I last saw the mighty metal legends ACCEPT twice on their UK “Blood Of The Nations” tour in 2011, so I was really looking forward to seeing some of the new “Stalingrad” material played live, as well as the classics, at this years Bloodstock. I had interviewed their legendary guitarist Wolf Hoffmann prior to the performance on Friday evening and he told me he couldn’t wait to get out there on stage and play a great metal show – ACCEPT did not disappoint us!
I wanted to get as close to the stage as possible, so along with fellow Metal Shock Finland teammate, Di Parkes, I made it to the second row back from the barrier. From my position, I wasn’t able to see a lot of the crowd, but could certainly hear them and there were many excited metalheads around me waiting for the Teutonic legends to appear.
Metal Hammer’s Alexander Milas walked on stage to introduce the band, to a deafening response from the crowd! Stefan was first on stage, quickly running to his drum kit, again to rapturous cheers, then the rest of the band emerged explosively in front of us.
ACCEPT launched straight into the very heavy “Hung, Drawn And Quartered” and the crowd went crazy, singing along with vocalist Mark Tornillo, who sounded on gravelly top form! Those classic deep backing vocals belonging to ACCEPT sounded perfect with Wolf, Peter and Herman.
Next, we were treated to the title track from the latest album “Stalingrad,” a great song for everyone to chant to, which sounded fantastic! All the band members were totally focused yet relaxed in their performance, like the professionals they are, they actually seemed to be having a great metal ball!
The classic ACCEPT anthem “Restless And Wild” was up next, a relentless metal ear bashing throughout, along with a mixture of plenty of grimaces and smiles at the crowd from Wolf, also lots of smiles and crowd interaction from Peter, frequently waving his hand to incite cheers!
Surrounding me were tons of metal voices, clearly loving the show being performed up on stage, the whole vibe was pure metal and I along with everyone else was loving it.
On stormed ACCEPT through “Breaker,” “Princess Of The Dawn,” “Losers And Winners,” then to “Pandemic” from comeback album “Blood Of The Nations.” All these songs were delivered with the utmost precision from each member of the band, working in total metal harmony together.
To be honest I feel all the songs played during this one hour set (which was not long enough!) were absolute classics and I love them all, but of course “Metal Heart” is one of those up there at the top of the metal tree. The crowd were in fine voice throughout, especially during the solo and Wolf’s latest signature guitar “The Flying Fortress” looked and sounded amazing, its WWII bomber-esque body glinting in the setting sunlight, serenading us all with its solos.
“Teutonic Terror” blasted us all once again with its ferocious onslaught of guitars, mixed with Stefan’s ear shattering drums and Mark’s piercing vocals, what a tune!
Definitely the crowd favourites were the last two of the all too short show, the first being “Balls To The Wall.” One of ACCEPT’s many defining moments in metal history, this track had the crowd in a frenzy, the voices singing and chanting in unison, people jumping around, fists in the air.
Last but definitely not least was “Fast As A Shark,” what an end to a fantastic show! The ACCEPT fans turned crazier than ever and we were almost knocked off our feet amongst the madness! The solo with Herman and Wolf at the front of the stage was flawless and also fascinating to watch the speed and dexterity of their fingers on the fretboard. The band then took their final bow together and guitar picks were thrown into the crowd, Herman going back to his mic stand to fetch more. Stefan was the last to leave the stage after throwing his drumsticks to some lucky fans.
The whole show was a total nonstop blast from start to finish and ACCEPT were on 100% top form, absolutely outstanding, they just seem to get better and better each time I see them play live, if that is possible! The performance from all band members was top class; the way they interacted with each other and the crowd, the execution of the whole show was brought together with their skill and professionalism. If you’re an ACCEPT fan, you know how brilliant the shows are, and in my opinion what contributes to it being such a great metal experience is that the band so obviously enjoy every moment, which shines through every time.
I also spoke to several fans after the show, they all thought that ACCEPT were fantastic and agreed the set should have been longer and look forward to a full UK tour. Lee from Norwich, England commented: “I last saw them ten years ago and they were a lot better tonight, really good! My favourite was “Balls To The Wall.” I saw them at Birmingham before and I’d like to see them tour again.”
Show Rating: 10/10