05. October 2014, Hyde Park, Osnabrück, Germany (Photos by Timo Pässler on Flickr)
After a hiatus of more than 10 years, Accept are came back with a bang! With their new vocalist Mark Tornillo they released 3 great albums in only 4 years. And the band also plays live shows on a regular basis. We checked their current form in Osnabruck.
It is 19:00 h on a Sunday evening when I arrive at the Hyde Park in Osnabrück. On the parking lot already some lovers of true German steel have gathered, waiting for the doors to open. I guess that the average age of the present crowd is around 51.3 years.
A little bit later, the situation in the venue is a bit different: When Damnation Day open up the evening at 20:00 h, the average age is much younger. Especially in the front, people between 25 and 35 outnumber the rest.
Damnation Day should be familiar to only a few today. At the beginning there is only a minimum of applause and only from the first 3 rows. The songs of the 4 Australian guys are quite diverse, but without climax. I did actually not discover any chorus and no part remained until the next sip from my beer. Quite bad conditions to convince the audience. But the guys compensate this with an enthusiastic and technical appealing performance. So at the end of the set, the peoples´ arms in the first 5 rows go up to give them a big hand. But the exit of the band is as unremarkable as their songs: They leave the stage without announcing the last song, without “Good Bye!” and without “Thank You!”
When Accept enter the stage 30 minutes later, nobody remembers the opening act. Already the opening of the gig shows that Accept in 2014 is no nostalgia act (take a look at our interview with Wolf Hoffmann). The first 4 Songs are all taken from the latest 3 albums. After that 3 classics are being played, but the ratio of new material remains high throughout the whole show. 12 of the 21 performed songs are taken from the albums recorded with the new vocalist Mark Tornillo. This is a courageous yet consequent way, because the albums released since 2010 do provide the same high quality as the classic albums from the 80s. And it works! Especially the younger guys in the audience celebrate the new and the classic songs with the same intensity. Although I don`t understand the selection of some songs (why not playing smashers like “Beat The Bastards” or “Blood Of The Nations” instead of more average songs like “No Shelter” or “Final Journey”?), I think that this is the right way! The new songs are too strong to ignore them.
Beside the setlist, the performance is another important factor. Peter Baltes (bass) and Wolf Hoffmann (git) perform with full power. Hermann Frank is a bit more relaxed while playing, but he`s delivering one tight guitar riff after the next, as well as Stefan Schwarzmann on drums, who is not a show animal, but delivering absolutely tight beats. The new vocalist Mark Tornillo seems to have warmed up as being the new frontman and Accept is no longer imaginable without him. Especially his vocal performance is without flaw. But it is a bit strange that neither he nor the others talk to the audience. Sometimes he announces the next song, but that`s it. On the other hand, this keeps the net playing time of a 2 hour-show really high, but on the other hand a little bit more communication would be nice.
So the A mark (setlist) and the B mark (performance) are satisfying. But the C mark (show) is actually below average. The stage for example, is only lightly decorated. Some amp walls, a drum riser and that`s it. There is no video show or back drop and also the light show is quite simple a bit to static. Guys, a few more power in this field would raise the whole show onto a higher level!
All in all, it was a nice concert evening which demonstrated power of Accept today. The missing show elements made in this case the difference between an “only” good and an excellent show.
Losers & Winners
From The Ashes We Rise
Restless & Wild
Ahead Of The Pack
Princess Of The Dawn
Dark Side Of My Heart
Fast As A Shark
Balls To The Wall