Udo Dirkschneider makes a rare appearance in the North East of England, as he walks the Geordie rock fraternity down memory lane.
Dirkschneider is performing a full set of classic Accept material from his almost thirty-year career with the band.
Joining Udo on the tour are eighties metal counterparts Anvil. The release of their documentary, The Story of Anvil, which followed the band’s history from playing stadiums in Japan through to playing local bars back in Toronto seemed to reinvigorate the band’s career. Pioneers of heavy metal, Anvil have been cited by the likes of Metallica and Slayer as a major influence, and it’s easy to see why.
The band instantly grabs your attention. Frontman Lips makes his way to the stage from the back of the room through the middle of the audience and continues to perform in the crowd throughout “March of the Crabs.” He follows up with the classic, “666,” also from their seminal album, Metal on Metal. Some recent personnel changes see the new bass player Chris Robertson join the band.
Anvil released their incredible sixteenth studio album, Anvil on Anvil, at the start of the year and of course, there is room in the band’s set for a track from the album, namely “Die For A Lie.” Lips gives a demonstration of slide guitar trickery with a unique solo aided by a vibrator.
Robb Reiner proves exactly why Lips regards him as the best drummer in metal during “Swing Thing” from the Juggernaut of Justice album. Reiner unleashes a ferocious drum solo. The band closes out their set with a fist-pumping rendition of “Metal on Metal.”
The lights go down and Dirkschneider’s intro tape, “Just a Gigolo,” by Louis Prima rolls. The band take to the stage and launch straight into a triple whammy of Accept classics in the shape of “Flash Rockin’ Man,” the melodic “Midnight Mover,” and “Breaker.” The latter features some great twin guitar harmonies between Andrey Smirnov and Kasperi Heikkinen.
There is great stage chemistry in the band. The five-piece sound tight and Udo commands the stage. The crowd hangs on every word of “Princess of the Dawn” before Udo changes up the pace with the epic ballad, “Winter Dreams.”
Drummer Sven Dirkschneider perched in his drum cage competes with Anvil drummer Robb Reiner for the largest drum kit this evening. Last year, Sven sat in for Saxon drummer Nigel Glockler during Glockler’s illness which prevented him from touring. Sven’s kick drum beat takes the band straight into “Screaming For A Love Bite” from Accept’s 1985 album, Metal Heart.
There is no stone left unturned tonight, as the fans would want and expect, as Dirkschneider delivers a career-spanning two-hour set of Accept’s greatest hits. The band closes out their main set with “Losers and Winners,” but they aren’t done yet, wrapping up their marathon show by saving the best till last with “Fast As A Shark” and “Balls To The Wall.”
The show was a celebration of metal from two of the genre’s finest. They give the Geordies a night that they will long remember.