Review By Ali Blackdiamond
Only one place in the UK was lucky enough to have a night of metal with the German giants ACCEPT in 2014 and that place was The Forum in London on Thursday 27th November. Even luckier me to be watching the show from the mixing desk, which was an interesting hive of activity throughout.
The venue filled up quite early and a large proportion of the crowd I noticed were middle aged males, long time fans of ACCEPT without a doubt. The floor was pretty full when support act VOODOO SIX hit the stage. I only caught half of their set but thoroughly enjoyed what I saw –stand in vocalist Nik Taylor-Stoakes did a great job and the whole band was full of energy with great music, which went down well with the crowd.
At 9pm the lights went down and ACCEPT exploded onto the stage and didn’t let up for the next action packed two hours! One of the many things that is a constant when the band play live is their pure energy, they have more than most bands half their age! With the combined too many to mention years in the music business, ACCEPT are a very tightly run ship, professional to the nth degree, which works like magic up onstage. Mix that with their classic brand of metal and you’re onto a winner every time.
‘Stampede’, the first single from latest album “Blind Rage” was the opener and I have to say I was really excited to hear the new tracks played live and was not disappointed! The crowd went crazy, demonstrating the fact that many eager fans had been waiting to see their metal heroes in the UK. Mark Tornillo belted out the vocals in fine form, never staying still, flanked by Peter Baltes and Wolf Hoffmann who moved straight to the front of the stage, interacting with fans and looking so happy as always to be playing for them, completed by Wolf’s trademark grin!
No stopping, the onslaught continued straight into ‘Stalingrad’ and throughout the show. Many classic were played such as ‘London Leatherboys’, ‘Losers And Winners’ and ‘Starlight’, but now with the three most recent albums since the band’s triumphant comeback in 2010, many of the songs from these albums were played and have become firm favourites with the fans. So much so, ‘Teutonic Terror’ from “Blood Of The Nations” was part of the encore.
One of my absolute favourites of the whole night was ‘Final Journey’. I’d been dying to see this played live since I first heard “Blind Rage” on its release. Though the whole album is top class, this track really stood out immediately for me, especially with Wolf’s classical solo fusing Grieg’s ‘Peer Gynt – Morning Mood’ with metal – for me, utter perfection and what a treat to see it performed on stage.
You don’t get chit chat from band members at an ACCEPT show, no time for that when there are so many songs to fit into a blistering set! And to be honest it’s not needed, the band interact fully with the crowd through their facial expressions and gestures and just the occasional moment of speech from Mark, for example when introducing ‘Shadow Soldiers’ as a dedication “to our armed forces” which raised a cheer from the crowd.
The quality of the partnership between Peter Baltes and Wolf Hoffmann over almost a 40 year period, is never in doubt, the harmony they present together onstage is always a joy to see. Peter was full of energy throughout the show, headbanging as he delivered those killer bass riffs and as always Wolf’s handling of and execution of songs on his favourite Framus guitars was second to none. Herman Frank and Stefan Schwarzmann provided a solid background to the show, Herman occasionally coming forward for a couple of solos.
At the end of the set, ACCEPT left the stage to rapturous applause and cheers from their UK fans and were soon back to play three encores, finishing with the epitome of a metal classic, ‘Balls To The Wall’, guaranteed to send the crowd wild! ACCEPT never disappoint their fans, always giving 110% to their performance which creates lasting memories for their fans. I left the Forum complete with buzzing ears and along with the other UK fans, anticipating the next (hopefully not too far away!) visit to these shores.
Show Rating: 10/10
Losers And Winners
From The Ashes We Rise
Restless And Wild
Ahead Of The Pack
Princess Of The Dawn
Dark Side Of My Heart
Fast As A Shark
Balls To The Wall