Overruled Tour". Wolf was phenomenal, as was UDO and the rest of the band. We were point blank in front of Wolf.

Here's what I've heard about him. He plays lead purposely slower than he can actually play so the listener can "understand" his leads. He is a graduate of Julliard where he majored in classical guitar.

Another cool thing about them is the fact that his wife rights all of the lyrics.

Just so you know, "Metal Heart" is my favorite 80's Metal album. "Midnight Mover" is my favorite 80's Metal song. I wonder why they never play that live?

Mark is a KILLER singer and my friend's review of him was equally stellar to yours.

Have you ever heard his T.T. Quick stuff from back in the day. Check out T.T. Quick's cover of The Dave Clark Five's "Glad All Over" and you can see why Wolf and the boyz asked him to take over for UDO!

One thing, though. I don't know why you would say David Reece's voice was too clean. Listen to "Generation Clash". Sounds plenty rough to me, though, admittedly, not as gravely.

Anyway, excellent review, Christian and I hope to catch 'em next year, unless I can make it to Europe this year, which I definitely want to do to catch some of our faves who don't make it over here to perform. Maybe I can add one of their shows to my itinerary.

p.s. It was great to see you at M3, albeit briefly. We will have to hang longer next time especially now that we have our love of Accept in common! Al, I'm tellin' ya, as well as anyone else out there. Listen to the "Metal Heart" album! Not one dud on it!
October 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
Oh, and it's so cool you hung out at The Rainbow. As I've mentioned here before, I got drunk(er) with Brian Connelly (RIP) of Sweet there one night in '97. He actually gave me a lift from The Four Seasons bar up there in his '68 green Rolls! Wild!
October 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
Yeah, I think I like the previous two albums a little more, but Metal Heart is killer. Thanks for the insight in to Wolf's leads, I obviously could tell he had some classical training, I love how he weaves classical themes in to his leads. A7X and Slash both have very different styles to Accept. All three are excellent at what they do. Yeah, we should try to catch up at M3 again, we can stand either side of Allyson and sing 'Balls to the wall' to her.
October 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChristian
Her favorite! I do a great UDO impression, so that should finally win her over, Christian! Especially since she'll be getting it in stereo.

I wonder where Eric stands on Accept.

It's funny, a guy I trade Vintage 80's Demos with, who is like The King Of Glam Metal on Ebay, abhors Accept. I can't figure it out for the life of me! He's a major Glammster though will make an exception for Iron Maiden. He absolutely loves Iron Maiden to death but thinks Accept is a joke. He sells almost all Glam Metal stuff on Ebay, and the occasional Maiden or Dio CD, but most of it is pure L.A. Glam Metal. But no Accept, go figure!
October 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
I think that Udo's voice is a bit too much for some people. Yet, everyone loves Lemmy. Go figure.
October 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChristian
Yeah, look, I love Lemmy, but let's be real...

Am I gonna sit there and listen to an entire album of his barking? The music is too simplistic.

Accept, however, sustains the listener's interest through Udo's barking and growling, which I find a lot more pleasurable (hahaha!!!) and more fascinating to listen to than Lemmy, regardless.

Huh-uh-lo-oh! "Metal Heart", people!
October 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
Yeah, I'd agree that Accept has a lot more depth than Motorhead. I can enjoy a whole motorhead album tho, the songs don't all sound the same, and some albums, like Bastards for example, are just one great song after another.
October 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChristian
"1916" is great, too!

But, again, more going on with Accept and believe it or not, more going on with Udo's voice than with Lemmy's.

For me, Lemmy's bark gets older a lot faster than Udo's when you are listening to those bands over an extended period of time...
October 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
I just want to thank you for mentioning Ruthless,in your review.We are going to be playing with Accept again when they come back through LA.If you get a chance we will be in Athens Greece,to play the UP THE HAMMERS Fest in March,beers will be on me ,once again thank you for your kind words.

Sammy D
November 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSammy D
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