ACCEPT - Restless And Live
February 21, 2017, a year ago
Been a long time since most in North America had a chance to see Accept. Upon recruiting Mark Tornillo, the initial two years saw a concentration on this side of the Atlantic, but from 2012 onward, just a half a dozen US dates! That's about to change (if rumors are true) later this year. Until then, there's this 2015 performance (from Bang Your Head, in Germany). Was in the audience (can be seen around 2:53 mark, during “Stampede”) and can attest to the energy of this multi-camera (multi-angle) shoot. Only downside, just the 100 minute concert, no extras, although a double CD (27 songs, from various dates throughout Europe) accompanies the DVD. The audio discs don't simply mimic the video. True, the 18 song Balingen set is reproduced (apart from the quixotically absent, crowd-sung “Princess Of The Dawn”), but with an added mix of old and Tornillo era material. Played at least eight Blind Rage tracks (all included here) on tour that year, which is doubtful to be reprised anytime soon.
Just a couple of months after introducing Uwe Lulis (guitar) and Christopher Williams (drums), they were onstage, at one of the premier metal festivals. Of the two, Williams (and his gong) are not only centrally located in the frame, but given his share of close-ups (from the opening bell, where he's the first man on). Lulis' one moment to shine is center stage, in “Losers & Winners”. Of course, the name of the game is ‘80s mainstays: Wolf Hoffmann (guitar) and bassist Peter Baltes, a seemingly limitless bundle of energy, bounding around the stage, hair flopping to and fro. Hoffmann knows his place (stage left), mugs and contorts to camera and fans alike. Still a man of minimal words, the difference in Tornillo, here in retrospective and having just witness the Manchester, UK gig in January, is night and day. The Jersey native has grown into the frontman role (alongside such a known and adored twosome), learning the interplay and becoming integrated into the band, no longer seeking to stay out of the way, when he's not singing.
Odd it takes so long for the band to utilize the gangplank that juts into the crowd. Perhaps a commitment to levels and making sure everything was perfect onstage (before venturing off), but it's towards the conclusion of “Stalingrad” that Wolf initiates close contact with the crowd, literally a spotlighted guitar break. “No Shelter” (so 45 minutes later) is the first time the Dynamic Duo is on the walkway simultaneously, trading licks back and forth, in an extended jam. Although the evening begins in sunlight, it's soon dark and the light show takes over, especially the endless strobe barrage. Quick edits, close-ups and obtuse angles add to the visuals at home. The pervasive smiles on their faces (especially Hoffmann & Baltes) is indicative of guys having fun: it's not forced for filming a DVD. With crane onsite, most BYH shows are filmed, in hopes the bands will purchase the footage later, so this wasn't a planned project, from the start. Like the shots from behind Williams' drums, with Tornillo and crowd in distance. Rare green bathed stage for “Pandemic” and if anyone has an issue with the concluding four song stretch (“Fast As A Shark”, “Metal Heart”, “Teutonic Terror” and “Balls To The Wall”) they're no metalhead. OK guys now get “home” and start touring!