DIRKSCHNEIDER - Live: Back To The Roots - Accepted!
August 21, 2017, a month ago
Balls! It takes a big pair to release the same double album, a year apart! The exact same setlist, in precisely the same order. For that matter, also the same as last winter's North American tour. Only time will tell if there are any changes on the upcoming 2018 excursion. Once again, we get two dozen Accept classics, but rather than Germany, this time, it's a packed basketball/volleyball arena in Brno, Czech Republic, same line-up, although Bill Hudson replaced Kasperi Heikkinen, on guitar, after the aforementioned trek. The “selling point” is a 2:15 DVD of the Dec. '16 show. Anyone who’s seen the band live knows there's not a whole lot of action, apart from the dueling guitarist, namesake frontman Udo Dirkschneider content to stand in place (pulling funny faces) and occasionally take a stroll around the stage, as on the strobe storming “Breaker”. Plenty of drum cams of Udo's son Sven though. There's a camera at the back of the hall that parallels the stage, showing all the “fans” filming the show on their cellphones. Under green lights, on an otherwise barren stage, longtime bassist Fitty Wienhold gets a solo, to introduce “Head Over Heels”.
Andrey Smirnov, he of the zebra striped guitar, gets a moment in the sun (a noisy, frenetic six-string display) on the backing vocal augmented “Neon Nights”. There are some erupting CO2 canisters and the odd lighting trick, like explosion and blackened stage to start crowd sung “Princess Of the Dawn”), but little banter. As with the previous dosage, glad to hear the “Winter Dreams” ballad, which works, despite Udo's gravel throat. Abbreviated “Restless & Wild” gives way to “Son Of A Bitch”. Sort of temporarily bogs down with back-to-back pairing of “Screaming For A Love Bite” and “Monsterman”. Same thing happens with digital movies, as with my Nikon still camera, the lights play havoc with digital images, not really pixelated, but at times fragmented and “blurry”, even in hi-def. “Losers And Winners” ends the proper set, but there's still 40 minutes (five songs). Three across the stage, prior to the Little General's entrance, on the encore kicking off “Metal Heart”. Hard to fault the ending sequence, although many North American audiences would be surprised by the inclusion of punky “I'm A Rebel” and fiery (literally), evening ending, “Burning”, as close as Accept comes to sounding like the Ramones. The video opens and closes with dressing room footage (no spoken audio, just “I Gave As Good As I Get” playing over top). A studio bonus, lounge lizard version of “My Way”, made famous by Frank Sinatra, closes the audio portion (nothing about it on the video). If you've seen/heard it before, sure to enjoy it again, but do we really need to purchase two copies?