JAY Z's two-day Made In America debacle on the Parkway? A pair of snooze-fests with "Boss" SPRINGSTEEN at Citizens Bank Park? No, the Labor Day week concert Delaware Valley metalheads wanted to see was the second date of the ACCEPT / KREATOR co-headlining tour, stopping at the Trocadero, in Philadelphia's Chinatown neighborhood. Surprise to most that Accept allowed their countrymen to close the show! After a protracted changeover from SWALLOW THE SUN, compounded by technical issues with guitarist Wolf Hoffmann's effects rack, the Germans (OK, half of them live Stateside now and vocalist Mark Tornillo is from neighboring New Jersey) took the stage to 'Hung Drawn & Quartered', a number missing from the set, overseas. A dozen amplifier cabinets, arranged 4x3, stood behind Hoffmann, another 3x3 array backed his six-string partner Herman Frank, each Marshall nameplate replaced by the band's logo.
Overall, half the set came from the two most resent releases, those with Tornillo. 'Hellfire' preceded the old school duo of 'Restless & Wild' (up third!) and 'Losers & Winners'. The singer, sporting dark sunglasses during the first two songs, was more animated than any of the eight previous shows I've witnessed, even miming Ian Anderson (JETHRO TULL) playing a flute, during 'Stalingrad'. Hoffmann mugged to the crowd, sticking out his tongue. The usually stoic frontman even offered a few comments to the crowd, seemingly at ease on his "home turf." 'Shadow Soldiers' was dedicated to any veterans in attendance, the stage lit in steel blue.
'Pandemic' saw bassist Peter Baltes and Hoffmann together, center stage, as the singer retreated to the stacks. Everyone but drummer Stefan Schwarzmann lined the front of the stage during 'Breaker', just the third vintage tune aired, to that point. 'Bucket Full Of Hate' gave way to 'Princess Of The Dawn', Tornillo reappearing shirtless on the red lit stage. The crowd sang along to the chorus. By 'Up To The Limit', it was obvious the guys were having fun, Peter and Wolf mocking the synchronized moves of old. Later, Baltes feigned impaling Tornillo, through the chest, with his bass. 'Teutonic Terror' and 'Metal Heart' closed the proper set, the stage going black as the telltale Tyrolean melody introduces 'Fast As A Shark' and the set closing 'Balls To Wall'. Despite repeated viewing/listens, I still can't get enough Accept!
Last time I saw Kreator, was standing on a balcony, above the stage, at Wacken 2011, the same show now included as a bonus with Phantom Antichrist. Tonight, beneath a colorful backdrop, depicting the new album's cover art, the stage saw drummer Ventor atop a riser that shone blinding headlights at the crowd, his kick drums were also decorated with the Phantom Antichrist artwork. Small flights of stairs on either side allowed the rest of the band to venture onto the elevated platform. Mille Petrozza even sang (briefly) from a position with fixed mic in that upper deck. Kicking off with the title cut from their current release (just the first of five Antichrists performed and one of seven titular tunes), it was a blur of activity, on and off the stage, where a massive mosh pit broke out. 'Enemy Of God' was the lone track off the stellar platter of the same name. The middle stretch, of 'Extreme Aggression' and 'People Of The Lie' reinvigorated a flagging crowd and the concluding run: 'Endless Pain', 'Pleasure To Kill', 'Violent Revolution' and 'Flag Of Hate' (those initial three could be synonyms for a Kreator show) can stand toe-to-toe with any band, anywhere.
The tour continues through October 14th, so if it comes close to your home, make sure to check it out!
More photos can be seen here