Arcada Theater

St Charles , IL


By Colonel Angus

Accept is one of those bands that I never really went out of my way to catch live but somehow, I always found myself at their shows. This time was a little different. When I heard the new CD "Blood Of The Nations", I went and purchased a ticket right away. What was the reason for this about face, you ask? Well, for starters, I was really excited to see that Mark Tornillo got himself back out there in a big way by scoring the vocal slot for Accept. Secondly, the new CD is by far their best since "Russian Roulette". "Blood Of The Nations" is solid from start to finish without a filler track in sight. And last but not least, I had to see this tour due to the set lists I have read about on websites. There is not a dead spot in the whole set.I was surprised that a metal band like Accept would be playing the Arcada Theater but honestly, it was the perfect place to see a show. Even though it seems more suited for prog rock shows or mellow acoustic type acts, Accept managed to make it the metal capital on that night. The stage was large enough to not only give the guys plenty of room to move (and they did make use of the space) but they were able to have a nice backdrop of their Restless And Wild (the burning guitar version) album cover behind them.

Enough about the staging, we were there for the songs and the band definitely delivered. They started the show with the "Breaker" track "Starlight" and right off the bat, the crowd was with them. Mark Tornillo had the sound and the moves to fit Accept perfectly. His voice was very Udo-like but not just a copy. He added his own little twists to keep things similar while adding his own stamp to the proceedings. From that point on, the guys not only played the hits but a plethora of tunes from their back catalogue. Just to make sure that people realized that this was the "Blood of the Nations" tour, the band played five tracks from that CD. We got "Teutonic Terror", "Bucket Full of Hate",  "The Abyss", "No Shelter" and "Pandemic".  I was happily surprised at how well the new material was accepted (pun intended).  People were singing along to the new tunes, which shows how good they really are.  Another surprise was the inclusion of 4 tunes from "Breaker".  Aside from the opening song, we got "Run If You Can", "Son Of A Bitch" and the title cut. The band's only foray into the Nineties was "Bullet Proof" from their album "Objection Overruled".(One of their very best albums, IMO--Herr Mality)

I mentioned new guy Mark Tornillo and how he was the perfect replacement for Udo but the rest of the band was spot on also. Wolf Hoffman is one of the most under-rated guitarists in metal. Both he and Herman Frank make up one of the best twin guitar attacks out there. The riffing is heavy and catchy but still very melodic. The other original member Peter Baltes ran around the stage, sang back-up vocals, and laid down solid bass lines. Stefan Schwarzmann bashed away at his drum kit giving a very workman-like performance. I have seen a number of incarnations of the band and I have to say, this has been the best of all of them. That includes the Metal Heart and Russian Roulette tours that I saw. Bands like Accept run the risk of becoming novelty acts who play their older hits and go home. That risk was overcome by releasing "Blood Of The Nations" and then touring to promote it. If you would have asked me a couple of years ago if Accept would still be relevant, I would not have know how to answer that. After seeing them on this tour, the answer would not only be that "yes, they still are relevant" but that they have plenty more to say.