baltimore soundstage | 4/5/18

By Jay Oakley

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Last year, I warned you. I told you straight up what mistake you made by missing Udo live. Well, due to the success of that tour Udo gave you a second chance. I hope you listened.

Udo delivered again. Another full night of Accept to sink our teeth in with the Back To The Roots Tour Part 2. Opening with "Beats Inside," "Aiming High" and "Bulletproof" got the night off with an explosion. "Midnight Mover," "Living For Tonight" and "Another Second To Be" kept the train chugging and the adrenaline high.

The center of the set is where Udo really packed in the power with "Can't Stand The Night," "London Leatherboys" and "Breaker" being the heavy hitters. The main set was brought to a close with "Screaming For A Love Bite," "Love Child," "Objection Overruled" and "Wargames."

As I watched the show, I couldn't help notice just how powerful the band was. I really have to give it up for the caliber of musicians that Udo surrounded himself with. Bill Hudson and Andrey Smirnov were monsters on guitar. Fitty Wienhold on bass and Sven Dirkschneider on the kit were equally up to the task and killed.

The encore features a chilling version of "Princess Of The Dawn." The crowd was so loud as the pounded out the chorus. "Metal Heart" and "Fast As A Shark" laid the trail right up to the conclusion and Udo's final performance of "Balls To The Wall" in Baltimore. 

The evening was over. Sweat was all over the floor; mixed with crushed beer cans. I looked around at all the tired fans with huge smiles on their faces. They knew how to have a great time and how to spend a Thursday night by treating a metal legend with the respect that he deserved. Thank you, Udo. Baltimore salutes you!

Baltimore Soundstage | 2/2/17

Well, I might as well put this right out on the table. If you miss this tour then you really fucked up badly. The reality is Udo Dirkschneider delivered big time on his Farewell To Accept tour. A two-hour set dedicated to only songs from his previous band Accept.

A short little history lesson; Udo was the singer for Accept from 1976–1987, returned to the band in 1992 until 1997 and then worked with them for a final time in 2005. With Accept he released ten studio records. Udo has since reached the decision to stop performing Accept songs in his set as a solo artist. I also invite you all to read my interview with Udo that previewed this tour.

Udo was dialed in and never looked back. Opening up with "Starlight," "Living For Tonight," "Flash Rockin' Man" and "London Leatherboys" and that was just the beginning. The hits just kept on coming; "Breaker," "Neon Nights," "Princess Of The Damn," "Restless And Wild" and "Son Of A Bitch." Suddenly half the show was over but you would never have known it because no one was looking at their watch, they were to busy rocking out.

The main set closed out with crowd pleasures such as "Wrong Is Right," "Screaming For A Love-Bite," "Monsterman" and "Losers And Winners." That would have left anyone satisfied but you know that there's got to be an encore but Udo's got to do it bigger, so how about a five song encore.

Coming back out after a quick breather they ripped right into "Metal Heart" and "I'm A Rebel." Next up was "Fast As A Shark" and the ANTHEM "Balls To The Wall" with "Burning" closing out the night.

Udo's turning sixty-five this year but you'd think his voice was turning twenty-five. Unbelievably sharp and his range was top notch. His backing band in also worth giving a serious shout-out to. They were sick. Guitarists Andrey Smirnov and Kasperi Heikkinen were shredding! Lick after lick was perfect. Bassist Fitty Wienhold delivered a pounding sound that couldn't be denied and Udo's son Sven was crushing it on the kit. The night was unforgettable. I've been listening to Udo for thirty years and this was the first time I got to see him live. He deserves to be considered as an icon of metal.

And, I wanted to close this piece out with a small after-thought about what I got to see between Udo and his fans. I was fortunate to be invited by Soundstage to participate in Udo's meet and greet. The biggest thing I noticed was how receptive Udo was to his fans. Answering their questions, shaking hands, taking pictures and signing anything they had. This included a fan the who brought easily thirty things for Udo to sign which felt very disrespectful to the other fans and to a certain degree Udo himself because it had all the looks and feelings of an Ebayer. That's neither here nor there. My point is Udo signed it all without batting an eyelash and showed that he was a class act and loved his fans.

Thank you, Udo. Please come back to the States with U.D.O. soon.