Report and Photos by: Samuli Keskitalo
Certain situations are born usually when a frontman of a big classic band parts ways from his band. These kind of situations have been present in the history of heavy metal. Some can deal with it, some can’t. A similar situation has been in many cases of Accept and Udo Dirkschneider, the legendary germany vocalist, who was one of the strongest links in Accept. To me that is not a big deal anymore, because Accept has its own ways with a new vocalist and new line-up, and Udo has his great time and respect as a solo artist. But if you still want to hear a setlist full of Accept songs and classics sang by Udo, now is your time: Dirkschneider – Back To The Roots Tour, which contains a setlist just full of Accept stuff from the years 1980 – 1986. This tour is meant to be a farewell to Accept themed tour by Udo and in my opinion it was a good choice. After this tour there shouldn’t be any ”bring Udo back to Accept” requests.
The night was kicked off by an old school heavy rock act Anvil as a special guest, all the way from Canada. Steve Kudlow and Rob Reiner have been making a handful very catchy and nice rock songs, and a couple of classic albums back in the day as well, but the biggest problem of theirs in my opinion has been irregularity of the albums. Anyway the setlist was, as expected, loaded mostly with only classic old material and a sample from the new album. That song was Zombie Apocalypse. Metal On Metal ended their part of the night and the audience got a little over an hour of a classic rock performance.
The Back To The Roots Tour has been so far a very successful event. There have been many sold-out shows and also Vaasa was sold-out, as well as most all other shows in Finland. The main act started their set 11PM and at that point the place was fully packed and very hot. Starlight was the opener song, followed by Living For Tonite, Flash Rockin’ Man, London Leatherboys and so on. Before Flash Rockin’ Man, Udo handed over the microphone to the second guitarrist Kasperi Heikkinen, who welcomed the audience and recommended everybody to have fun with a truly blasting set of Accept classics.
The evening went forward like a German tank with the songs like Neon Nights, Head Over Heels and Up To The Limit. There were not many surprises with the songs played and maybe some would say it was a little too safely played, but not in my opinion. The setlist was just what expected and it fulfilled almost all my wishes, like Midnight Mover and Screaming For A Love-Bite. The years from 1980 to 1986 was such a golden age to Accept and the setlist contained 24 songs so it’s hard to try put all the good songs on one list. Simply too many hits!
Overall the whole band was in a good shape and form tonight. Kasperi Heikkinen is such a cheerful maniac with his Ibanez and there is nothing to complain about of his colleague Andrey Smirnov. Both guitairsts bring good spirits to the stage. Udo’s son Sven has also been now a full member of a group and his drumming was very massive.
Metal Heart started the encore and after that the band played four more songs. Burning closed up the night. For some the night was a very special time to travel back to the beginning, for some the night was for no other reason but to just have a heavy metal blast. But I’m sure everybody got something. And I don’t remember another night, which would have passed so quickly. A little over two hours felt almost like an hour. Good job!