Udo Dirkschneider and his band of powerhouse performers had the crowd restless and wild, if you will, for the entirety of their two hour, 24 song set last Friday night at the Upstate Concert Hall. The monumentality of the ‘Back to the Roots’ tour that Dirkschneider is currently embarked on is not one to be ignored as this could very well be the last tour you’ll hear Udo perform Accept songs on- ever.
Opening the set was “Starlight” from Accept’s 1981 album Breaker, which was followed by a myriad of Accept hits such as “Midnight Mover”, “Winterdreams”, “Screaming for a Love-Bite” and many more. As mentioned earlier, the crowd went ballistic for nearly every song the band performed- the crowd participation may have been the best I have ever seen. Everyone sang, everyone clapped, everyone chanted and it seemed like almost everyone brought their air guitar with them, too. Much credit goes to the band, as well, for constantly interacting with the crowd and encouraging the participation. The band performed a 5 song encore consisting of “Metal Heart”, “I’m A Rebel”, “Fast as a Shark”, “Balls to the Wall” and closed out the night with “Burning”.
It was clear to everyone in the audience that Udo’s voice has held up considerably well, but he really showed us what he was capable of when he belted the scream at the beginning of “Fast as a Shark”. Backing Udo was a band of extremely talented players; Andrey Smirnov (guitar), Fitty Wienhold (bass), Kasperi Heikkinen (guitar) and his son, Sven Dirkscheider on drums.The onstage chemistry was great. The entire rhythm section was stellar at recreating the solo’s originally performed by Accept and incorporated their own twists throughout the show to get the crowd even more involved.
It goes without saying that it’s absolutely necessary to attend the ‘Back to the Roots’ tour simply for nostalgia’s sake- but more so than that, it is a high energy show full of talented performers that is surely not one to miss.