Review By Alison Booth
Contribution By Mohsen Fayazi
Any day is a great day for going to a metal concert for me, but especially if it’s going to see metal titans ACCEPT! To see the band on the official release day (13th January) of their new “Restless And Live” package made it even more special, along with the fact that I had my son with me who was experiencing ACCEPT for the first time. The band was appearing as the special guest on SABATON‘s European “The Last Tour”.
The O2 Apollo in Manchester was absolutely packed with metal fans young and older, both men and women. Unfortunately due to a delay with the taxi, we arrived just as TWILIGHT FORCE were finishing their set and I distinctly noticed that when usually at this point the crowd dissipates, this time most people stayed in their places and even more arrived, I’m sure because they did not want to miss out on the special guests. I was lucky to have a very clear central view from my privileged FOH position, along with my son and some ACCEPT friends. I had some time to check out the new stage set before ACCEPT hit the stage and what an epic new set it is! The whole assembly is very eyecatching with a great balance of light, colour and composition, the backdrop giving a vibe of the Cold War days and the set around the stage looking extremely cool – the metal effect panels look very 3D and realistic, drawing you into that place! It is very bold and different to previous ACCEPT sets.
Pretty soon the lights went down and I felt a shiver of excitement in the crowd, then we were plunged into enigmatic darkness for what was to come, before the resonance of the mighty guitar riff of ‘Stampede’ kicked off the show, the band bursting onto the stage to be greeted by an enthusiastic crowd! Like a freight train the band ploughed straight into ‘Stalingrad’, Mark Tornillo‘s vocals sounding strong and in great shape, as always interacting with the crowd.
A couple of classics up next – ‘London Leatherboys’ and ‘Restless And Wild’, the majority of the crowd in front and around me were joining in with the well known lyrics and responding to requests to clap from Peter Baltes and Wolf Hoffmann.
Back to the “Blind Rage” album for ‘Final Journey’, such perfect execution and the band always look like they’re having the time of their lives, it’s so refreshing to see big smiles from artists on stage, yet they’re always so professional. Especially during the solo, the twin axe brothers Peter and Wolf were obviously having lots of fun! ACCEPT sounded in first class form and relative newcomers (the first time I had seen them), Christopher Williams on drums and Uwe Lulis on guitar, looked as if they had always been there! The massive drum kit was a focal point in the centre of the stage, complete with metal frame, gong and twin bass drums, along with the eyecatching “Restless And Wild” image.
At this point I need to mention the lighting and smoke effects which looked stunning and worked in harmony with the music up there on stage, enhancing the moves of the band members and completing the aesthetics. Also from my viewpoint, a big mention to the crew and sound engineers who work so hard throughout the show, ensuring the best possible sound for the crowd!
‘Princess Of The Dawn’ and ‘Fast As A Shark’ were real crowd pleasers, it never gets old seeing these iconic ACCEPT songs being performed! The audience choir was in fine form, joining in with both tracks. Uwe and Wolf took centre stage for the solo in ‘Fast As A Shark’, which is indeed a unique one throughout the whole of heavy metal history, smiles on display while shredding away!
Time always flies when rocking with ACCEPT, especially this time, but before we said goodybe and sent these giants of metal off to Europe, we were treated to the final three songs of the show – ‘Metal Heart’, ‘Teutonic Terror’ and of course ‘Balls To The Wall’, which brought the house down. Even though this isn’t ACCEPT‘s tour and many of the fans in the venue were there for SABATON, I really feel the band won over those fans that might not have known or seen them before and they showed they are very much a strong force to be reckoned with! The crowd fully participated through the whole set, which was a very memorable night for all metalheads there!
Show Rating: 10/10
ACCEPT SET LIST – Tour January 2017
Restless And Wild
Princess Of the Dawn
Fast as a Shark
Balls To The Wall