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Date: 4/10/13
Venue: Gramercy Theater, NYC
Report By: Rich Catino

With the recent reactivation of Accept and their worldwide success with two albums of new music and touring, their former singer Udo Dirkschneider, who has been active for many years recording music and touring elsewhere in the world, was long overdue to make his return to the US with his equally relevant contribution to metal music, U.D.O. Been over yen years since Udo played some shows in North America. Prior to the release of the forthcoming album, “Steelhammer”, this run of dates are just to test the American market (which unfortunately in recent years has lost its numbers in supporters for the European traditional/power metal bands like U.D.O.) for possible future more extensive touring.

Armed with a mix of solo and Accept tunes, Udo and the boys, now joined by new guitarists Andrey Smirnov and Kasperi Heikkinen, were well prepared and for this long time fan it was like recharging a car battery once they launched into the title track of “Rev-Raptor”. ‘Thunderball’, title track to the album of the same name, followed with charging double bass and guitars. ‘They Want War’ comes from the debut “Animal House” (also later in the set), to ‘Leatherhead’ another from the most recent album “Rev-Raptor”, ‘24/7’ off “Mission No. X”, flowed well before dusting off the Accept classic ‘Screaming For A Love Bite’ which the crowd sang along to. Udo, stocky, a little fuller in the midsection, sounds the same with that unique Germanic gritty voice, makes his way around the stage connecting with the audience often pointing out the enthusiastic with eyes wide open. The guitar tandem of Andrey and Kasperi are great additions, nicely in synch and doing a great job recapturing those memorable leads and solos Wolf Hoffman wrote (understandably not with the same flair and tone) on the Accept classics ‘Metal Heart’, ‘Balls to the Wall’, ‘Fast as a Shark’. But, Andrey Smirnov did show he’s got his own chops of his own playing a solo that included a rendition of the haunted house classic Toccata and Fugue (see here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjLzysLtU1M ). Title track to “Timebomb” and ‘Burning Heat’ off the same album, ‘Break The Rules’ off “Mean Machine” were great additions (Udo often does rotate older tunes from earlier albums), but after ten years not at least one from the excellent “Solid”, “No Limits”, “Faceless World” or “Holy”? Hopefully next time.

They Want War
Screaming for a Love-Bite
Head Over Heels
Burning Heat
Man and Machine
Animal House
Break the Rules
Metal Heart
Balls to the Wall
Fast as a Shark

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