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Accept @ The Arcada Theatre, St Charles, IL (US)

in Saturday, 9 October 2010 at The Arcada Theatre
by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos

It was a really nice Saturday evening and what made it even better was the fact that ACCEPT would play nearby giving us the chance for a short road trip to St Charles. And since METAL TEMPLE had made the proper arrangements for an interview with the new singer Mark Tornillo, we arrived there very early and enjoyed that small town with a couple of beers.

The Arcada Theatre was a picturesque venue that was an actual theater that was renovated since it was built in 1924. So, after a short delay outside the closed doors, we enter the concert area and found out that there were chairs just like a theatre… “That would be interesting”, we thought, since watching a Metal concert seated was something totally new for us. One thing that kind of disappointed me at that point was the weak attendance; I mean, 14 years had passed since the last ACCEPT gig upon US soil so, I was expecting something stronger.

Personally, I had another reason to be disappointed; Mark told me there would be a co-headlining concert and hence, ACCEPT’s time would be equal with KING’S X. Now, I don’t have a specific problem with the Texan band, but I would prefer more from the Germans. Anyway with this and that, time passed and time for KING’S X had come.The track that opened the band’s set was “The Train” that to my surprise was welcomed with quite an enthusiasm by the bigger crowd. Maybe, the choice of getting an American band was to attract more and, since KING’S X were recently re-activate, was a nice treat. The US trio was solid onstage but their performance felt a little bit awkward; not that KING’S X used to be a relentless band onstage, but there was a stronger bonding between the members. On the other hand, the three decades of experience was shining through the excellent performance music wise; Doug Pinnick’s voice was in a very good condition and delivered the melodic lines as close to the studio version with slightly lower pitch, while Ty Tabor did a magnificent work with his guitar, despite the fact was too focus on his playing loosing the connection with the crowd. But, it was a delight watching Jerry Gaskill behind his small drum kit, keeping the timing solid and throwing a couple of Jazz changes here and there. The young drummers must realize that having a huge drum kit does not make you a good drummer. It is all about the rhythm and groove… Without being a fan of KING’S X,I managed to enjoy the faster and heavier tracks like “Alright” or “Pray” and tapped my foot during the funky “Go Tell Somebody” and of course “We Were Born To Be Loved” and the sing along action that came with it.

KING’S X setlist:

  1. "The Train
  2. "Alright"
  3. "What Is This?"
  4. "Pray"
  5. "Power Of Love"
  6. "Dogman"
  7. "Complain"
  8. "Pillow"
  9. "Go Tell Somebody"
  10. "Pretend"
  11. "Fall On Me"
  12. "Run"
  13. "Over My Head"
  14. "We Were Born To Be Loved"
During the onstage preparations, the crowd inside the vintage theatre has grown in number so, I found myself relieved since it did not make sense for a 30+ metalhead to miss this opportunity. I liked looking around to all these old-timers with worn out t-shirts, simply underlying the situation in the US Metal scene with all these “-core” genres that dominate the market. Nevertheless, the time went by quite fast and the German machine was ready to hit the US fans after all these years. “Starlight” was the gig opener and no one could resist ACCEPT’s power and energy that hit our face like a raging sea wave. Of course, everyone’s attention was on Mark, in order to see how he would treat the Udo tracks. Through my looking glass, I believe that ACCEPT were extremely lucky to have this singer; his harshness is very similar to Udo and on top of that, he has a higher pitch giving him the ability to perform the older ACCEPT tracks closer to the original versions. In an unofficial comparison between the two singers, Mark gains points when it comes to the older more aggressive tracks, delivering better the original atmosphere. On the other hand, the band looks weaker onstage without the dominating presence of Udo who was the trademark ACCEPT figure.

Without pausing the German band hit us with “Living for Tonie” and “Breaker” meeting the ecstatic reaction from all the metalheads who had abandoned their designated seats in order to come closer to the scene. Here, I cannot but to comment on the kind personnel who were in vain trying to keep the corridors “clean” by talking to the heated metalheads to step aside… haha no luck there of course. “Teutonic Terror” was the first stop on the new album and it was clear that Mark did not suffer from stage fright and delivered in the vocals at ease. Well, he has to do more than being in the center of the stage singing and probably connect with the crowd more frequently. Of course, he was not given a lot of space since Wolf and Peter were most of the time in the spotlight. This was a minor turn off for me, since I felt that these guys were overdoing themselves. In fact, Herman was also most of the time out of the radar giving more space to the duo.

ACCEPT took advantage of the given time and focused on the music leaving aside the long talks and solos, shooting all their hits and making everyone standing off the seats and to sing the trademark parts from oldies “Metal Heart” and “Son Of A Bitch” to the youngest “The Abyss” and “No Shelter”. The only complaint I can make on Mark’s performance was in “Neon Knights” where I believe he did not re-produce Udo’s singing feeling and in “Bulletproof” where the pitch needed to be lower. Other than that, he did an amazing job as an answer to all the skepticism out there. A faster version of the already fast “Fast As A Shark” marked the end of the band’s regular set, but no one was eager to let them go. So, ACCEPT did return with an unexpected encore with “Pandemic”. As expected, the set ended with the ‘you can not but sing along’ “Princess Of The Dawn” and “Balls To The Wall”. Having these tracks back to back was not a very clever move because the crowd got tired of singing and in some extent some energy was lost.

So, ACCEPT are giving a mighty answer to those who believe that this band cannot exist without Udo. It can exist leaning on Mark’s shoulders who – I believe – deserves more space in order to feel like home and reveal all his potentials. I just hope that Peter and Wolf will eventually realize that and move forward with ACCEPT. If you were an ACCEPT fan and find it hard to accept the new singer, give them a chance onstage and you will be rewarded, trust me.
Many thanks to Frank for the nice arrangements.

ACCEPT setlist:
  1. "Starlight"
  2. "Living For Tonite"
  3. "Breaker"
  4. "Teutonic Terror"
  5. "Bucket Full of Hate"
  6. "Restless And Wild"
  7. "Son Of A Bitch"
  8. "Metal Heart"
  9. "Neon Nights"
  10. "Bulletproof"
  11. "Run If You Can"
  12. "The Abyss"
  13. "No Shelter"
  14. "Up To The Limit"
  15. "Monsterman"
  16. "Fast As A Shark"
  17. "Pandemic"
  18. "Princess Of The Dawn"
  19. "Balls To The Wall"
(photos by the monsterman)



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Edited 30 January 2023

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