Accept @ Arcada Theatre, St. Charles (US)

ACCEPT

Date: 05th March, 2016
Venue: Arcada Theatre
Ticket Price: $29 (€26) balcony / $79 (€72) main floor
Promoter: OShows


This was definitely the first time for me seeing two bands, being booked at the same venue and on the same day. Sure, the promoter is free to make whatever arrangements for his property, but from the customer’s point of view, this is totally weird. I mean, if there was no connection between ACCEPT and UFO, then having both bands on the same date would be normal, although this was not the case, especially if you are a metalhead from an older generation when there were just a couple of Metal genres with vague lines separating them. Anyway, having to buy separate tickets and then leave the venue just to come back in again, seemed to me like a huge nuisance. On the other hand, declining the opportunity to host one of the two US shows by ACCEPT looked even crazier, so I cannot pick sides, especially when I am not quite a UFO follower.

The concert had 10:30pm as the starting time (although if you’d call the venue, they’d say the show starts some time between 10:30 to 11:00pm), and seeing people waiting in line to enter the venue some minutes past this time, looked expected to my eyes. Despite the initial frustration, everything went down extremely smooth and seeing the promoter standing at the entrance of the hall apologizing for this strange setup was a huge plus, so aside my disagreement, I own him some kudos. In fact, he went beyond this and minutes before the show, he explained in front of an almost full house that it was impossible to let this opportunity slip by, and judging by the response, everyone agreed.

And why wouldn’t they? ACCEPT is a most reliable band to see live with always mood-lifting shows. On top of this, and despite the extremely late (for the US standards) start, the promoter had managed to extent the curfew, so ACCEPT would be able to perform a 2-hour set. Yeah, around 11:20pm the lights went out and under a loud cheer, one of the two latest additions in the lineup, drummer Christopher Williams, appeared onstage pumped and ready to go. “Stampede” was the setlist opener and really it take no time at all to get everyone off their seats (yeah, this venue has a theater setup because it is a theater), so the party mode was on skipping the warming-up period. The sound was kind of stuffed with the vocals rather buried, but song-by-song this was gravely improved. ACCEPT kicked off their set with a bunch of songs from the Tornillo-fronted era, something I really like because it’s important for a band with such a long history (and discography) to stand behind the new songs and not just enjoy the success of the past years (there are many bands out there doing this). “Stalingrad” came out great and was the first of the many songs with the following-the-riff chanting tradition that I believe has become a trademark for ACCEPT and it works each and every time. “Let’s get this party started” said Mark and then saw Peter delivering the characteristic bass line of “London Leatherboys”. It felt like a party indeed with lots of clapping and loud singing-along because we had just entered the classics-zone with the groovy “Living For Tonite” which was followed with almost no stopping by the headbanger “Restless And Wild” (during this one, watching Mark raising his arms like riding a chopper-bike was really awesome!). The first proper break happened with the guitar change, with Mark saying: “Good evening, St Charles, this is an old school classic night with UFO and ACCEPT. Indeed it was, and there were many fans who have been at both shows and many who had travelled from neighboring States just to have some Teutonic Metal fun. “Dying Breed” was dedicated to Lemmy although there was a weaker response from the audience but that was partially expected because this was definitely an old-school night... Still, the huge smile everyone was wearing (ok, it was kind of difficult to see Mark’s expressions) and the way Peter and Wolf got immediately connected with everyone inside the venue, built up a response with more singing-along. Let's not forget the synchronized moves (mainly from Peter and Wolf) that looked absolutely cool and spontaneous (after all these years it becomes a second nature, I guess) And to me, this is the beauty of the Teutonic Metal; no matter what it gets you moving and even if you don’t know a song, it’s rather easy to follow the people around you and have tons of Heavy Metal fun. By this time, the sound unbalances had been resolved, so “Final Journey” and the tight “Shadow Soldiers” came out fantastic. It is amazing how the new stuff fits the older material and when I say older, I mean songs that date three decades back like “Starlight” and even my favorite, “Bulletproof” that did mark the return of Udo in the band. That one gave me goosebumps because I was flooded with memories from seeing the band during the ‘Objection Overruled’ tour.

“No Shelter” was a bit extended by the fun part, as Peter said, with him and Wolf having some short of a bass vs guitar duel which, believe it or not, boosted the energy levels, even though we were way past the ‘late for having concerts in the States’ time. “Princess Of The Night” was the perfect follower and, to be honest, I was happy that it was not overly extended with the singing-along part. Don’t get me wrong, this works great, but if it goes more than just a couple of minutes, then I start thinking that maybe adding another song would have been a better option. And yes, “Dark Side Of My Heart” made me think that I should revisit the LP “Blind Rage” before being followed by the faster “Pandemic”. Then, it was back to singing-along, but this time it was for the trademark intro for “Fast As A Shark” which brought more childhood memories in mind; this stuff never gets old, no matter what people may be telling you. “Goodnight” said Mark and followed the rest members backstage but no one moved an inch because ACCEPT had promised a two-hour set come hell or high water and soon enough the intro of “Metal Heart” got everyone chanting along. During the end of this super-classic, we experienced some crazy-drumming by Christopher who knocked the life out of the drum-skins. The Metal kept coming, of course, and during “Teutonic Terror” a fire broke out on woofer of one of the huge speakers positioned on stage right (below the stage level) but the venue security acted fast and most efficiently, and the crisis was averted in a blink of an eye. Yeah, I think only the ones in the vicinity of the incident literally took a whiff of what had just happened. The always relevant to the political happenings in every country “Son Of A Bitch” and the equally relevant “Balls To The Wall” (read the lyrics while you getting updates of what is going on in this world) dropped the curtain on the highest of notes. Yes, the venue’s promoter was absolutely right about not wanting to miss this show opportunity, because once again, the Germans delivered the Metal goods and gave a hell of a show. See you next time!

ACCEPT setlist:

01. “Stampede”
02. “Stalingrad”
03. “Hellfire”
04. “London Leatherboys”
05. “Living For Tonite”
06. “Restless And Wild”
07. “Midnight Mover”
08. “Dying Breed”
09. “Final Journey”
10. “Shadow Soldiers”
11. “Starlight”
12. “Bulletproof”
13. “No Shelter”
14. “Princess Of The Dawn”
15. “Dark Side Of My Heart”
16. “Pandemic”
17. “Fast As A Shark”
18. “Metal Heart”
19. “Teutonic Terror”
20. “Son Of A Bitch”
21. “Balls To The Wall”

ACCEPT

Accept @ Arcada Theatre, St Charles (US) (photo by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Accept @ Arcada Theatre, St Charles (US) (photo by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Accept @ Arcada Theatre, St Charles (US) (photo by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Accept @ Arcada Theatre, St Charles (US) (photo by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Accept @ Arcada Theatre, St Charles (US) (photo by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos)
Accept @ Arcada Theatre, St Charles (US) (photo by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Accept @ Arcada Theatre, St Charles (US) (photo by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Accept @ Arcada Theatre, St Charles (US) (photo by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Accept @ Arcada Theatre, St Charles (US) (photo by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Accept @ Arcada Theatre, St Charles (US) (photo by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos)
Accept @ Arcada Theatre, St Charles (US) (photo by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Accept @ Arcada Theatre, St Charles (US) (photo by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Accept @ Arcada Theatre, St Charles (US) (photo by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Accept @ Arcada Theatre, St Charles (US) (photo by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Accept @ Arcada Theatre, St Charles (US) (photo by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos)

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