DIRKSCHNEIDER - Live: Back To The Roots
November 1, 2016, a year ago
Get ready for a glut of live Accept product. Beating his former mates to the punch, the first salvo is a double album length (two dozen songs) release from the Germans' original frontman, the Little General, Udo Dirkschneider. As a tie-in to his announced world tour, whereby he's going to “retire” (a world with decreasingly less meaning thanks to KISS, Scorpions, etc.) his past from the U.D.O. live set. Tough for anyone who's a fan of Accept (regardless of era) to have an issue with the setlist from Memmingen, Germany, on April 2nd, 2016. In fact the last half dozen selections are virtually the same between the original outfit and U.D.O., albeit the exact order slightly altered. All the hastily edited between song banter (which is minimal) is delivered in Deutsche. With his son Sven behind the kit, a montage/countdown gets fans excited as he bursts into a high energy “Starlight” opener, a track Udo told author Martin Popoff was one of his Accept favorites. “Living For Tonite” is but the first of many where the vocalist lets the crowd handle the easy-to-sing choruses, in whole, or part. Cue extended version of “Princess Of The Dawn”.
Not a whole lot of surprises, but the tender “Winterdreams” and caustic, profanity-laced “Son Of A Bitch” (the title mild, compared to the George Carlin approved chorus) are surely not tops of most favorites lists, but welcome inclusions here. The duo that opens Russian Roulette are aired back-to-back (inverting the album order) and depending upon when you jumped aboard the Teutonic ship, heightens or lessens the appreciation of said material: Europeans and those that date lineage to Restless & Wild (or earlier) have little interest in said platter, while latecomers/Americanized audiences, discovering the band w/ Balls To The Wall (or later) are more tolerant. Interestingly, in addition to the aforementioned, the tally reads like this: five each from Breaker, Restless and Metal Heart. One less off Balls and “I'm A Rebel”. Brief bass solo, shout-along leads into “Head Over Heels”. Not to be outdone, the guitars set a moment to run through the effects rack, prior to “Neon Nights”. The only misgiving, which I also noticed seeing a similar set in Balingen, at Bang Your Head 2016, is the (slightly) diminished aggression in the fastest numbers. A product of age? Otherwise, wholly recommended. Should be enjoyed with (preferably a German) beer in hand!