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Accept/ Raven


Date: 9/15/14
Venue: Gramercy Theater, NYC
Report By: Rich Catino
 


Raven (from England, part of the NWOBHM) have always been underground and unfortunately never gained much success beyond their cult following, even with their move to Atlantic Records in the mid 80s and more commercial polished albums like “Stay Hard” (from which they played the single/video ‘On And On’), and “The Pack Is Back”. Still, brothers John (bass, lead vocals) and guitarist Mark Gallagher, with Joe Hasselvander on drums (1987–present), persevered releasing twelve studio albums since the classic “Rock Until You Drop” in 1981. With about 45 minutes tonight, they of course stayed to the classics like the title track to “Rock Till You Drop” (plus ‘Hard Ride’) and “All For One” (also, ‘Take Control’ and ‘Mind Over Metal’), ‘Fire Power’ off “Wiped Out” (1982), and ‘Speed of The Reflex’ taken from the “Mad” E.P. which later it appeared as a bonus track on the “Life’s A Bitch” album. Both John and Mark run around the whole stage with a ton of energy giving their all, living up the corny conation “athletic rock” from the early days. Still enjoyable live, last two albums were pretty solid; “One For All” (2000) and “Walk Through Fire” (2009), and I wish they would play a couple from another solid album, “Architect of Fear” from 1991.

Accept…boy, did they find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow with Mark Tornillo as the new singer for their reformation in 2010 for a return to the concert circuit, and a new fantastic album “Blood Of The Nations”. Really…how many bands can get a new singer after being away for so long, and have their success be as good, if not better, than in their heyday? Not too many. The creative juices were flowing on the followup album “Stalingrad” as original members; guitarist Wolf Hoffmann and bassist Peter Baltes, with second guitarist Herman Frank who goes way back with the band to 1983 and the “Balls to the Wall” album, and Stefan Schwarzmannon on drums since the 90s, continued to enjoy the fruits of labor.

In 2014, three is sure a charm as the latest album, “Blind Rage”, is a perfect end to the trilogy, and as classic as Accept gets. I mean, tonight’s show opener from the album, ‘Stampede’, sais it all as the guys just came out like the bull on the album’s cover. The album had just dropped within the month of this show, and they played five from it. Now that shows confidence in new material against the classics. While Accept is known for the twin guitars and Germanic riffing and melodies heard on the title track to “Stalingrad”, Wolf is the primary soloist and known for his distinct guitar tone. On ‘Hellfire”, one of my favorites from “Stalingrad”, Hoffmann struts his stuff, delivering a killer riff and facial expressions. The new guitar Wolf is playing live just delivers the goods, perfect tone and crunch. And Accept’s sound guy, amps/heads, are just sick because you could hear everything. All instruments were separated and projected clearly through the concert hall. Again, Accept is one of the best sounding live bands I have ever seen. Followed by ‘200 years’, the second to appear from “Blind Rage”, Herman does get to show what he is made of too on ‘Loser And Winners’ off “Balls”, doing some fancy atop the neck fret work in the solo. And Peter doesn’t stop moving or banging his head. ‘Dying Breed’ and ‘Final Journey’ keep the energy and gallop going before slowing things down for the balladeque ‘Shadow Soldiers’ about those who gave their lives for our freedom. Amongst all this newer stuff there are of course the classics, in case you don’t already know; ‘London Leatherboys’, ‘Restless and Wild’, ‘Princess of the Dawn’, ‘Fast As A Shark’, ‘Metal heart’, and ‘Balls To The Ball’ get those singers singing and fists in the air. Speaking of oldies, was great to get ‘Ahead Of The Pack’ and ‘Starlight’…how bout next time I can get some ‘XTC’? LoL.

Raven Setlist:
Take Control
All for One
Hard Ride
Rock Until You Drop
Speed of the Reflex / Mind Over Metal
Fire Power
On and On

Accept Setlist:
Stampede
Stalingrad
Hellfire
200 Years
Losers and Winners
London Leatherboys
Starlight
Dying Breed
Final Journey
Shadow Soldiers
From the Ashes We Rise
Restless and Wild
Ahead of the Pack
No Shelter
Princess of the Dawn
Dark Side of My Heart
Pandemic
Fast as a Shark
Metal Heart
Teutonic Terror
Balls to the Wall

 
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