A crowd truly worthy of the mighty metal legends Accept, line the streets outside 170 Russell in Melbourne, some admittedly with Balls To The Wall, but most squirming and fidgeting in excited anticipation.
With the meet and greets squared away and the poster wielding faithful forming the first group to hit the barrier, a sense of satisfaction presents. Not to be wantonly self-indulgent or claim ‘true fan’ status, solely aware of the true might of Accept, but there is a distinct feeling of fulfillment when so many have arrived early to a gig, determined to make the most of such an august occasion.
None more pleased to see an already seething mass before them than openers Damnation Day. Pumped and ready to warm up the willing, three mild mannered and clean cut gentlemen take to the stage. Yes, you read that correctly. A certain satisfaction warms a metal heart when such people who would be perfectly placed clad in a three piece at a boardroom meeting, live their daily lives in clandestine cloaking, with all about them none the wiser that their veins run thick with heavy metal. And of course Mark out front with a fine head of mosh ready locks, suited perfectly to the metal persona. But that’s where the theatrics end. This tremendous group which was founded by brothers Mark Kennedy and Dean Kennedy (drums), accompanied by Jon King (Lead guitar), are truly a no nonsense and honest metal band. Luis Eguren adds a welcome added dimension with his stellar Bass performance holding the rhythm firmly in place. Now these lads are no strangers to Accept crowds having supported the Teutonic Terror on the Scandinavian and European leg of the BLIND RAGE TOUR, 2014, before HUGE crowds in matching sized venues.
A melodic metal symphony adorns the crowd with opener Dissecting The Soul laying waste to the doubting inclinations to those unfamiliar with the groups massive sound. There is simply no requirement for jumping and stage theatrics for these guys, who prefer to deliver their polished products as though performing just for you. Speaking of polished products, yes Mark we know where the merch desk is. Good thing he did remind us though. After a set littered with killer tracks Colours of the Darkness, The Witness, Carried Above The Sun
and World Awakens (the latter being the title track from their new album which is available at a merchandise desk near you at a very reasonable price….there ya go Mark) we move on to the stage rearrangements. With Marks soaring, ripping, shredding metal vocals still ringing in the ears, accompanied by the polished performance from the group as a whole, one cannot but smile at the audible murmurings from pockets of the crowd along the lines of “they were effing awesome” and “how come I’ve never seen them before?”. Well, now you know, get out there and give these home grown Melbourne guys the support they deserve. Just a brilliant way to warm up for the mighty ones. Bravura.
Now, I take some liberty in offering humble thanks on behalf of the Melbourne crowd to Accept and their crew, for going to the logistical difficulty and expense of flying out as much of their full stage adornments, as is humanly possible. This was surely no easy feat and the results were more than appreciated. A small stage, but all clad in Accept stage decoration it seemed to grow in stature and importance.
Importance is now a word I use lightly around the likes of Accept. To this moment I remain in abstract disbelief that, having only toured Australia for the very first time in 2014, have returned for a single Oz show in Melbourne while touring with their new album, The Rise Of Chaos. With a lineage dating back to the 1960’s and a formal beginning in 1976 with Wolf Hoffmann shredding into the annals of metal history, any opportunity to watch such legends at work is truly an honor and a privilege.
The crowd erupts as we catch our first glimpse of Peter Baltes, Wolf Hoffmann, Mark Tornillo and for the first time in Australia with Accept, Uwe Lulis and Christopher Williams. What better additions to the group could possibly have been found. Perfect and natural fit. Very unusual for a band of this history and lineage, but perfect none the less.
What more powerful way to scoop up and truly own a crowd than a soaring rendition of Die By The Sword from the tours namesake recording. Mark Tornillo is one of those unique vocalists who pours every ounce of his being into every note and, without fail, each time you see him perform is more astounding than the last. A crowd favorite in Stalingrad, title track from their 2012 album, raises the enthusiasm even further as mouths agape among the first timers, indicate a bearing of witness to the true metal heritage laid forth.
Mark’s investment in Koolaide is evident as his emotive performance shrieks and howls from every pore. Amazing stuff.
No Regrets introduces the first of many sensational displays of dueling guitars between Wolf and Peter, then Uwe and Wolf, then Wolf and Peter, but it never, ever gets old. Just utter perfection in harmonic camaraderie. Mark even gets a turn, albeit on air guitar, but he does it so very well.
I have been pondering Analogue Man long and hard, whilst enjoying the track, but as Mark completes the track with a “true that”, I can’t help but agree. Thank the metal gods he is, because no digital trickery could possibly replicate his raw, powerful and utterly phenomenal vocal delivery.
Wolf performs some solo classical serenades, before allowing his guitar to reveal its true screeching metal self, our magnificent maestro and aficionado of all that is music, displays just a little of his mastery as a true contemporary composer.
A few minor mic issues did not get the better of Mark. A frequency problem on face value, but lets face it Mark, the mic is mere metal and plastic and no match for your vocal might.
I will leave the set list separate so you that were present, can relive with a healthy mix of reverence and glee. Also for those who missed such a magnificent show, stuffed and heaving with metal magnificence, you can read the track listing and despair. I mean no ill will, however I saw and am changed forever. A final four of Fast as a Shark, Metal Heart (no dear, Mark was not singing Big Giraffe) Teutonic Terror and, last but by no means least, Balls To The Wall, completed this show brilliantly.
A reverent crowd shuffled back onto Russell Street, some with lapses into Australian vernacular descriptive of delighted disbelief, but most content to bask in the afterglow of true German heavy metal.
Not a big show for the lads, but all that 170 could hold, they delivered as though playing for a gargantuan hoard. Not an ounce of showmanship and celebration left in the wings, not a shred of enthusiastic celebration left elsewhere on tour. Playing for one or playing for many, this is Accept, and they will deliver. Bow your heads and raise your horns in thanks. We were briefly, but oh so powerfully, blessed with a visit from the Teutonic terror. This was beyond a concert and light years from seeing a band. Like 2014 in Australia and every Accept show around the world, this was a benchmark privilege in our lives, carved with sharpened guitar into the metal plaque that bears our life’s highlights.
Full Gallery Up Soon