Live at The Key Club in
October 19th, 2010
Accept are definitely rock legends dating from the late seventies and early eighties, as I have distinct childhood memories of their hit songs.
When I first listened to their new 2010 release, "Blood of the Nations", I was honestly really impressed with their new songs and thought it would be a blast to see them live.
In actuality, they blew me away with their talent and sound and it ended up being a show to be mentioned many times since, as I think back to the night of the performance.
This was their first LA show in nineteen years and their first album since 1996. Some reunions feel as though they are all about the money but these guys brought more passion than bands composed of members a third of their age.
I was super impressed with Wolf Hoffmann's guitar skills to say the least. The sound was so spot on, you could hear every vibrating string's intonations and when he and Peter Baltes engaged in a guitar versus bass showdown it was really amazing.
Mentioning the bass, this was one of the best uses of bass guitar in live rock I think I have ever witnessed, Peter's talent is immense. Instead of it just being there and building up the rhythm, it was an integral part to the articulated sound these guys put out.
Add to these two virtuosos, the power of Herman Frank on an additional guitar and then Stefan Schwarzmann on drums, and you have a robust, energetic sound that rivaled any show I have seen to date.
The new singer, Mark Tornillo, is not only a fitting replacement for Udo Dirkschneider but brings a new edge to the sound. His metal wails and angst, coupled with his front man charisma had the crowd at bay with just the first song, "Starlight".
I found his vocals really shined on the new songs like "The Abyss", where he fluctuated from the banshee wail to a less brutal delivery for the apocalyptic lyrics of this excellent song.
With twelve full length releases behind them and over thirty one years of history, there was obviously a lot of ground to cover and it was very interesting to see what hits they chose and how the audience reacted.
The crowd was a huge mix of age ranges and types of people. Accept's history brought metal heads out of the woodwork and fans of all backgrounds united in ridiculously powerful sing alongs to all of their favorites.
I have to break my favorite songs of the night into two camps, the best of the old Accept and then the new material. I personally found the new material to be the best of the entire show and think they have built a very driving and heavy release that stands up to modern rock and metal in all ways.
The guitars have a deeper, more sinister sound on these songs and the lyrics are darker and more in line with my personal tastes these days. From the new album they did hit songs like "Teutonic Terror", "Bucket Full of Hate", as fore mentioned "The Abyss" (which is my current all time favorite song of Accept; it is doom filled, vocally diverse, builds and changes with unexpected interludes, and just kicks ass). They also did "No Shelter" which has a very cool chorus sang by all the band members, and for the first song of the encore they did "Pandemic" which as the song says, "its a metal disease". This last one is the song off the new album that for me falls most in line with older Accept songs and the audience sang it back to them like it had been in CD players for twenty years.
Now out of the old material my personal favorites were "Breaker", "Metal Heart" (which was probably my favorite memory of theirs), "Losers and Winners", and of course the huge hit that ended the night "Balls to the Wall" which was done as a hilariously extended version.
That being said, the song immediately preceding this hit's rendition was my other favorite song of the night and that was "Princess of the Dawn". I had personally forgotten they had written this one and had attributed it to a different metal band of my youth so it surprised and pleased me when they did it, and the rest of the audience went crazy for it too.
The entire band wore smiles on their faces and really enjoyed their time on stage. Wolf is a lot of fun to watch as he makes crazy faces while pulling off equally crazy guitar feats and the entire crowd fed off of his energy.
This performance was streamed live over the web so every now and then Mark would address the crowd both in person and watching in their homes and on their phones, and thanked all of the personnel and fans for their support.
They put on a great show and if anyone entered the building not being a fan, I am sure they left as one.
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